Networking is one of the cornerstone elements of a business. In today’s world, even if you only have only an online business, you should not overlook your local market. Networking locally will likely be an amazing way to jump-start your business. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling a product or a service; there are people local to you who likely need and want what you are offering. What is more, is that it is easier to market to local people than you think.
Business Networking International is a networking group that enables local people to get together to help refer business to each other. Usually, the way it works is that only one person representing each type of business is in each networking group. There is a steep fee for being involved, but most people who stick to it report that it is worth it
Your local Chamber can offer you a lot more than you might think. As an owner of any type of business, there is a special need for your involvement in your chamber. You can go to business after-hours events, volunteer to help with ribbon cuttings, send out flyers to other business owners and more.
Even locally you will find some niche groups such as local blogger clubs, network meetings and more that can help you find like-minded individuals or customers. You can even start your own niche groups.
Meetup is an online service that helps you meet with people locally. You can find a lot of groups and events via this service that is relevant to your local networking needs.
Look through your local college or university to find local mastermind groups that can help you reach the next level in your business. If you are a woman, look for women-owned business networks.
Why not start your own networking events by teaching a course to others? You can usually rent a space relevantly inexpensively; place an advertisement in your local newspaper and via other networking groups to teach something important to local people.
Once you get involved, other people will ask you to host workshops with them. Joining forces with others is always helpful and can help you get known as a local expert.
There are many local events that need sponsors. This can cost a little bit of money, but having your business name as a sponsor for a major event in your town can make a huge difference in brand awareness.
While you should not volunteer only to get your name out there, it is still a good way to add to the knowledge others have about you. Choose a cause you like without thought to sales, but only to help the local community get to know you while you do something helpful for a cause you care about.
Networking your business or online business locally can help you either get jump-started or help you get out of your comfort zone to become a well-known expert in your niche.
Rich Thurman’s passion is helping small businesses realize their full potential. With twenty years of real world experience in both small and large business, Rich has worked for and with both global industry leaders and small-town family-run storefronts.
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