When you run a small business, making the commitment to engage with networking becomes so much more important than in corporate life. Having a supportive group of people around who will recommend you to others, and want to build up successful businesses at the same time is invaluable.
Been there done that got the t-shirt
The book 'Networking a Successful Small Business' by Joanne Dewberry is a fantastic resource, written by someone who has done exactly that. Joanne is an author, busy small business owner, blogger & networking group founder. Her list of awards is seriously impressive too.
Get out of your bubble
Early in the book, one of the things I liked and nodded along to, was Joanne acknowledging that often when we say we don't like networking, we mean that we don't like leaving our comfort zone. This is especially true when you include social media in the mix. We can chat with people online for months before meeting them, if ever. The thought of stepping out from behind the screen and being in a room with others can feel a bit scary.
3 Networking Tips from Joanne
1. Great networking isn't about one off meetings, but developing genuine useful relationships 2. Finding a group that meets at a time to suit you is really important. If 7am or 7pm don't work for you, you won't commit to going 3. If you find networking hard at the start, you won't necessarily always find it hard. It is a skill like anything else and you can work on it!
This review first appeared in Issue 9 of Parents in Biz magazine
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Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in SE London. Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.