Business networking locally

It is important to recognize that building a business network is NOT the same as selling a product or service.  Your goal may be to find more clients but your network foundation will provide more than income.  It is an expanded resource of knowledge, targeted information, support when you need it and relationships that will come in handy when you least expect it.
Owning your own business of any type is going to require some amount of networking. Networking is a method of building awareness of your business, among people who may be likely at one time or another to use your products, your services or to refer someone else to your business. Networking is all about getting to know other people, and locally your best bet in finding additional network contacts is going to be with other business owners.

You can find many types of networking opportunities around you. Every club and every association that you belong too is going to be a part of your network. From there, every person you come into contact with and every person you talk with is going to be part of your network.

Make a lasting impression
You can make a lasting impression on the people that you meet by talking about what you know best, and by talking about topics that are vital to your business. If you are not sure about a topic that is being approached during a conversation, ask questions. This will show you are part of the conversation and that you still want to know more. Just listening is going to keep you out of the conversation and will not make a lasting impression of you on any one.

Make your voice known
Join local chambers of commerce; join local men and women’s associations. Join the local PTA, the sports boards, and join clubs that interest you. If you don’t find a club locally that does interest you, create one and build your local network from that point. The more people that you can put yourself into contact with is going to increase awareness of yourself, of your business and what you have to offer. Even if you are selling online, you have to be proud of what you are doing, and talk about it as often as possible to build a network of people that will call on you when they need your products or services.

Once you have built a good network it is important that you maintain and set goals for yourself. As you have set goals, you need to keep them. This means, that if you strive to meet one new person a week, or to make it a point to call one person you know each week that is not a current customer, you are going to increase your business. Think about this, for every five calls you make, and only one turns into a sale, that is one more sale than what you had. Increase exposure for your business, and use this for your personal success.

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