Do Entrepreneurs network?
In short – yes. Professional Networking is advertised as something that business owners and business winners do. The rest of us do not need to bother. Entrepreneurs – whatever stage you are at are “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.” Networking can be a vital part of your business strategy. No matter what stage you are at you should ALWAYS be networking (which is really just meeting new people and building relationships). If you are not already networking – What are you waiting for?
Why should Entrepreneurs network?
In most cases if you are an entrepreneur you are focusing on a product or service idea, developing that idea, bringing it to market and relying on passion or need to drive you forward.
At the earlier stages where you are still trying to develop your idea or concept – networking can help you:
- Develop your ideas or provide inspiration and motivation
- Solve a Problem
- Create Credibility and Visibility
- Find a Business Partner or a Mentor
If you are already in the start-up stage networking can also help you develop new business relationships. This might include leads to:
- business partners;
- suppliers; and
Once you are past the “Start-up” Stage and you are looking to grow and expand your business your networking efforts should be focused on PR & Marketing, gaining new investors, suppliers, customers and development partners. Networking can also help you find what you need including the right contacts to get things done and even potential employees.
But do they? Really?
At a recent networking event specifically for entrepreneurs – it was clear that some follow entrepreneurs are new to networking and maybe don’t see any real benefit… yet. While others are networking with clear networking goals and reaping the benefits. In this diary series I will continue to write about my experiences of networking as an entrepreneur in the hope that you will learn something from it and end up joining me in the opinion that Networking is good for the Entrepreneur.
Editor’s Note: If you consider yourself an entrepreneur – why not take part in NTFB’s Entrepreneur Networking Survey – it will only take 10 seconds of your time but will help us out immensely. Thanks in advance!