20 Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

Networking for entrepreneurs and small businesspeople often involves meeting new contacts and developing existing relationships. Generally, you will attend a purposefully organised networking event. Look for general networking opportunities in your local trading area, or one organised by your trade/market association. Here are some tips to get you organised so that you make the most of your networking opportunities.

  1. Research the networking event beforehand, and try to find out who will be attending. Visit their websites and try to get some insight into their businesses. Make notes.
  2. Have a wide network. Reach out to others and use every networking opportunity. Target contacts and find out where they meet for networking.
  3. Have an elevator pitch or business summary ready; this means be prepared with few focused sentences to explain in plain language what you do and why you are networking.
  4. Get there on time. Turning up early might give you chance to meet the organisers, and to meet other early-birds.
  5. Be efficient and realistic. Connect with others that are useful to you now, or will be in the future. You don’t have time to connect with everyone, so don’t work the entire room.
  6. Speak with others. Sounds obvious but you are there to network. Try to build rapport quickly. Have an opening question, such as Tell me about your business, explain to me how your business works for customers or describe how you get new customers. Prepare some before you arrive.
  7. Don’t be afraid to listen to other groups, and to join in. If you have something in common, then it is important that you begin the dialogue. Expect others to listen in to your discussion, and to join in too.
  8. Have goals, but keep them reasonable and don’t spread yourself too thinly. For examples, try to make 2 new contacts.
  9. Dress appropriately. If smart dress is required, then dress smartly. If you don’t dress smartly as part of your business’s ideology, then where what make you feel comfortable – within reason of course.
  10. Remember, just be yourself. You are the most important part of your business.
  11. Remember your business cards. Make notes on the cards themselves to remind yourself why you need to network that contact. Only hand out your card to people that will value it; if you have rapport, then ask for a business card from the contact, and expect them to do the same with you.
  12. Give a firm handshake and look the contact in the eye. Smile.
  13. Get your elevator pitch or business summary ready. However, try to not turn the discussion into a sales pitch. You are not selling, you are networking.
  14. Listen to your contact’s elevator pitch or business summary. Ask a question to show that you are engaged and that you understand. Try to be interested in the conversations. Be passionate about your own ideas. Try not to hijack somebody else’s conversation.
  15. Be willing to end the conversation politely. Thank the new contact, and explain that you’d like to meet a few more people during the event. They will understand because they are attending with similar goals.
  16. Perhaps you might be in a position to introduce other networkers to each other. You may form an informal mini-network.
  17. After the meeting or event, review your new contacts. Follow up contacts quickly. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, or add them to your database. Make relevant notes.
  18. Use social media to connect with relevant contacts. As with your business card, don’t try to work everyone. Be efficient and focused.
  19. Once you have connected, develop the relationship. For example, send them a sample; ask them for a meeting, or invite them to become a customer or a supplier.
  20. Why not organise your own networking event? Or, you could volunteer to support an event or networking opportunity organised by others.

What is crowdfunding?

The basics of crowdfunding

By definition, crowdfunding is one strategy for financing a business start up by raising money related commitments from an extensive number of individuals. It is generally accomplished with the use of digital technologies through sites that raise funds; yet the idea can likewise be delivered through other digital technologies such as apps.

Crowdfunding is a technique for raising capital through the aggregate effort of companions, family, clients, and individual financial specialists. This approach takes advantage of the aggregate endeavours of a huge pool of people—principally online by means of web-based social networking and crowdfunding platforms.

Of late, crowdfunding has become more and more popular in the realm of business, be it a start-up or mature organizations. As per, Massolution, a US based research firm, business people have raised billions of dollars with more than 600 crowdfunding platforms, in a range on of online locations. There is no doubt that crowdfunding is digging in for the long haul, and it speaks to a noteworthy new spring of subsidizing for inventive new organizations.

Some examples of crowdfunding platforms

A portion of the various crowdfunding platforms available are Kickstarter, Indiegogo, LendingClub, and Fundable among a few others. On these platforms, gifts are looked for as a by-product of remuneration. While each site offers their one of kind terms, the general idea is the same over every one of the platforms.

Benefits of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can be used to gather credit and reputation for financing. For instance, the site LendingClub, permits individuals to specifically put resources into and get from one another, removing the bank from the exchange. The thought is to bring entrepreneurs and the financial specialists together. It additionally means to offer organizations shares or proprietorship stakes in the organizations on crowdfunding sites, much the same as a first sale/floatation of stock but without the restrictions.

A fruitful crowdfunding effort furnishes a business with required money, as well as makes a base of clients who feel it is their obligation to support the business since they have a stake in its prosperity.

Why crowdfunding may fail

It could be a colossal exercise in futility if the innovation is not planned properly. It can be terrifying if you meet your objective however then acknowledge you belittled how much cash you required. Your integrity is not just in question here; clients can likewise sue any business that fails to fulfil its promise.

Also, when a business gets supported by a bank or a financial specialist, they furnish businessmen with business mentorship yet they bypass  a major chance for such mentorship when they choose crowdfunding.

 

Factors that can ensure an effective crowdfunding effort

Join with a group of friends, families and supporter who share your business enthusiasm and will help put your struggle into action, giving and encouraging others as well.

Think of a persuasive strategy for success and explain how capital will assist your start-up.

Raise your sincerity level by demonstrating to the general population what you, as an agent have put into the business.

Using UBE a technological company in Texas as a case study of this idea, UBEs central thought is basic, however capable: permit individuals to control and watch their power usage with their cell phone from any place on the planet. Their line of Wi-Fi empowered Smart Dimmers, Smart Plugs and Smart Outlets makes lighting and apparatus control simple and reasonable.

UBE commenced its crusade on Fundable with plenty of enthusiasm, tempting benefactors to get on board and submit over $935k, helping UBE outperform its financing objective and extend the round to oblige intrigued speculators. In just a couple of months, UBE had got $350k in pre-orders, offering more than 5,000 brilliant power units to innovative property holders and organizations the nation over.  The lesson learnt from UBE is that your first benefactors and promoters are there to set the pace for the great support that will follow.

Conclusion

In spite of the fact that subsidizing is most dependably the principle objective of a crowdfunding effort, it can likewise be a positive approach to increase visibility, approve your business, develop your client base, and the sky is the limit from there.