Networking for Entrepreneurs
Starting your own business is exhilarating, inspiring, frightening, fun, and everything in-between. It takes momentum and patience. It takes serious courage and self-assuredness, and grand amounts of creativity through and through…but you know what else it takes? Lots and lots of networking! And that’s great, because like everyday people, businesses need each other. They need each other for all kinds of support, like:
- Consulting (legal/monetary…)
…to name a few. When considering starting your own business or even a non-profit, it’s important to ask yourself specific questions like:
- What is my demographic?
- Is my business (or non-profit) service or products oriented?
- What’s my legal form of ownership? (DBA, or LLC…)
- Which part of my business is solid? And which is in its development phase?
- Who is my competition?
- Do I have a place of operation yet?
- Who might my suppliers and vendors be?
Of course, it isn’t always necessary to know all the answers to the above questions. It helps greatly and will allow for conversations to flow smoother when meeting other business contacts…but it’s certainly up to YOU on how you want to proceed with the networking process. After all, everyone does things a little bit differently. And I say, your creative spin will most likely work in your favor anyway! The important thing is to have the spirit–for getting out there and sharing your ideas with others.
The list of entrepreneurial networks are endless, but here are a few you might consider trying:
- Entrepreneurs Organization – Peer-to-peer networking, 147 chapters in 48 countries.
- Vistage – Helps organize and run private advisory boards for CEOs, Execs, and Owners.
- BNI – A business referral organization, with 8,000 plus chapters worldwide.
- NFIB – With 350,000 members, great discounts and online discussion groups.
- Your Local Chamber of Commerce – Supports businesses in their regional areas.
May your journey into the world of entrepreneurial networking be the very wings that make you soar.