Great Tips for Networking Your Small Business
I opened the doors to my small business, Centra Chiropractic, in February 2007. Those first few months in business were excited and stressful all at the same time. How wonderful to have a new business to call my own, but all of the needs for marketing, paperwork, tax filing, etc. was quite overwhelming. Many individuals think that all they have to do to get business is to “hang their shingle.” Believe it or not, people do not just come flocking to your business when you open the doors – network marketing must take place. You get the best crm software for scaling your business as you click here. You get tips with which you can improve the networking of your business easily and quickly.
Here is how I started out marketing for less than $1000:
Find local leads groups – Many small business owners like to link up to large leads groups such as BNI, Le Tip, or ONE leads group, but these leads groups have an expensive annual membership fee and then usually meet an an expensive restaurant for lunch with a mandatory rule to purchase a meal. The money adds up. Moreover, these groups obligate you to refer. I did not feel comfortable with obligated referrals because I wanted to refer to other businesses because I felt good about them – integrity, ethics, good business practices, etc. So, I found local leads groups. This can be done through craigslist.com, meetup.com, or by starting at the local Chamber of Commerce. Before long, I was a member of over 5 leads groups and had many of my early mornings and afternoons filled up with meeting people. At the leads groups, be sure to talk with others and ask them about themselves; others love to talk about themselves. Soon, they will ask you a lot of questions because they are comfortable with you. Always be sure to have an adequate supply of business cards. If you cannot find a leads group that suits you, organize your own!
Arrange speaking engagements. There are many organizations and groups that are looking for speakers – possibly about your expertise. Call local businesses and clubs to arrange some presentation opportunites. Also, do not forget the local library! When speaking, you have future clients undivided attention for about 15-30 minutes. Be sure to keep it brief and give them something to take home with them – a business card, a brochure, a sample, etc.
Invite professionals / friends/ current clients to lunch or “coffee”. This method of marketing is very inexpensive. A cup of coffee or hot chocolate costs between $1.50 – $3.50. People are more than willing to meet with you when you invite them to “schmooze” with you. Keep conversation light and ask them about their family, career, and interests. Then, tell them about your business and let them know who you are and what you do. Tell them how they can refer people to you.
Give referrals. When you give referrals, the other business that receives the referral will look you up and will be interested in “returning the favor”. You can even give referrals to similar businesses or “competitors”. Each business is different and you may be able to set up a symbiotic relationship.
Know who you are. That sounds funny, but do you know who you are? What makes you so special that people would want to do business with you? Can you effectively explain who you are in less than 30 seconds? Know who you are – your philosophy, your ethics, and your mission. Be sure to exude that to each individual that you meet. Most importantly, be yourself!
Be patient. Building a business takes time. Be sure to retain the customers that you receive and then watch your business grow through the best source of network marketing – “Word of mouth!”
Now, even during times of economic downturn, we are grateful that our business continues to grow. Most of our marketing now comes through “word of mouth.” Leave a huge impression on your clients and they will talk about you for a long time. Their referrals are the best referrals because people seek you out specifically for your service or product that you provide, and it cost you nothing!