7 Tips for Effective Networking for Small Businesses

Networking for female small businesses

I hear female business owners say to me ‘I don’t do networking’. To me this is like saying ‘I don’t do breathing’

Humans Need to breathe.

Businesses Need to network.

Ok…maybe slight exaggeration but there are a trillion benefits for small businesses to network, why on earth would you not!?

Another thing women say to me is they are anxious about networking, they find it terrifying! Or at the very least awkward & uncomfortable.

I understand and the last thing we want is to feel like this and it certainly doesn’t help us show up in our best light if inside we’re a quivering wreck.

So to help calm the nerves and overcome the worries, plus genuinely enjoy networking and gain something of value from it I’ve put together 7 tips which I hope you find useful.

1.Do a little bit of homework.

Contact the host and find out the format for the networking event. Will there be introductions? How long? Do you need to prepare anything in advance? See if you know anyone else who has been before & ask them what it’s like and any advice they can share with you.

2.Relax.

Take a deep breathe before you join, smile and relax. Your only objective is to enjoy yourself.  Measure how you feel at the end… if you feel good, uplifted, inspired, positive etc then you’ve won at networking and you can count this as a successful networking session.

3.Experiment.

Try out lots of different types of networking styles to find the thing that suits you best. You’ll know when you find that sweet spot because you’ll feel at home and the other guests will feel like friends.

4.Think ahead.

Many people find the ‘one minute pitch’ terrifying! (I avoid the using the word pitch!) So if this is you then have a little think ahead of the event about what you’d like to say. It’s so frustrating to finish speaking and then realise we’ve not said anything we wanted to say! I’d suggest having 3 key points you want to include. They could be as simple as 1. Your name 2. The name of your business 3. Your ideal client. You’d be surprised how many people forget to say their name or what their business is!

5.Don’t overprepare.

People switch off if you’re reading from a script or they feel you are giving them the exact same thing you said yesterday and the day and the day before that! If you don’t feel confident without some notes then just have a few words, no more than 5 to prompt you to remember what you want to say.

6.Make the most of it.

Give yourself an extra 20 minutes either side of the event, to feel prepared before hand and share a post on social media (you’ll get in the hosts good books!) saying how you’re looking forward to attending the event. Then when it’s finished remember to follow up with the people you’ve met & keep networking.

7.Use Clubhouse.

This is such a fabulous platform to network. Being audio only, people hear the passion in your voice immediately, and it’s all about conversation! Remember that’s what networking is… just having conversations with like minded individuals.

If you’re a female small business owner or start up in the UK come along to a taster networking event, book HERE.

You might also like