Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Entrepreneur Tip: Learn to Love Networking

I love to network. I love meeting new people. It's fun to me. Plus I am genuinely interested in entrepreneurs' business ideas.

I find it odd for any entrepreneur not willing to network with other people. Some feel that networking is "brown-nosing". Others have a problem with networking if they cannot find "buyers".

Such attitudes are a shame because networking is not about selling or kissing butt. Networking is about meeting new people and building relationships.

Network for Relationships, Not Sales or Butt Kissing
New entrepreneurs especially need to rely on networking to start building up a strong base. Where you network is important, of course. If you offers products or services to businesses, networking with other entrepreneurs and business owners is important. If you are a retail business, networking may help you get into a relationship with other businesses that can help you grow.

In the case of Servaunt, for example, we are able to build flexible pricing in order to help startup retailers. We can do this for those we network and have relationship with.

Scared to Network?
Of course another reason people don't like networking is because they are afraid to. They may also be afraid to sell. They may also be afraid of rejection. This a handicap since everything in business is relationship and communication. In short - get over it!

Positive Networking Experience
I think the key to networking is to enjoy meeting new people and hear about their businesses. You never know who you meet. Never have any expectation of kissing butt or "getting a sale". Like the church experience, no one goes to networking to be "sold". They are, in fact, there to meet people and promote what THEY do.

Places to Network
There are a few places to network. The first place to start is your local chamber of commerce. If you are in the Philadelphia-South NJ area, check out:
Of course this list, just for the Philadelphia region, is not complete - but it's a start. Check them out.


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