.Networking is one of the most crucial skills any start-up entrepreneur must have. It is an effective and inexpensive way to grow your business by meeting the key people who could become your clients, suppliers and support systems.
Gabriela Chavez, founder of the online networking site for women called BeautiesontheGo.com offers important tips on how to use networking for your small business:
Networking is extremely important for women entrepreneurs because there are so many valuable resources that people can help contribute to one’s business. However, it is my personal belief, that networking in “numbers” should not always be the ultimate goal. Meaning that we can go online or attend an event and network with 10 or more people and walk away with 10 contacts, however, if we do not follow up with all 10 it could almost be time invested that we should not have invested. Or you can spend too much time trying to juggle a large amount of new contacts and not get results from even one person.
As women, we have so many different offers and opportunities introduced to us by the media all of the time. What we want is not always just “more” but more quality. In other words, when I meet someone new how can I add value to their life and how can they add to mine? This can happen when networking in small numbers. When we start out with the end goal at the beginning and know what we want to get out of social networking, and what our current needs are then we can network in a way that will ultimately benefit all parties involved. You can be involved with social networking and only speak with 2 new contacts and those 2 can be the most beneficial for you and your business and in turn you can find ways to make your new business relationship beneficial for them as well.
The beautiful bonus in networking in small but quality numbers is that the new contacts do not have to just be business contacts. Women can benefit greatly by networking with like minded women and gaining new long-term friends. Which is always great to have because one can’t have too many great friends and cheer leaders.