16 Jan Growing Your Company One Connection at a Time
Whether you are building your personal brand, or building the brand for your company many people always say ‘networking is key!’ However, with a fresh look on the New Year, we are here to tell you that focusing on networking may not always be the best option. These four steps to building connections for your company will not only increase the company’s following, but also utilize every resource possible.
- Don’t Focus on Networking
If networking is your one and only goal, it will prevent you from building useful connections with people, and also will keep relationships on a surface level. Instead of trying to constantly network, try focusing on building a community for your company. Spend time getting to know people and figure out how they can relate to/benefit your business. Explain what exactly you do, but make sure to also understand what their business is and how they operate. Always be sure to exchange contact information, because a LinkedIn connection is not enough. As you begin to form connections with each of these people, you will learn having a community of people you truly know and can trust will take you much further than simply networking.
2. Favors Are Not Bad
Even if you have just met someone, it is not a faux pas to ask for a favor or two. The worst thing that can happen is that they will say no. Otherwise, most business people understand that it is always smart to try and help people within your community as much as possible, because the favors usually come full circle. This is a smart note for your business as well. Always try to help those within your community. If one of your connections cannot directly help you, you can also ask if they might know someone who could. Including more people in the favor can only build your community further.
3. Put Yourself Out There
The only way to build a strong community for you company is to constantly put yourself out there. Always be trying and willing to meet new people, and always go out of your way to be kind and gracious. Especially for small businesses. Connections will not just come to you- you must go out and seek them. Attend events or conferences that relate to the industry you’re in. These kind of events can rapidly expand your community. Also attend events in the area of your business (i.e. Chamber of Commerce meetings ect.) Although you may not think local events have anything to do with your industry, it can help connect you with locals who can end up benefiting your business.
4. Host Events
A great way to build and strengthen the community you have built for your business is to host your own events for other business owners and people to attend. Offer an open door for your friends and connections to bring anyone who may be interested. It is an opportunity to meet new people, and get to know better the business people within your own community. Feeling close to these people also comes in handy if you need to ask for a favor.