#FSBConnect is our regular networking on the event based on the centre of the region in Baldock. At the Orange Tree on Norton Road, it is a twilight session which starts at 5.30 pm on the first Thursday of every month.
For details visit www.fsb.org.uk/bedscambsherts.
Here are some top tips to help you make a splash
Business Networking is an effective business tool for all smaller businesses, providing a platform to meet like-minded individuals and build connections for growth and development, both professionally and individually. If you're new to networking and not sure how it works or how to approach it here are a few tips that might help.
There are a variety of networking groups and events out there to choose from at various price points and all offering different opportunities, so if you're new to networking and not sure how it works or how to approach it here are some ‘top tips’ to ensure that you get the best from your investment.
• Have a Strategy - Think about what you want to achieve
• Pitch Perfect - Create a simple 60 second ‘elevator pitch’ which describes your business and your objectives clearly and concisely, include your professional experience and USPs
• Evaluate - Networking is a slow burn; it takes a while to build up trust within a group. Attend regularly help others and have an effective follow-up.
• Listen - Take an interest in others, what do they want to achieve from the event/meeting
• Follow up - It’s not what happens at the event, it is what you do afterwards that is most important
• Measure - Are you achieving your objectives? How much business is generated through this activity either directly or by introductions and referrals? Compare your findings against the cost of investments; be sure to factor in your cost per hour.
• Networking Etiquette - Never just push your business card or leaflets into people’s hands; networking should be about building relationships, trust and credibility. You may have a service or offering that might be relevant to the attendees but a hard sell in this type of environment is often deemed crass and doesn’t give a good first impression. Networking is about helping others “sell through the room not to the room”, and by default may result in some direct sales.
• Dress to impress - Looking and feeling good is vital for your networking confidence. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear a suit, just appropriate, clean attire for your line of business. A professionally produced name badge worn just below your right hand shoulder will help others to approach you easily and avoid any awkwardness in having to recall your name which will also help with introductions.