Find and Build Connections to Grow Your Business
And This is How YOU Can Take Advantage
Human beings are like ladders, you need people at every step to get to the top. You need to find the right connections that will help you grow your business. Your business cannot remain stagnant, you need to build and develop more to get to the top. Even if you love it where you are, you have got to develop to face competition. Your competitor is not staying satisfied, neither should you.
Connections are everywhere. It however takes a seeking mind to get them out. You should attend events, network with people in your supply chain, know accountants, etc. How you can build your connections will be given below.
Attend events and opportunitiesthat will connect you to other businesses, owners, and individuals in your niche. There is always a big opportunity in meeting people at events. You get to ask questions, get clarifications, meet people, and develop your network. For instance, the unveiling event of a product you deal in is an avenue to meet people. Trade shows are avenues to meet suppliers, producers, manufacturers, and wholesalers. The supply chain is almost completely represented. Meet these people, get their cards, have a discussion on where you share grounds, and grow your network.
Focus on how you can help others. One way to attract people to you is to present yourself as very helpful. People don’t like parasites. A beneficial relationship is one that is mutual. Try to be of help to people in the sense of providing contacts, doing a favor, etc.
Find a community. A community is an association of people who are in the same niche. Get yourself connected with people who engage in the same niche with you. You are most likely going to meet people who have more experience than you in the niche. You are also bound to get people with the same problems as you; ideas can be thrown into the same basket to get a solution. A community is highly beneficial for you.
Meet people in other industries too. You can’t afford to limit yourself to your industry alone. Reach out to people in other industries. For instance, as a manager of a retail store, it will be helpful to know people in real estate, logistics, storage, etc. This is the situation in almost every trade. It is not impossible that the people you may end up critically needing may not be within your niche. Meeting people outside your niche should not strictly be for business; we’re humans. Most favors are gotten in less formal relationships.
Have a network goal. You should know the kind of people you want in your corner. Getting the wrong people around can be very detrimental for you. Work towards your goal by going to places your intended connections will be. For instance, if you want to meet lawyers, it is most beneficial to attend law conferences, dinners, cocktails, or the court. Lawyers are better met in law events – there, they are less formal and more interactive.
Network with your customers; it can be highly beneficial. You never can rule out the fact that one of your customers holds the key to your big break. Most people don’t go out announcing on their foreheads their connections, net worth, or capabilities. However, try engaging your customers in little chats. Humans are social beings – most people enjoy friendly interactions. You never can say how beneficial these interactions can be.
Attend industry events. These events are opportunities to network and meet people. You get to meet the players in your supply chain when you attend events that revolve round your industry. The background to many successful partnerships can be traced to industry events where connections were made. The movers and shakers of the industry will be around. Even if you don’t have anything special to do at these events, go for the fun of meeting new people.
Be personable and deliver personalized messages. Being personable is an effective ice breaker. It is just with you being polite and pleasant. You are out to meet people, you can’t afford to be saucy or mean as it puts people off. Be nice and polite and you can meet almost everybody.
Don’t go out and not sell yourself. Let people see your potentials; it invokes the thought of how they can work with you. Deliver personalized messages to people to bring you to the open.
Reach out first. Bold and determined people don’t wait till things get to them, they reach out to it. Go to people at events and get yourself properly introduced. People are often shy of meeting new people but that is not in any way beneficial as shyness doesn’t put food on the table. Practice meeting people, introducing yourself, starting an intelligent conversation, and finding points of interests.
Be patient; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. People may not be forthcoming as soon as you expect, be patient, meet more people. It is consistency that wins the race. You have your aims and your goals in mind, a little disappointment shouldn’t deter you. You’re in the niche to carve a space for yourself, it may not come easily, with consistency, it will eventually.
Attend online networking opportunities. A large percentage of the world is on the internet, you can’t afford to be outside. Attend webinars, Skype conferences, etc. The aim is to get yourself exposed and noticeable so that others can be attracted to you. Reach out to people in these online events. You are sure to meet like-minds and highly inspiring people. You don’t necessarily need to meet people within your geographical location – the world population is over 7 billion people – don’t limit yourself.
In conclusion, you need people to give you a shoulder up the ladder. There are helpful people out there; it however, takes you reaching out to meet more. Don’t limit yourself to your industry or location – focus on your goal.
The Independent Grocers Association is here for all of your grocer industry needs. Hopefully you have found value within this article on the Find and Build Connections to Grow Your Business. We are interested in what you would like to learn more about, please let us know in the comments below.