You’re a business woman. You make decisions day in and day out that affect the life of your company, your employees, your family and yourself. You’re busy. I get it. But you want to increase your revenue. You want to find another business that you can partner with for upcoming projects. You want to find another woman in your industry and pick her brain. You’re looking for a like-minded business woman to talk with about day-to-day business “stuff”. Let me break it to you…you will not find it on the phone or on social media. Sure, you can rant and rave all day. But there’s no feedback, no information, no inspiration and no connection. Get out there and NETWORK!
Seven Letters: N E T W O R K. Some people see that word and shiver. It’s daunting. You’d rather eat mud. Understandable. But eating mud will not lead to a better business or a better you. Networking, on the other hand, can. Networking is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.[i] Whoever doesn’t want productive relationships for their business can exit to the left? I thought so.
Let’s address the REAL PROBLEM: You would rather type up a stock email, send it to your email list along with a few randomly chosen businesses from google, and wish for the best. I admit. It’s fast. It’s easy. I didn’t even have to get out of my office. But did you know that the average corporate email account sent or received more than 100 emails per day.[ii] Networking failure. Face-to-face meetings take time, take focus, and take effort. Don’t you want to create business opportunities with another business owner who has taken the time and energy to get out of her office to meet you? Guess what…that business person is thinking the same thing about you.
Hopefully, I convinced you to at least give a real face to face networking event a try. Now, a few pointers for some successful networking to help you on your way.
Step One: Where to Go?
Of course, we’d love to have you at any one or all of our WBEC South events. We encourage each and every WBE business owner to attend, meet other WBE business owners and make those business connections. You can find our list of events online at www.wbecsouth.org.
What if I don’t see an event for me or What if I don’t see ANY events? We are always on the move. Call me and tell me you want an event. I would love to work with your ideas and create an opportunity for you, other WBE business owners, and other women in your area to get moving.
Also, you can check with your local Chamber of Commerce, local and regional newspapers, or even host one yourself. (We can help.)
Step Two: You got me out the door, now what?
Did you remember your business cards and your smile? You are your company’s walking commercial. Don’t panic. You talk business every day, all day. You know your business inside and out. Relax and enjoy meeting other like-minded successful business women who are looking, just like you, to support one another and make your businesses grow.
Step Three: Wait, I went…There’s more?
Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. You have made great connections. Do not let them go to waste. I know what you’re thinking. You’ll just send out a quick email. Resist that urge. Head out and find you some nice stationary and write a quick but thoughtful letter. I know – it sounds so old-school. But nobody else does it. I mean nobody. Most of you reading this won’t do it either. But if your one of the few who do, then you’re that person who has set themselves apart from every other talking head in the room that evening at the Networking event.
[i] “Networking,” February 6, 2014, available at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/networking.
[ii] “Email Statistics Report,” Sara Radicati, PhD, Ed. The Radicati Group, Inc, available at http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Email-Statistics-Report-2011-2015-Executive-Summary.pdf.