Ways to Connect with Entrepreneurs
- Membership in Trade Organizations
- Networking Events
- Social Media
- Trade Events
- Contributions in Business Publications
Entrepreneurship means constantly making contact with customers, potential customers and other entrepreneurs. Relationships you build with all three groups will affect your company's growth and business longevity. Of these three groups, however, your fellow entrepreneurs will offer the best chances for moral support, motivation and mentorship that will help take your business goals to even greater heights. Seek out other entrepreneurs who may not be in the same line of business or stage of growth as you are, because they are valuable resources.
1. Membership in Trade Organizations
One of the first things you should do as an entrepreneur is to join local or national trade organizations that focus on your particular field, starting with the local Chamber of Commerce. This is where you can gain valuable inputs on local laws applicable to your business endeavors, local vendors and other groups that may be interested in your products and services. Consider full-fledged membership and active participation in organizations directly related to your line of business.
2. Networking Events
Building a business and a brand requires persistence and constancy. You are the best representative of your business, and you should make every effort to put your brand out there. Participate in networking events that bring together diverse groups of attendees. Pass out your contact information to everyone, and collect the information of other attendees who may have some interest in your product and service lines. Keep tabs of the contacts you make, and take the time to follow up initial introductions with an email, business letter or through other channels.
3. Social Media
Create corporate accounts for your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media channels. Curate your accounts to ensure that you are creating an authentic yet professional representation of your brand. Follow the accounts of other businesses or business personalities whose interests are parallel to yours. Maintain dynamic interaction by liking, tagging or reposting tweets, photos and posts that may be of interest to your own followers.
4. Trade Events
Attending trade events as an exhibitor, speaker or a paying participant is an effective way to meet people and make your name and your brand known to the public. Some entrepreneurs may frown at spending limited resources on joining trade events because participation fees can be quite hefty and participation takes up time that you could be spending on your business operations. However, trade events attract a very diverse crowd that are either directly or tangentially interested in your line of business. You will meet and learn from competitors, vendors, buyers and the groups who come to see what's new and interesting. Some of these people may be entrepreneurs themselves who may not have anything to do with your trade, but they may be connected to other persons or groups who are. Trade events are good places to get the buzz going for your business because these events are covered by the press and other industry influencers.
5. Contributions in Business Publications
As an entrepreneur, you have expertise that may be useful to others. Make your opinions known and your voice heard by contributing to trade newsletters, business publications and mainstream media. Write professional articles and letters to the editor pertaining to your business or something that you are passionate about. Post thoughtful comments and replies on public forums responding to a relevant article. Maintain professionalism at all times and use verifiable contact information.
Running a business requires staying engaged with the public. The contacts you make as an entrepreneur help build your business. Whether or not other entrepreneurs may have direct need for your products or services has no bearing on the business value of the relationships you establish. Entrepreneurship means casting a wide net of contacts because business owners need all the support they can get.
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