A bootstrapped business often starts with one or two founders. These founders have an idea and a thought process to take it to its logical endings. Sometimes the idea itself gets slightly complicated and the founder is left wondering about how to execute it.
One of the thing many of the entrepreneurs are scared to do is to network. By networking , I mean meeting people and create a business relationship with them. Networking not only create new possibilities but also sometimes help in creating suitable partnerships. A person whom you meet may be expert in the areas that you are struggling at or he may at least provide with you a different perspective that helps you see the things in a different light.
Networking need not be in your own kind of group. For example , let us say you are a book lover and you are in the group that consists of book lovers. If you are yourself writing a book, it makes a lot of sense to hang in there because the group may be your target market.
However it may also make sense when you also attend seminars or group meetings which for example are technically challenging to you. Brain works best when challenged with solving a problem or learning new things. Daria Steigman writes about why it is not a good idea only to hang out with people from your interest groups only . Read the article here.
Thus one not only meets people who can solve a business problem but also provide a fresh perspective to it. A business owner/ entrepreneur can often get a lot more ideas this way than if he or she were thinking alone. Networking can also help entrepreneurs find business partners and connect with right people. It can also help a cash strapped entrepreneur share resources with others.
Networking often helps to create new business streams. I met a couple who were running a site. They were interested in a software that I developed for some other purpose. I could just port it and adapt it to their needs. It was a new market for me. I would not have known about it if I had not networked
Here are the advantages of networking recapped
- increases reach of business
- helps you to see things in a new light
- builds partnership
- get new ideas
So don’t be shy of networking. Meet as many people as possible and keep your groups diverse.
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