Whether you’re a natural or not, networking is truly vital when you’re starting a business. 3 Steps to Startup recognizes this necessity! We offer five reasons why you should focus your efforts on networking from the startup process to the day-to-day operation of a business.
Access to Resources, Including Venture Capital
Networking quite literally means expanding your “network” of people, creating links as you go. Those in your network are resources for you to contact when you find that there’s something you can’t accomplish on your own. Connections can put you in touch with their connections, and the network continues, allowing you access to a vast pool of resources.
A larger network also benefits you when you need to seek capital. Lenders are attracted to an entrepreneur who has lots of contacts – the more “connected” one is, the greater their chances of success. So the first step toward gaining much-needed funding might be hitting the pavement to build relationships.
Building a Client Base
As you network, you’ll come into contact with people that could potentially one day need your services. Take the opportunity to market yourself while networking – get others excited about your ideas. Connect with those experiencing the problem you’re trying to solve and use that connection to feel the empathy you need to make your company great because they will be your future customers. 3 Steps to Start Up’s Master Class on Solving Meaningful Problems discusses the role of empathy in a business’s success.
Finding a Partner or Top Employees
Expanding your networking sphere gives you access to the best of the best! As you network, you meet folks that have experience in the positions you need to fill. You meet others that may share your passion for the startup you’re pursuing. These folks are your potential partners and employees!
Officially recruiting candidates, whether during the startup phase or afterward, can be costly and time-consuming. When it comes to finding potential employees or partners, networking can give you the perspective you need to see if you connect with someone personally, making them a good fit.
“Often, the key to finding top talent is taking technology one step further, and making it personal – it’s building a relationship with someone new once you’ve connected online by having a cup of coffee or going to happy hour after work with someone already in your network,” says Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director with Robert Half. The key is building that network rich with talent that you can source.
Learning from Others – Building a Skillset
Some of the benefits of networking aren’t as tangible as the ones mentioned already. The knowledge you gain from interactions with those in your field can prove invaluable. Those you’re networking with could become mentors or friends you can turn to for advice. You can use their experiences (and failures!) as a chance to grow without having to make the same mistakes they made. They can teach you technical skills you might otherwise have no way to learn. They might also teach you skills in communication.
Finally, those in your network can help you build the one trait that an entrepreneur must have: confidence. Self-assured entrepreneurs are likely to aim for a higher level of success because it helps conquer fear. Confidence
Networking is a symbiotic activity. You can benefit from your network ties, and they can benefit from you. You’ll find opportunities to build goodwill often during networking activities, and you should take them. Helping someone else makes you memorable to that person, and the connection is solidified into something more valuable.
We at 3 Steps to Startup believe that West Virginian entrepreneurs should constantly seek to build mutually beneficial relationships with each other, and that’s why we aim to bring them together at commercialization events and venture fairs.
Join us in one of our latest events, our LIINC event! Our LIINC events will provide early-stage entrepreneurs with access to expertise, investment and advice. 3 Steps To StartUp’s virtual Linking Innovation, Industry & Commercialization (LIINC) events will take place on Wednesday, October 6 & Wednesday, October 20.
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