5 Networking Tips That Entrepreneurs Need to Know

5 Networking Tips That Entrepreneurs Need to Know

How can you maximize the benefits of attending professional networking events as an entrepreneur or business owner?

1. Have an agenda.

Not all networking events are created equal. It behooves you to research the best of the bunch in your area and decide which might be best for your overall start-up goals. What is your objective for the event? Are you looking to find a cofounder? Are you looking to meet investors? Are you simply looking to get more educated or inspired? Asking yourself simple questions like these before selecting a networking event can help refine your search – and, in turn, get more out of your selections.

2. Work the room.

Consider the law of averages – the more people you meet at one of these events, the greater the likelihood of making networking magic. Spend no more than 5 to 7 minutes per conversation.

3. Take notes.

It’s impossible to remember specifics on every person you meet at these shindigs, so don’t be afraid to take notes. The easiest place to jot stuff down is on the back of someone’s business card. Use keywords to help you contextualize a person’s strengths when you get home and sort through your stuff.

Another option here is to use your smartphone, or bring along a small notebook or pad, for more detailed scribbles – though it’s best to do this in the privacy of a corner or the restroom.

4. Watch what you drink.

Sure, alcohol makes it easier for all of us to meet new people. And, yes, beer and wine are standard at most of these networking events. Still, moderation should rule the day.

5. Follow up.

The most important step in making new acquaintances is following up. Post on social media sites, email, or whatever – just close the loop. You always should follow up with the hosts of the event, too. Organizers frequently have large networks and can connect you with others easily.

What helps you make the most of networking events? Leave a comment and let us know.

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