How to Build Your Network as a Small Business

Guest Author: Alicia Shawn

Small businesses have continued to grow all over the country. In 2021 alone, In Gov reported that over 94,670 new brands registered in Indiana. With the number of small businesses increasing across the state, it is important to network and connect with customers and others within your industry. This will help your operations grow and reach a wider audience.

If you want to create connections as a small business, here are a few things you can do:

Host corporate events

One of the best ways to network is by hosting events. President of Knichel Logistics Kristy Knichel notes that it’s a great way to have fun and build relationships with people. It can potentially be costly or labor-intensive to plan and put together, but the end result is more than worth it.

Companies can hold opening events when launching a new product or service. Not only can it be a great way to meet your customers, but it is also a highly effective marketing strategy. You can also host celebrations during special occasions like the birthday of your business in order to give back to the people who support you. Hosting events is also one of the best ways to meet possible clients and expand your brand.

Join a professional community

Joining a community is another great way to network. By doing so, you will be able to talk to and meet like-minded people who oftentimes share your goals. Aside from this, you may also use these platforms as another way to market your business to a new audience.

Communities like Indiana Owned make it their goal to support local businesses by connecting them to other companies and clients. Not only do they help your business grow, but they have also cultivated a membership dedicated to supporting each other. Another option is using social media platforms like Facebook, where you can join groups dedicated to your industry or the area you are servicing. This will help you learn strategies from other businesses and expand your clientele.

Become a source of information

Another way you can reach more people is through sharing knowledge you have within your industry. This positions you as a thought leader and valuable member of the network. An article on maximizing network connections by LHH explains that this is a great way to keep those you have connected with engaged with your business. It can also help you grow your business and become an authority within your industry.

You can do this by sharing insights on your line of work or inside looks into what goes on behind a business. You can create and post this content on social media so it can easily be found and shared. You can also publish industry reports, research, or articles relevant to your company or line of work. More than that, you can just sit down with other entrepreneurs and facilitate an insightful discussion.

Attend conferences

Lastly, if you want to be able to make connections but don’t have the resources to create an event yourself, conferences are another great way to meet people and build relationships.

OPTIZMO Technologies’ Marketing Officer Tom Wozniak writes that these outreaches have numerous benefits. The first one is that it gives you the opportunity to reconnect with past customers and partners in your industry. The second one is that these conferences typically hold seminars where you can learn more about the market you are serving. Lastly, you will be able to build better brand awareness by becoming presenters or holding an exhibit at the event. Conferences are a great way to meet new people and gain more insights.

Networking is extremely important for small businesses as it can help you grow. These meaningful connections will allow you to innovate and create change within the sector you are working in, and these are just a few ways you can foster and build these relationships.