How to Expand Your Social Network and Grow Your Startup

June 29, 2017

8:30 am

There are so many obstacles in business. You need a superb product. You must market this product to your potential customers. You need to meet the demands of the evolving society and your growing customers. And the list is endless.

Coupled with these, you face a lot of challenges. This is where having a large network of people to ask for help is critical.

According to this report, business networking is an effective low-cost marketing method for developing sales opportunities and contacts, based on referrals and introductions – either face-to-face at meetings and gatherings, or by other contact methods such as phone, email, and increasingly social and business networking websites.

Through networking you establish lasting relationships, connect with colleagues, learn from others and maximize your opportunities. If you think you don't have enough time to network, let me convince you otherwise.

Why You Need to Network

As a startup, networks are crucial for your business’s growth. With the help of others you can achieve a lot more in a shorter amount of time.  Some of the reasons, you should consider building networking into your schedule include:

  • Networks are interesting: When you network, you meet people from different backgrounds with interesting insights and stories to keep you going
  • Nobody is an island: As a business, the challenges you face are not peculiar to you. With a good network, you’ll become more knowledgeable about how to overcome business challenges
  • Others aid us to succeed: Most of the successes you have achieved as a business so far, are due to the trust and investment from a lot of people.
  • Networks support good courses: A cliché which all networks can relate to is: What can we do together? When you join a good network, you’ll relate to this even more

life hack

If I have your attention, here are five easy steps to building a network for your startup.

Focus on Relationships, not Transactions

Your focus in building networks as a start-up is to build relationships. When you approach businesses that you wish to build relationships with, chances are that they will respond to you fine. But, when you make it about transactions, this will create the impression that you don’t have anything to offer them. When you focus on building relationships in your network, you’ll gain a lot from it. Your business will blossom, and your networks will increase.

Don’t A for Something Before You Give Something

One mistake most startups make when building networks is to always be at the receiving end. This is bad for you, as it portrays you as someone only concerned with receiving and not giving. As a rule, you should always reciprocate any gesture by your networks. Always ask yourself, how do I benefit the other person? When you do this, your networks will appreciate you more, and willing to share with you.

Easy Steps to Networking at Developer Events

Don’t Make the Process About You

Are you concerned about what benefits you only in a network? Is your only mode of communication with other networks filled with “I”, and that’s the end? If this depicts what you have been doing in the past, you should stop it now or it will hurt your networks. Networking is all about connecting with the other person, so you should care about them too. Ask, if they are facing challenges. Show concern towards them, and be ready to assist them. When you do this, your networks will last longer

Strive for Quality, not Quantity

Are you the type who is in a haste to network with anybody even if they don’t fit into your business goals? Networking is not a numbers game, but that of quality. The number of persons in your network doesn’t necessarily matter if they can’t assist you to achieve your set goals. As a startup, strive for quality, hunt for the best in your niche, and make a thorough check about them before finally networking. When you do this, your startup prospects will boomerang.

Be a Volunteer

If you wish to achieve success in your start-up through networking, then you should be ready to volunteer. When you volunteer, you’ll meet new people, become experienced, and prove your worth. Volunteering, especially for leadership roles in organizations is a good way to network effectively. Though, volunteering could be an arduous task, the gains from it in the long run are enormous.

As a startup desirous of success, networking comes in handy. With it, you learn from the best, share your experiences and grow your business. These five effortless steps will edge you closer to the success you desire through networking.

Read more about developing your networking skills at TechCo

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Shehu is an expert Freelance Writer, Content strategist, and Online Entrepreneur. He is also a tech enthusiast who loves writing about startup tips and Tech innovation. He is a contributor at Huffington Post, Engadget, and ahanow, among other sites.