Networking, It’s How Businesses Say Hello
Guest Post by Chelsea Lamb
For many people, retirement is not about finding a place to set up an outdoor rocking chair or even a time to line up cruises or book travel excursions. For many, it’s the chance to finally start their own business, one they’ve thought of for years. Whether it’s opening a cafe, starting their own non-profit for a cause that’s been a passion for them, purchasing an inn near the mountains, or any one of a thousand possibilities, it’s the chance to finally make those entrepreneurial dreams come true. Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC encourages you to follow your dreams, and presents a few ideas to get you started.
Moving to a New Place
A new venture often means moving from where you’ve lived and worked for decades in order to put down new roots in the area best suited for your business. But a new town means having to meet new people, and that’s not always easy, especially when you’re no longer going to an office, school functions, or children’s birthday parties. It’s a challenge to be sure, but not impossible.
Local Weekend Events
Once you’ve moved to your new town, you’ll no doubt feel like a stranger in a strange land, especially if you’ve moved to a completely different part of the country, say from a big northeastern city to a rural area in the southwest. Your local newspaper can be your best source of what’s happening in your area. Look for events where you’ll have a chance to talk to people one on one, like farmer’s markets or craft fairs. Visit the different vendors, and purchase something from each one you’ve stopped and talked to, even if it’s a very small and inexpensive item. Get their card and give them one of yours. It’s possible to design and create your own business cards using readymade templates so you’ll be able to make and hand out as many as you can.
Nearly any city in the US will have a Chamber of Commerce. This is an association of local business people designed to promote the area’s small businesses and to look after their best interests. Most have regular meetings, and this is an excellent way to network with other business leaders in your area. It’s an opportunity for you to let them know about you and your business since they can be your best source for word-of-mouth advertising.
In a survey conducted by Alignable, 85% of business owners said word of mouth was the best way to acquire local customers. Furthermore, 78% said networking was vital to their entrepreneurial efforts. Keep in mind, though, that you need to listen as much as you talk, and give as much as you receive. Let others know how you can help them, rather than always asking for their help. Also, never speak negatively and never gossip at any business function. And if you’re really nervous about it, bring a buddy, just be sure not to spend the entire time talking to each other.
Also get the social media handles for these other local businesses so that you can network online. Building an online presence is an important part of networking today. You can use a free Instagram story template to look like a social media pro even if you’re really a newbie. And if you’re not really the social networking type, you can always outsource this role once your business picks up.
Look for Old Friends
If you’ve moved back to your childhood home or not far from it, use that opportunity to reacquaint with old friends. With social media, it’s easier than ever to search for someone online. There are nearly 3 billion people on the social networking site Facebook and more than 1 billion on Instagram. You can also search for old classmates using high school and college alumni associations. This is not just for business purposes, but maintaining an active social life in our later years is critical for our overall physical and mental wellbeing.
Starting a new business will bring up many emotions: fear, excitement, confusion, and pride. But there’s no shame in getting help when you need it. Whether it’s a marketing internet to help with social media or consultants from Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC to help with supply chain management, resources are available to help bring your business dream to life!
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