Saying “yes” at this stage is far more important than saying “no.” While you don’t need to indiscriminately say “yes” to absolutely everything, connecting with local businesses and those folks who are in your field or related field requires being open-minded to the type and frequency of gathering in which you engage. Explore campus fairs, clubs, and associations.
Embracing opportunities also means getting curious. Asking questions, trying to understand people’s stories beyond their resumes or goals, goes a long way to developing the kinds of relationships that can be life-long.
Utilize Business Consultants
Business and marketing consultants can help you identify and map out different aspects of your business, setting you up for greater success from the get-go. The marketing consultant hourly rate is anywhere between $28 and $98 per hour depending on their skill level, can often be found on online job platforms, and you can determine if someone is a good fit based on their reviews, costs, and delivery times.
While networking face to face will always have its place, online networking is also a key way to build and maintain relationships. Think about how other entrepreneurs you admire stand out online. How do they leverage their presence and influence?
You can also join relevant networking groups on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, joining in on conversations by contributing your own experience and knowledge and asking valuable questions.
Making relationships is simply the first step of networking as an aspiring entrepreneur. But maintaining relationships needs to be part of your long-range intentions, as your network of contacts can play a role in earning more money and finding appealing future opportunities. Some factors to consider include:
- Prioritizing contacts. You can group them into categories, of current versus potential clients, influential colleagues, and connecting friends.
- Use all tools at your disposal to stay in touch. Emails, phone calls, coffee dates, dinner, and notes can and should be used to show you care and to stay in touch.
- Don’t let social media replace face-to-face contact. It can be easy, sometimes too easy, to try staying connected through social media. But remember that nothing can ultimately substitute for face-to-face connection.
You can find events in Alberta in a number of ways. Friends and colleagues are often the first and best place to start. Ask what events they’ve attended, or which ones they feel have been most valuable. You can check networking sites such as Meetup or Eventbrite.
Jump In Feet First
As you look towards the future as an entrepreneur in Alberta, consider networking as an essential piece of your success. By getting support, remaining open to possibilities, and committing to your networks through building and maintaining relationships, you will be setting yourself, and your business, up for the greatest chance of success. Visit Jill Crossland's website for guidance to help you along the way.
(Photograph via Unsplash)