[dropcap]Venturing[/dropcap] down an entrepreneurial road is one of the most individualistic things you can do. Whether it is a business idea only you believe in at this time or you want to improve something that already exists, you may be working alone. You still require, however, a network of other professionals who act as your partners but not your co-workers. As a novice, you are going to learn a lot of things at a quick pace. Networking and maintaining those contacts are some of the things you have to master briskly. Here are three things you need to know about networking.

Get Them Early, Get Them Often

Once you set out on your venture, it helps to have friends behind you. According to Daymond John’s Success Formula, you should ideally get your network started even BEFORE you start your business since without that strong network your business is likely to fail. Connections are key to businesses flourishing. It can be as simple as having a go-to printer, information technology professional and office supplies provider in your circle. It can also include a couple of mentors and emergency contacts. When you get stuck or when you are in a bind, this is an invaluable group you can turn to in order to keep moving forward.

It’s a Two-Way Street

Summit FR says to remember that accessing your network is a two-way street. If you ask to receive, you should be prepared to give, too. When you are starting out, you may not have a lot to give, but when you are further along, try to remember those who helped you out. If you believe the favor has to be repaid sooner, give what you can. Sometimes, giving your time, for example, can lead to goodwill, which can lead to an unexpected shout out, connection or opportunity. 

Remember to Follow Up

As you attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows, you are going to collect business cards and contact information. If you tell someone that you are going to call them, do it. If you tell someone you are going to search for an article and email it to them, do it. As Vertical Response says, a successful follow-up after networking shows you are responsible and do as you say, which strengthens people’s trust in you.
For new entrepreneurs, remember that networking requires cultivation, is a two-way street and follow-ups are a must. When you network, it is important to leave the best impression possible with your business cards, your website, and more. Contact us today to see exactly how we can help you and your brand stand out!

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