Small business networking is absolutely critical to your business success. As a computer consultant you are in the professional services business. This industry is all about relationships and relationships are built through networking.
You will need to make small business networking your priority for the first few months of operations. This is a process that can’t be rushed. You’re not going to go to your first network event and get six clients who all need network upgrades next week. But if you do participate in a small business networking event there’s a good chance that you will come away five or six quality contacts.
Networking For Contacts
Aside from the potential client contacts you make, the beauty of small business networking is that the accountant you struck up a conversation with just happens to have a neighbor who’s brother is looking to network his company’s regional office. Or the dentist you were talking to has a similar business philosophy and would probably be a great client to do business with. These contacts are priceless
Once you make the contact you then have to spend time following up with meetings, proposals and sales calls. But this time is much better spent than chasing down one-shot clients. Though small business networking you make in-roads with people who are, or who can put you in touch with, the steady clients that will support your business long-term.
Don’t expect to walk out of every event with a handful of paying clients. Do expect, however, to generate a bunch of quality leads and referral sources. These referrals and leads are the crux of small business networking.
You need to have a bunch of different leads in your funnel and a lot of different contacts in your funnel at any given time. Some of these will be hotter at different stages and will be ready to move into paying client status at different stages and different dates. Small business networking keeps you in contact with these people throughout their buying phases.
The Bottom Line on Small Business Networking
Client contact and client referrals are what will lead you to long-term, steady clients – The kind of clients that will make your business a success. Getting out and attending small business networking events may appear to be unproductive socializing but the contacts you make will generate an enormous return on your invested time. Start your small business network today – you never know where it will take you.