Guest post by Innovate UK
Networking is an essential process that every startup has to go through. Whether you’re looking to connect with industry influencers or simply speak to business minds with similar aspirations to yourself, networking can go a long way to getting you to where you need to be. A lot of people can be unsure where to start when it comes to networking, but we’ve listed some top tips that you can try out for yourself to get the ball rolling. Here are four ways to network as a startup and give your business the greatest chance of success.
Attend the right types of events
When you first start out it can be easy to fall into the trap of attending every type of networking event that you’re invited to. While this is always a good way of meeting people, you should really try to focus spending your time at events that will provide exactly what you’re after. Are you on the lookout for a partner? A supplier? An investor? Or something else entirely? Do your research beforehand and attend events that provide the ideal opportunity to meet people who can help you meet your goals.
Start your networking before the event starts
Get online and monitor any pre-event buzz that’s going on. If there are people talking on social media then it’s a good opportunity to connect with them and arrange a quick meet-up for when things get underway. This is a great way of making key people aware of you, and it will save you time when it comes to making introductions on the day.
Maximise your networking opportunities
It’s important to get involved in conversations when you’re at these networking events. Always be mindful to listen first, but when the time comes to explain your company you should have a well-rehearsed elevator pitch in your head. Again, social media is perfect for getting more involved while you’re attending an event. Use the correct hashtags and easily locate the other people who are there.
Follow up with the contacts that you make
After doing the hard work and getting in contact with a good selection of people you should always be sure to follow up. It doesn’t take long to send an email and you will then be able to discuss your business opportunities in greater detail. Keep the conversation going on social media, and then take the time to assess whether this event helped you to achieve the goals you set out beforehand.