One of the key processes for building a business is networking. One must work to get the info out there that you exist. It is not like you can put a flyer up on a light post like a missing dog or anything. You must get to the right people. Networking can be the key to this process.
As a new business, the thought of joining networking groups, that may already be saturated with your particular flavor of the month, can be rather daunting. The reality is that you probably don’t have the money you need for these investments. However, you need the results.
So the key is to find the networking groups in your area that you can join for a low fee or no fee at all. These may come to you through linkedin groups, industry specific groups, small business incubators, chambers of commerce, etc… Trying each on for size and see if you like it. You may just find that there are many people like you at these groups and together you can build synergy.
What I have found is that, as I have lived in a town for many years I either know many people in these organizations or know people that know these people. Now, while I don’t want to come across as being a gold digger, I must come across serious and passionate about my business. So asking the question of ‘who do you know in this field or this group’ can be very helpful, especially if you have strong social credibility with the people you ask. Asking someone you may not have seen in years, may not be what is going to work for you, while asking your close friends or work and family connections may be better.
Again, you can not do this all in one day. I suggest choosing an organization each month that you will add to our line up. So if this month is 1 Million Cups then maybe next month is the Chamber of Commerce. Let each organization have your attention as you build your presence in that group. Know that, while you may not be in a position to give funds to support a groups existence, you can always give effort. These groups are often volunteer driven and knowing you are willing to help out is a great piece of community and team building.
So take a dive and see what you can do to increase your circle of influence and connections. While the first group you try may or may not be a good fit, it is the first step in a new journey.