How should start-ups network?
Networking is as crucial as every other thing that you need to focus on in the planning and start-up phase of business to make it successful. Here we’ll guide you on how to use networking to your advantage and reap maximum benefits out of it when you’re new to the start-up world.
1) Put yourself out there!
Make sure that your networking is “intentional” and not “circumstantial”. It is really important to keep in mind that networking is all about building a network of trust. A lot of times people wait for networking events to meet new people and make connections. As a matter of fact, we all have existing networks that can be leveraged to build even stronger connections since they already know you and all you need to do is, win their trust!
2) Build connections: Online and Offline!
It is given that people today assume “online” is where all the magic happens. As we know online networking works hand in hand with offline networking quite well nonetheless it’s really important to build networks by intentionally meeting people offline as well. 3) Keep your ears open.
As much as networking is about you and your start-up journey, it’s also about meeting new people and identifying their needs. You can always talk about what you need to talk but also listen attentively to what other are saying. By listening, you’ll know what are they looking for? For instance, a new media consultant or a new strategy for their new product? It’s important to add some value rather than just reap benefits.
4) Define your networking goals.
Setting goals be it small or big will make it easier for you to work on them. As a start-up, it is quite crucial to know whom to network with rather than going to tons of networking events without a plan and waste your time. For instance, you need to decide if you wish to network with potential customer or potential investors. Choose your goals based on your organization, look for events that match the brief and START NETWORKING!
5) Don’t forget to follow up.
Imagine to be at an event where you hear about interesting ideas from this one person and you exchange business cards and you’re looking forward to having another round of amazing conversation but unfortunately, you never hear back from them! Take up the responsibility of your business and get back to the people you connected with while they still remember about you. Connections are made at networking events but it is your responsibility to turn them into relationships out of the events. Running a start-up can be pretty daunting and rewarding as well. Networking is one tool that’ll help you build an empire of customer base and support network. So, get out there and get networking!
About Devansh Lakhani
Director of Lakhani Financial Services, and a Chartered Accountant, he helps start-ups raise funds from his network of investors. He guides and advises start-ups to scale up by providing efficient sales, marketing, team building, and business management strategies. He has executed fundraising by block deals on the stock exchange and conducted IPOs and right issues on the SME platform to the tune of over Rs. 50 Crore. He is currently working with start-ups from various sectors to help them channelize their business models and investments.