It's National Small Business Week
Our country & it's economy depend on small business – There are 28 million small businesses just in the U.S. alone and they outnumber corporations by 1162 to 1! And they are staying in business longer than ever before, 70% of small businesses stay in business for at least 2 years and 50% stay open for more than 5 years.
May 1- 7, 2016 is National Small Business Week in the US. How will you be celebrating? There are TONS of events going on, so it's a great chance to get some free training and do a little networking. It's also a great opportunity to get out there in front of people and speak about your business, teach, or do a presentation. For those that only use the Internet to promote themselves or their business are really missing out on making those person to person connections. Trust me, I learned this.
How do you find events/ Workshops?
It really depends on your location, try Meetup.com and either search for other business-related groups or your targeted audience or both.You may have a community calendar or your local news station may have one. People now create events on social media. try the your local SBA or SCORE if you have a local office.
Or, create one! The really small towns are probably the ones that need it most. They usually have little to none of the resources that larger towns and cities have. I have a few local clients that live in tiny communities and we meet online so they don't have to drive 70 miles to meet with me.
Here in San Antonio, we have listings everywhere and we are now in the works of getting all the listings in a central calendar called San Antonio Business Calendar, created by Michael Espinoza. I'm sure Michael would enjoy helping you set one up for your area. I know he plans on expanding out to other communities.
Practice your elevator speech- what can you say in 30 seconds or less ( 2- 3 short sentences only) that will tell the other person very clearly who you help & what results do they get. Use simple terms- no industry lingo. You want them to say, that's interesting, how do you do that, or that's what I am looking for, If you ask them to go first, you can tailor your response better.
Effective Networking Tips
Most Important Thing To Remember! Always ask how or what you can do for them. How can you refer people to them or help them in some way rather than trying to push your goods & services on them. This will open the conversation up more. Ask them questions, either about their business or how they do business. If their niche is nothing related to your business, ask them a question about what's working for them ( in a marketing sense). Don't just dismiss someone because they personally are not your ideal customer- if they are networking, chances are they probably come across many people who are. I connect folks with each other all the time.
Business cards & followup– not only have your cards handy, but also have a followup plan for those you get. Don't just stuff them into a drawer afterwards. I use an app for my phone that takes a photo of the card and automatically adds them to my contacts, where II can add a little note about where we met. I can also add them to a group in my contacts, so I can quickly see find all the people I met at events, even if I don't remember their name.
Following up is the key to getting remembered, new clients & customers, after all what's the point of networking if you never do anything afterwards?
SUCCESS Tip- Do just this 1 thing EVERY day & see your business skyrocket. Do 1 income producing task each day. This is a task that will lead to income. It can be calling a few leads, following up with people at an event, scheduling a workshop or presentation, this does not include writing a blog post or a social media post ( unless it has a CTA in it) or it's a promoted/ boosted post that leads to a sales page
I am attending a few events here in San Antonio, I will be helping out a one or two. and I will be one of the mentors at a Mentoring RoundTable.
I babbled long enough. How about you- what events will you be attending either as a guest, presenter, or participant. I would LOVE to hear all about it! I'm all ears ^_^