Who doesn’t love the Fall? It is the perfect time for BBQs, picnics and seeing the leaves change in the mountains. But did you also know that it is the ideal time for networking? Don’t think the only thing you can do during the Fall is rake leaves – there’s actually a lot you can do for your small business. Try some of our helpful tips, and soon you’ll be networking all summer long.
Be prepared to network. Its easier to be prepared to network than you might think it is. You’ll need three things:
One thing you’ll need is an “elevator speech” that describes what your company does and what you do. An elevator speech is both short and sweet, aim for a few sentences long and something that is a bit catchy and memorable. Yes, you’ll want to practice this and even try to write a few drafts of it to actually get it exactly the way you want it.
You’ll also need to carry a few business cards and/or your cellphone where you go while you are having Autumn fun. Don’t neglect the importance of being able to hand someone a business card, even though lots of folks do like to exchange info electronically. They may not have their cell handy, and you might want to jot something down on your business card for them.
Have the attitude that you are open to network – wherever you go. Now this doesn’t mean you are thinking about business 24/7 while you enjoy your kid’s football game. But if you wind up chatting with one of the parents and it turns out they need a product or service you offer, the opportunity is there for you – and you don’t let it pass you by. Just be open to the possibility.
Now that you know what you’ll need to be prepared to network, let’s talk about some of the opportunities that may come your way. Autumn is one of the most social seasons we have during the year. Few can resist the call of the more mild weather months. Lots of us spend time outside enjoying enjoying cooler weather. Even those who log long hours in the office, are trying to get out early on Fridays to enjoy the weather before winter comes again.
Here are a few places you may connect with people to network:
- On vacation. I was once quite surprised while taking a vacation about a thousand miles away, to be seated across from someone who lived only a few towns away from me! Don’t laugh, because this sort of thing can happen. But even if geography doesn’t smile on you while you are on vacation, more and more businesses are doing business nationally and even internationally. That great couple you meet on a cruise could lead to a business connection. Or the family you get to know at the next campsite could turn out to be a business you wind up partnering with for a project.
- Athletic events. Fall is one of the busiest times, when charity walks, community athletic events and kids’ sports plan events. This could be the ideal way you connect with someone who turns out to be a helpful business connection. Whether they are someone who is interested in your products and services or they are someone who can be a good resource for you, these events are often filled with people connected to your local community.
- Kids’ camps. Whether your child goes to sleep away camp or day camp, chances are you will get to know the other families with kids at this camp. Many who send their kid to camp send them to the same camp year after year. So probably you will see them each and every year, it is a great way to get to know people. This could lead to successful business connections for you.
Enjoy the Autumn weather – and be open to the business connections that come your way!
Lawrence Reaves spends finds great joy in networking. He is always looking for new ways to connect with people. You can follow him on Google+