This question came to me from one of my fans on LinkedIn.
When you are initially starting a small business, one of the most important things you must do is cultivate your network. At least 12 months before launching your business you must build up your personal network and start attending networking functions. Reach out to people on social media, send out holiday cards, start having lunches to reconnect, and try to reach out to 5 people in your network each week.
90 percent of all small businesses get business from referrals, so “your network is your net worth” as you start out in business. The last thing you want to do is start calling people you know, but haven’t been in touch with in a long time and try to sell them something. You will appear very transparent to your friends, and you could damage a relationship. You must use the “give to get” mantra and first show people that you care.
“Businesswoman Handshaking” courtesy of adamr / www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you have a question about how to start or grow your small business, I’m always here as a resource, just Ask SmallBizLady!