Networking is the foundation to building your new startup. Those early connections you make will highly impact your brand, structure and future of your company. Your network of connections can help to build a team that you can rely on to help meet your business goals and dreams. Think of it this way, with the more people you meet they eventually equate to more chances to share your personal story and sell your brand. Ultimately the goal of networking is to develop relationships to find new clients, and get referrals.
Networking is as important in the startup world as it in the early stages of your career. Just having the skills for the job, a degree or polished resume does not guarantee success in a competitive marketplace. Recently I found my latest position at CLP through networking with someone active in the community where I live. He suggested I network his friend who was a seasoned professional in the finance area. When I reached out to this new connection I discovered more than I expected and he was looking to expand his business and add a new team member. Networking and getting out of your comfort zone to talk with others in your community can can often help you reach your business goals.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon the largest online retailer found that networking made his business succeed by utilizing his network of friends and family. When he built Amazon he started out with a dream and a love of computers. Benzos said "I told my wife MacKenzie that I wanted to quit my job and go do this crazy thing that probably wouldn't work since most startups don't, and I wasn't sure what would happen after that”. Shortly after that his dream started in his garage, with a few team members much like any Startup. Benzos believes that building the right team around you matters, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”. Benzos used his network of connections to help beta test his website before launching Amazon.com. Without this network his dream would not have succeeded. Networking building name recognition, and referrals. Referrals from others is a goldmine for building your Startup customer base. Benzos’s outlook is “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
Whether you are trying to build your Startup from the ground up or grow your company networking is the key to building your brand and maintaining long term success. You can start out by expanding your connections with friends and family, then to other industry professionals, and companies you would like to business with. Attending local Startup events is a great place to meet others. Our CLP website has information on local upcoming events in your neighborhood. Come join us for an event to meet others and share your story to sell your brand.