Do you attend networking events as part of your weekly routine? How many networking events are you going to each month? Attending networking events should be a top priority for small business owners because they can help generate a lot of new business leads.

For many small business owners, networking events have lost their importance as a concept in their overall growth strategy. Without a plan for networking, your small business will not grow to its maximum potential.

It’s best to start by putting together a plan and strategy on where you are going to spend your time, how often you are going to do this, and what your specific objectives are for doing this. Showing up at a lot of events, shaking a lot of hands, and handing out a lot of business cards is not a measure of effective networking.  

When you show up at a networking event, be prepared. It is not the time to spend 20 minutes telling a few people about your business. It’s a time to spend a few minutes with a lot of people letting them know who you are, what you do, the type of customers you serve and the value you provide. It’s best to ask questions about their business before telling them about yours!

Chambers of commerce, Rotaries, business associations, industry groups and professional associations all offer a tremendous opportunity to develop new contacts. Pick your networking events wisely, because going to all of them is simply impossible.  

If you’re not attending networking events, you’re missing a big opportunity to generate more business leads. Put a plan together and get out there. You’ll be happy you did!

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