Startups Networking is important for start-up entrepreneurs. This
provides a platform to exchange views and get connected. The spinoff can be meeting potential customers and investors.
Startup have to specifically allot time for networking as they have so many things on their plate and pressure on their time.
Networking is a planned to do activity. If there are partners in business, it will be worthwhile if all the partners build independent network. Wider the net the more fish you can fish.
“Business networking is an art form. As an entrepreneur, you'd do well to master that art.”-Nidhi Ann Raj- Gaebler Ventures
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A start-up entrepreneur always struggles in the beginning to acquire customers or meeting angels /VCs and bankers for funding or hiring critical human resources.
While it helps solopreneurs get connected it removes loneliness.Solopreneurs can use the network as sounding board for their ideas.
The business network will have entrepreneurs who have had similar problems. Sometimes network invites specialists like bankers, lawyers ,accountants and key policy makers from government to interact with their members.
It is reported that the success rate is around 60-70 % especially for getting an order from a customers if you approach them through a known person. We all know what happens in cold calling a customer and the probability of getting an order is remote.
Only if you have a mutual contact you can hope to meet an angel or VC.
It is strongly recommended that start-up entrepreneurs build in their schedule, at least 3-4 hours per week to attend a networking event. It should be a continuous activity and the work pressure should not prevent them from compromising on the networking calendar.
A few Professional Sites
There were 30 women start-up entrepreneurs who participated
in a residential 19-day’s development program, to grow their business. They
were from different parts of the country.
A women entrepreneur had a perfume business ,based on a special formula of her grandmother’s. She was selling locally in a tier two town and the market was small. She was planning to set up on-line sales when she joined the program.
During the first module,she brought samples of perfume. Most of her co-participants were happy with the quality and they placed orders.
By the end of the program 10 women entrepreneurs became her distributors in their respective cities.
Five of those entrepreneurs had come from Goa, a popular tourist destination known for mega festivals.. They offered to put up stalls during the festivals.
Within a span of three months, her sales went up four times and she ran out of capacity.
In a networking event, an organic vegetable grower, an
online organic product seller, a supplier to 5 star restaurants and a
nutritionist met for the first time with
the intention of joining that networking
organization. The event was attended by around 150 entrepreneurs.
Before the four-hour session ended, they formed a supply chain and were grinning from ear to ear for participating in that event, which costs them less than $ 20 each by bringing mega bucks.