The most successful people in business today agree on one thing: networking is an essential activity. Business networking brings measurable, sustainable value that supports long-term growth and connects businesses with the communities they serve.
Getting started with business networking in Annapolis
If you are a new business in Annapolis, getting started with networking is easy. First things first – join the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce to position yourself among other local businesses in the community. Being a member will give you plenty of opportunities to connect with others who share many of your needs and concerns – even if they don’t operate in the same niche as you. From networking lunches to business seminars and events, it’s the best way to meet like-minded others who have similar values.
The ultimate goal of the chamber is to inform, educate, and connect its members in an effort to strengthen the local economy. The stronger the local economy is, the better your business will do, and as a member, you will be invited to lend your voice to issues that matter to you and your potential customers. This will help raise your standing in the community and position your company as being invested in the future.
Here are some more tips to help you get started with business networking in Annapolis:
1. Join a committee
Jump in with both feet, roll up your sleeves and get involved with an initiative or organization that you feel strongly about. You’ll get to know your neighbors and develop a better understanding of community issues and where people stand.
2. It’s not about sales – it’s about relationships
Even if you have a fantastic product or service, people gravitate to people – not sales pitches. Resist the urge to pitch everybody you meet (although make sure you have your elevator pitch firmly in your back pocket in case somebody asks) and focus on making meaningful connections. People remember people first. Once you are firmly top-of-mind, the calls will start coming in.
3. Listen first: learn more
One of the biggest mistakes many new business owners make is to dominate the conversation. If you are the “new kid” in the neighborhood, you would do best to listen first. Keep in mind that you will never learn anything when you are the one doing the talking. Let your new colleagues enlighten you about themselves, about the community, and about what challenges they face. Asking questions is great, but don’t make it about you.
4. Be friendly, be open, and don’t forget to follow up
Now, we’re not all social butterflies. However, you need a certain level of confidence to be in business, so flex your “friendliness” muscle and make a positive first impression. Be direct and be open to joining ad hoc groups when asked, whether they are social or business-related. Keep in mind that some of the most fruitful business relationships came from social interaction. And if you do manage to make some meaningful connections, don’t forget to follow up.
Businesses in Annapolis come together at My Annapolis Office
My Annapolis Office provides flexible office solutions for small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, and remote teams. We also organize regular networking events for our members that give them a chance to meet and mingle with others who share their values. Drop by today for a tour, or call to learn more about what we can do for you.