Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Cultivating Connections

Apr 24, 2017 04:34AM ● Published by Family Features

Business is built on relationships. For many entrepreneurs whose small businesses are thriving, successful networking is one of the most common threads.

Making connections and building relationships are among the most beneficial aspects of networking with other small businesses, according to more than half of the respondents in a survey by The UPS Store. This is especially true among younger business owners, who are more likely than their older counterparts to take advantage of networking opportunities with fellow small business owners.

Not only do they crave these connections, 61 percent of small business owners say they want to establish in-person relationships. Attending networking and meetup events is a great way for entrepreneurs to form new relationships, share experiences and celebrate their hard work. In honor of National Small Business Week, The UPS Store will offer several networking events to facilitate small business connections. The following tips can help small business owners make the most of networking events.

Practice your “elevator pitch.” When introducing yourself, be prepared to give a brief explanation of your business, boiled down to a couple of sentences. Be sure to include your business name, the solution you provide and anything that makes you unique. The key is to deliver enough context that others can engage in meaningful conversation, while keeping it succinct enough that you have plenty of time to listen. If you think your elevator pitch is perfected, submit a 90-second video describing the business or idea to enter The UPS Store national Pitch Off contest at theupsstore.com/pitchoff for a chance to win $10,000.

Be prepared to participate. Successful networking is as much about giving as it is receiving. Ask open-ended questions and be prepared to listen to what others are saying. Actively participating not only leads to more productive conversations, it helps build stronger relationships

Embrace the competition. It may feel counterintuitive to forge a relationship with a direct competitor, but there’s some obvious benefit to trading notes with someone who is operating in your market from a similar vantage point. Remember, while neither of you is going to give up proprietary information, a respectful dialogue may get your wheels turning to think about solving a problem in a new way.

Represent your brand well. A networking event is intended to be social, but it shouldn’t be treated casually. You are every bit the face of your business in this setting as you are within your business walls. Dress the part and present yourself as you would to potential customers. Make sure you have updated business cards, as 75 percent of survey respondents said they are the most common marketing tool used to promote their business, and any other printed materials such as brochures or fliers that showcase your business.

Retain your newfound knowledge. After meeting a handful (or more) of new people, all the faces and names can run together. When you get back to your desk, take some time to make notes on everyone you met. Include pertinent contact information and details of your conversation, areas where the connection may be fruitful in the future and any immediate follow-up.

Find networking opportunities and more ideas to grow your small business at theupsstore.com/smallbizsalute.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (business people socializing)

Sponsored by The UPS Store

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline

Family Features Family Features Lifestyle
  • MEMORY CAFE´

    09/20/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Free event open to anyone experiencing dementia, their loved ones and/or their care partners. S...


  • CBC Trivia Night

    09/20/2017
    07:00PM

    Cabarrus Brewing Co’s weekly Trivia Night hosted by KanePunch Comedy’s Patrick & Joel is held eve...


  • Namaste and have a Beer

    09/20/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...


  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...


  • TODDLER STORY TIME

    09/21/2017
    10:30AM

    • Children from walking age to three years old with caregiver. Songs, stories, finger plays follo...


  • Kannapolis Farmers Market

    09/21/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Kannapolis Farmers Market will be held every Thursday, 4-7pm May through September, at the co...


  • Music on Means

    09/21/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Music on Means is a free outdoor concert series in Downtown Concord featuring a variety of region...


  • Small Business Saturday

    09/23/2017
    08:00AM — 09:00PM

    Make a purchase in any of the participating businesses in Downtown Concord and enter a drawing to...


  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...


  • Piedmont Farmers Market 2017

    09/23/2017
    08:00AM

    • Open year-round. Fresh local produce, honey, free-range eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef...


  • Beth Moore Simulcast

    09/23/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    <Fayetteville, NC>– <September 23, 2017>– LifeWay Christian Resources and Living Proof ministries...


  • Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest

    09/23/2017
    09:00AM

    This event at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis will be hosted by the Duke Clinica...


  • Cold-blooded fun Repticon

    09/23/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This premiere reptile show shares these incredible creatures with the world. Enjoy exhibitions, e...


  • CON2

    09/23/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    All ages - The worlds of Sci-Fi and Fantasy collide at the library! Come meet special guest of ho...


  • 11th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour

    09/23/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market, the 2017 Eastern...


  • Town Theatre's The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    09/23/2017
    08:00PM — 10:15PM

    Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre...


  • A VET TOGETHER

    09/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition the first Tuesday of each month at Carm’s for free coffee and ...


  • A Vet Together

    09/26/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition at Carm's Cafe every Tuesday morning for A Vet Together! Fre...


  • Thriller Dance Lessons

    09/26/2017
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Ever wanted to learn the King of Pop’s famous Thriller dance? Now’s your chance! Head over to the...


Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!

Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors