Nov 24, 2021
This post was written by Kim Thomas of US Health Corps.
6 Ways for Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Network
LinkedIn Newsroom reports that 80% of professionals believe networking is vital to success. For entrepreneurs in competitive fields like finance, having a strong network is especially important. You can begin to develop a network by following these tips:
1. Take Advantage of Online Opportunities
You don't have to leave home to start networking. Social media sites like LinkedIn allow you to connect with other professionals with just a few clicks. Businesses of all sizes also use the Internet to find talented candidates for job openings. A 2020 survey conducted by Statista found that 9 of the 10 most effective lead sources identified by staffing firms were online.
Job websites that cater to independent contractors and freelancers make it simple to compare the services of professionals who can assist you with specific projects and tasks. For example, you can search a site for business consultants and find numerous professionals who could help write the business plan for your startup. You can compare candidates by many factors, including their average delivery time and customer reviews. Most sites also allow you to view prices before you make contact. This is beneficial since business consultants may charge $28 to $98 per hour based on their qualifications, skills, and previous experience.
2. Attend Trade Shows
Trade shows are opportunities to meet other professionals in a casual setting. Results of an Oxford Economics USA survey revealed 48% of respondents visited trade shows to meet vendors, and 46% attended to find prospective clients. For your first event, register as a visitor to get a feel for how other financial professionals present themselves. Identify the best ideas and use them to design an exhibitor booth for future shows.
3. Join a Professional Group
Professional groups related to finance give you opportunities to meet more experienced individuals who can serve as mentors and advisors. As an added benefit, professional groups frequently provide educational opportunities like seminars and workshops that can help you stay up to date on the latest industry news and deepen your understanding of key topics like financial analysis.
4. Become Involved in Your Community
Consider joining a service organization that holds regular meetings and executes service projects like the Rochester Rotary Club. While you work together to do good for your community, you and your fellow members will naturally build relationships. Those individuals can then become sources of referrals for your startup.
5. Register for Local Events
Business events provide opportunities for you to network with professionals both in finance and other fields. Eventbrite is an excellent source for finding business events in the Rochester area, as well as AFPWNY. You can filter by date, price, and format to quickly find seminars, workshops, and other events.
6. Maintain Strong Relationships With Your Network
Introductions aren't enough to build a strong network. When you return from an event, send emails to those you met and connect with them on social media. Set calendar reminders to follow up periodically through email, by phone, or in person.
Start Building Your Network Today
Following the tips outlined above will help you build a strong network that can set you up for success as an entrepreneur in the financial sector. Join the Association for Financial Professionals of Western NY today to begin making connections with other financial professionals in the Rochester area.