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Marketing / Business networking

How to build your business

Want to know one of the fastest ways to build your business? Get out of your office and meet people!

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I’m surprised how many solopreneurs stay behind their desks while trying to build their businesses. It’s time to get out and develop strong one-on-one relationships, especially if you’re just starting out.

Making the effort to meet people face-to-face will have more impact in terms of attracting clients and building your business than almost any other activity. Here are my four favourite tips for getting yourself out there.

Apply the 80/20 rule

If you don’t have a full client load, you need to be spending 80 per cent of your time on business development. There may well be things that need doing back at the office, but if you’re in a growth or expansion phase, the bulk of your time needs to be devoted to connecting. 

There is no better way to build your business and connect with potential clients or advocates than face-to-face. Do whatever it takes to allow you to build relationships, meet potential clients and get your name out amongst your target market. 

"If you don’t have a full client load, you need to be spending 80 per cent of your time on business development."

Go to events

Where can you find your ideal clients congregating in large groups? It could be at specific networking events, a seminar or at a conference. 

In fact, why not find out if you can secure a slot to speak at business conferences like these? 

You never know, someone you meet or who hears you speak at a networking event may be in urgent need of your services, or may recommend you to someone who is. 

A networking tip that I heard recently made a lot of sense to me, so I’d like to share it with you: Rather than running around trying to meet as many people as possible at events, set yourself a goal of connecting strongly with three people who you can develop an on-going relationship with. 

Want more articles like this? Check out the business networking section.

Refine your elevator pitch

Get clear on the benefits and solutions you provide potential clients so you’re not in danger of waffling when asked, “What do you do?” 

You know the question is going to come up (repeatedly!) so make sure you also know how you are going to respond, in a clear and concise way. 

Your elevator speech should state your core message in a way that encourages people to stop and ask more. Remember that people buy benefits and results; they don’t buy features, so focus on your benefits. (If you need some help honing your elevator pitch to a razor-sharp edge, you’ll find some excellent pointers in this article). 

Follow up!

You’re wasting your time if you’re meeting people and not following up. A follow up can be as simple as sending a “Nice to meet you” email, or a copy of your free e-book or product. 

You can also follow up by sending your new contact something that relates to the topic you were speaking about – even if it has nothing to do with your actual business. 

Don’t forget to ask them how you can support them. And don’t be a fly-by-night; make sure you then stay in contact with them. 

At the end of the day, getting out from behind your computer and meeting others is fun. You never know who you might meet and where that could lead you. 

Is networking important to build your business too? Please share your experiences below.

Deb Pilgrim

works specifically with woman entrepreneurs who want to take their business from ordinary to extraordinary. She does this by taking them through a step-by-step process that teaches them how to consistently grow their business.

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