Networking: More Than Just an Exchange of Business Cards

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Have you met someone that has changed the way you do business? Maybe you met through a mutual colleague, at an event, or while partnering with a company for philanthropic purposes. Making connections in the business community is essential to elevating your business and helping it reach its full potential. Furthermore, these connections contribute to the thriving community in which we live and work.

Networking, both in business and in life, is important, especially when it comes to creating meaningful connections. The good news is that Columbus has abundant networking opportunities which makes the process that much easier.

Ashley Bernatz
Ashley Bernatz

Opportunities are endless. 
Networking opportunities are everywhere – you just have to know where to find them. Local event calendars are available online and provide insight into many great networking options. Try Columbus Underground’s events calendar or The Metropreneur’s, or take a few moments to check out one of the upcoming Columbus Chamber events, which focus on government relations to small business. A great way to make a targeted introduction is to attend a program that is specific to your industry. Taking advantage of these intentional opportunities ensures you’ll be more likely to network with those who can impact your business on a realistic level.

Pay attention to detail. 
The networking relationship begins when you shake hands and introduce yourself to someone. Get to know that person and what they do in their office. Once you are able to understand each other’s roles, you will be able to better advise one another. It can be tempting to rely on Google when it comes to industry knowledge or insight; however, being able to hold a conversation with someone who lives and breathes that role for 40 hours a week will ensure you’re receiving realistic answers. The better you network, the more knowledge you can accumulate.

Maintain the connection. 
You meet someone at an event and you both decide to stay in touch. You exchange business cards and shake hands goodbye. Now what? I always find it helpful to write on the back of the business card some bullet points about where and when you met the contact, as well as what they do. It will jog your memory when you reach out to them for any follow-ups. I believe that sending a quick email right after meeting someone for the first time is a great way to stay connected and on the forefront of his or her mind.

Rethink your strategy of doing business and get out there! If you are a member of the Columbus Chamber, take advantage of our discounted event ticket prices for our members. You never know whom you could meet or the connection you could make!

— The Columbus Chamber of Commerce offers news, information and other resources that are free and available to all businesses at columbus.org. —

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