It Just Takes OneEntrepreneurial Support — By Michael Dalby on May 27, 2011 at 10:30 am
When it comes to business connections, sometimes it just takes one to elevate you to the next level. One great connection to a new customer, idea, resource, mentor, or money.
The Columbus Chamber is here to be your source for business connections. With nearly 2,500 members, we can often help you connect effectively on a large scale to key members of our region’s business community. Those opportunities are important to establish awareness and visibility. But in my experience, some of the best opportunities for creating valuable connections come in smaller packages.
The one-on-one or small group, face-to-face connections can make a big impact. Just spend a little time with the right people and you may very well find that even if they don’t need the product or service you’re selling, they might know someone else who does. Or they might need something else you can supply.
A favorite story of mine is that of a security alarm company I knew during my tenure at One Southern Indiana. The owner, one of our members, met with another member, a polymer manufacturer. The prospect didn’t want a security alarm, but he did want an alarm that would alert him if his system went down overnight. The opportunity was clear. The alarm company owner found a partner and was able to create a new product, which successfully launched and helped transform the company.
The Chamber can help you make the connections that can elevate your enterprise to the next level. We can connect you to savings opportunities, business intelligence, and other resources you need. And we can connect you with other businesses through personal introductions or through our series of about 50 events that we host each year. In fact, networking continues to be one of the top reasons organizations join the Chamber.
I urge our members and other attendees to not look at these events just as opportunities at which they can collect stacks of business cards and boost the numbers of their LinkedIn contacts and Twitter followers. Rather, it should be about developing meaningful relationships.
Consider this thought from Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi: Connecting is a constant process of giving and receiving— of asking for and offering help. By putting people in contact with one another, by giving your time and expertise and sharing them freely, the pie gets bigger for everyone.
I’m a firm believer in this concept, too. The more connections we make, the more we help each other, the stronger our economy will become.
On June 8, the Chamber and our partners will host the annual Business2Business Network Expo. This has been our largest event in terms of sheer numbers– last year 3,500-plus attended. Think of the all the potential connections that will be created!
If you’ve never participated, I invite you to come out to the Convention Center. Whether you’re exhibiting at, or attending, the Business2Business Network Expo, there are real opportunities for making some great connections.
Remember, it just takes one.
Michael Dalby is president and CEO of the Columbus Chamber, where he leads initiatives to support businesses in the eight-county Columbus region. Previously, Dalby was the first president/CEO of One Southern Indiana, a business development organization formed from the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Indiana Economic Development Council, and SI 2020. Michael also worked for chambers of commerce in Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. He's a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving as an intelligence officer and attaining the rank of Major.
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