Networking has played a huge part in my business since I got started. It has been my chance to get out there and showcase what I can do, as well as meet other businesses. I thought I would share my experience of networking and why It has been invaluable for my business.
I started Dot & Stripe at the beginning of lockdown due to COVID-19. I had been running my children’s franchise business in 2019 and decided to sell up just before I had my son in September 2019. I had found myself leading the marketing for the main franchise HQ and it was a great flexible situation which I could balance around childcare and still use my experience. Have a read about my blog on how I got started.
But as the rumours of lockdown circulated, the franchise children’s events stopped, and unfortunately so did the marketing work I did for them. But, for a long time I knew I had to get myself out there to support more businesses, so it was just the butt kick I needed to get started.
Like everyone I panicked about how I was going to be able to grow my business and get clients when I could not actually leave the house. But very quickly many of the usual face to face networking sessions began appearing online to join.
It was great for me, as I could join a quick networking session for one hour, rather than having to travel to a venue and it take up more of my day. Of course, many of us experienced technical hiccups, children running in, microphones left on and many more obscure distractions. But it was great to feel connected to people, even when we could not meet in person.
I found regular sessions to join like the Kettering Business Network, which I joined each Monday morning to kick start my week, and Busy Women Networking, which supported women in business to promote themselves and made loads of new connections and was referred to many new businesses too. I also balanced free networking sessions with paid ones which I felt I was getting the most value.
Going regularly really boosted the times I was being referred or mentioned. Jumping in and disappearing just makes you look like you are only in it to talk about yourself.
As lockdown begins to ease, I am looking forward to seeing what the future of my networking looks like. Whether it remains online or heads face to face, I will definitely be continuing to invest in networking for my business and for myself.
If you know any local networking groups which I am missing out on do let me know, I would love to join.
I decided to take over leading the MIB Intl Networking Northampton group in August 2020, where it’s an opportunity for mums and women in business to connect and networking around their families. We have a Facebook group and run monthly networking events which we would love to welcome you to.
Join our Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/958832387916648/