Business networking is a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. A business network is a type of social network whose reason for existing is business activity. There are several prominent business networking organizations that create models of networking activity that, when followed, allow the business person to build new business relationships and generate business opportunities at the same time. A professional network service is an implementation of information technology in support of business networking. Many businesspeople contend business networking is a more cost-effective method of generating new business than advertising or public relations efforts. This is because business networking is a low-cost activity that involves more personal commitment than company money.
I need opinions on this because I am sure this could benefit alot of us.
I am co-owner of a hair salon with my wife. We are doing very well but I want to gradually expand and add more services to our business. How would I network?. My idea of networking is contacting businesses that can benefit from your services and vice versa. In my case it would be businesses in the beauty industry such as nail salon, Spa's, barbershops etc..
What would be the best way to build a network with these businesses? Lets face it, we are livining in a tough economy and I think everyone could use a helping hand. Do I visit the businesses in my area or do I send out a JOIN US mail campaign and wait for a response.
In my opinion the best networking strategy is through personal interaction. You can search for trade shows, expo's, or meet ups near you where potential clients may show up. From there you can build relationships with other people and you'll have a better chance to get a good referral.
I don't think that you should only try and network with the types of people you mentioned above.
It would be a good idea to mingle with people from a wide cross section of businesses, especially since your business is a service that everybody needs or will use at some point.
For example if you attended some form of fashion networking event you would make loads of valuable connections as fasion and beauty are very closely related.
I think the best way to network is to not limit yourself to 1 strategy. Go to the businesses in person. Join community groups in your area. Find like minded people on the internet with similar businesses and converse with them. Talk to your product suppliers. Possibly run a networking function for industry professionals on your own. Another good study strategy might be to watch all the episodes of Tabitha Takes Over and Jersylicious. I know that idea might sound kind of cheesy but there were a lot of good Salon business ideas and other insight gems that could help you out. What area are you in? Have you run any networking promotions or visited your local chamber of commerce or small business bureau? Best of luck with the shop!