Networking is a crucial part of business. Whether you started your company a long time ago, or you are just starting out, networking can be a powerful tool when it comes to learning, growing and setting up plans for the future. It’s a great way to meet new clients and suppliers, as well as people that could become a support network and boost your business in other ways. It’s a great chance to learn more about emerging and existing methods and tools and to learn from other people in your industry. If nothing else, it’s an excellent chance to make new friends and to speak to people who truly understand what you do.
Planned networking events are the ideal places to make these connections. But, they aren’t all equal. Sometimes, we come home from supposed networking events feeling as though we’ve wasted a day, we’ve lost money, we’ve learned nothing and met no-one that will have any impact on our businesses or our lives. These events can make you wonder if it’s worth attending in the future. Sometimes, the best way to ensure an event is worthwhile is to organize it yourself. Here are some tips to help you to make sure any event that you plan is worthwhile and helpful to everyone that attends.
Find the Right Venue
The venue can make or break an event. Do you want dinner? Drinks? A conference type feel? Will it be a formal sit down event, or do you want people to mingle as much as possible? The venue needs to be right to meet your requirements. But, it also needs to be in an easy to access location, and have parking and facilities. When you’ve found your venue, register for online event registration to make everything easier for you and your guests.
Invite the Right People
Remember, the whole purpose of a networking event is meeting new people. So, don’t make the mistake of only inviting people that you know, or that you have worked with in the past. LinkedIn connections are a great way to move outside of your direct circle. Or, ask your invitees to bring someone that will be interested along with them.
State the Events Purpose
The very best networking events, the ones that you come out of with new connections, new knowledge and new ideas, that leave you feeling excited and eager to get back to work, are the ones with purpose. They aren’t just general business dinners or meetings. They are events with a focus, where the guests share what they want to get out of the experience. Or, they fit a tight niche. Everyone attending is involved in a specific field or area. Think about what you want from the event, and make sure you advertise the purpose when you invite people.
There’s nothing worse than an event where no one talks. Where everyone sits or stands nursing a drink, making small talk with people that they already know. As the host, it’s your job to introduce people. Even those you don’t know. You invited them. You need to make the first move and facilitate introductions between guests.
When it comes to showing off your brand visually, there are plenty of ways you can do this effectively in order to raise your company’s profile. Here are some examples that are successful in promoting your business.
Promotion Signage At Events
There will likely be an opportunity or two to feature your business at upcoming events or conferences, and these are a great way of showing off what your company is about on a bigger scale. It’s likely that you’ll have a stand at these events and this is useful in assembling promotional signs that can draw in the crowds and act as a visual promotion of what you are selling as a brand. Branded signage is worth the investment because it can end up coming in use for any events that you run yourself or networking opportunities where you can decorate the space with your branding.
With so many social media platforms now available, there are plenty of visual ways to promote your company. Instagram is a great platform as the content is driven by photography, so whether your business sells gourmet ice-cream or tech gear, you can present it all in a stylized way on this platform. Pinterest is another example of a picture orientated platform. It acts like a search engine, and users can pin to their own boards. Think of it like retweeting on Twitter! With social media, you can display your brand across as many as you want so that once you start to build a following on one, there will be followers finding your other profiles on the different platforms on following on there too.
Digital advertisements have certainly risen in popularity and have now very much become a popular way of advertising because it’s cheaper. But it’s also due to the fact that you can get more detailed analytics on who’s engaging with the content that you are putting out. Everything from age categories, geographic locations and more. Not to mention that you have the opportunity to reach a wider audience on a global scale too.
When it comes to digital advertising, it’s good to get familiar with how paid advertising works on each platform, as they operate a little differently. If you have no experience, then it’s worth outsourcing this to a company who can handle your digital advertising for you.
Using Your Office Space
It’s good to utilize what you already have so why not use the office space as a visual way to promote your company. Branded stationery is one way of sharing your company’s branding with new clients and having a strong visual promotion on the front of your building will encourage those passing by to engage with what it is you’re showing.
Visual promotion is possibly the best way of showing off your company and if you use these tips for your own business, then hopefully you’ll reap the benefits going forward. Take advantage of digital advertisements, get to grips with social media and invest in some promotional signage.
Want to get the most out of your startup budget? Here is a brief guide to help you to put your funds to good use by knowing when to skimp and when to splurge.
When to skimp
Most companies don’t need physical premises in the beginning. Office-based work can typically be carried out from home. Retail stores can meanwhile begin life as online stores and market stalls. By not investing in separate premises, you could save huge costs such as rent/mortgage, energy bills, extra equipment, maintenance and property taxes. Once you’ve established a brand and a steady revenue, it could then be a sensible idea to upgrade your premises.
A lot of start-ups also don’t need a huge team of employees. You may find that you’re able to save money at first by hiring part-time staff or by outsourcing roles rather than hiring full time employees. You certainly don’t need to be hiring assistant managers in the beginning.
Marketing is essential when launching a business, however you don’t need to pay a lot for it. In fact, a lot of initial marketing can be easily DIYed. When it comes to web design, consider creating your own site using a free website builder like WordPress – this could be all you need as a start-up. You can also do your own social media marketing and do your own networking without having to pay for professionals.
When to splurge
A lot of companies underspend on market research. Understanding your audience’s needs is vital as a startup and you should invest money into research strategies such as surveys and organised focus groups. This can help you to create a product/service that you know people are going to love.
As a startup, it can be a struggle to compete with more established companies. One way in which you can have the edge over these companies is by using the latest technology available – most established companies will still be using older tech out of convenience. It could be worth investing in start-up IT support to help you choose the best tech options. Cloud technology, analytics and smart technology are just three tech trends that are very hot at the moment and could be worth taking advantage of.
A lot of business owners make mistakes in the beginning that can lead to lawsuits. Consider investing in a general business insurance scheme that will cover you in the event of a claim. Some insurance is compulsory such as employer’s liability insurance if you’re planning to employ staff. Don’t skimp on these compulsory schemes.
When you own a business, it can feel like you are in a never-ending cycle of waking, working, sleeping and little else. Seeing photos on Facebook and Instagram of entrepreneurs that have cracked some secret code and are working on the beach sipping coconut water… And yet, your reality seems a far cry from that? While no doubt there are plenty of people who have made that work for them, it isn’t the typical case. But you still need to look after yourself.
Stress can have a significant impact on your performance, and that will lead to a knock on effect and impact your business too.
Sounds simple enough but when you run your own business, the chances are you are pretty stationary for most of your day. Unless you have a standing desk or one with a treadmill attached you’re probably not moving as much as you should. So, aim to get a daily walk of between 30 minutes to one hour in the morning before you start work for the day. Take the stairs instead of the lift, and perhaps even a bike. While you do your emails, you can cycle too. Don’t be tempting to be on your phone while walking, you might end up in a serious accident and need to look into a hit and run investigation.
Yes, the big buzzword in self-care. But, only because it has been proven time and again to be fantastic for tackle stress levels, depression and helps you focus in other areas. If you haven’t ever meditated before, then you should start with something guided. The Headspace app has a range of free options and begins with a quick three minutes to help you get used to meditation. The calm app has a variety of options and various guided meditations to tackle work issues. In general, you should look to fit in at least ten minutes a day.
It is tempting to use your phone and computer on your downtime, but the chances are you will drift into working. Your brain naturally associates your work station, computer, and the phone you use for business calls – for business. Making time to disconnect from those is essential. Constant notifications, calls, emails, pings, rings, and blue light just isn’t great for us. Turn your phone notifications off, leave your computer off and read, write or walk. It is tempting always to stay available and networking, but the same business opportunities will be there in the morning, or on Monday.
Oh, what a surprise that sleep in on a self-care list. Well, sleep is of course obviously, but quality sleep to the point of real rest and recharge is something else entirely. Dr. Steve Orma states that when we try to sleep, we are likely to sleep less. By focusing on trying to drift off, our brain stays awake to check if we have managed to go to sleep yet. So try to head to bed when you are tired, and not until. When you are in your room try not to do anything too exciting like watching telly or scroll Facebook. Instead, just lay down, take a few deep breaths and relax. It is often helpful to listen to calming music, rain or sleep stories.
Self-care isn’t all about bathing in bubbles and drinking some tasty fizz, it can be about small changes to improve our stress and sleep.
Launching a business is a massive step to take, and one that you cannot afford to mess up no matter what you do. The launch of your business is going to set the tone for the rest of your business’ life on the market, or at least for the next couple of years and that is why you need to be careful. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the things that you can do to ensure that you have a successful business launch. Keep reading to find out more.
An Amazing Event
The first thing that you need is an amazing event. There are many event planning companies around who can provide you with the top quality service that your new business is going to need. Planning an event is no easy task, especially when it is on the scale that you are going to need your event to be. Without this, people are not going to know that your company is launching, they might not know your name or anything about the business which is always bad news. You want people to be talking about your launch event for weeks before it happens, and weeks after. This is only going to happen if you hire the best to assist you here.
Hosting a launch event can be difficult, but with the right kind of help you can pull it off easily. Just make sure that you do everything your planner says, and the whole night will go off without a hitch!
A Service People Want
If you are going to be launching a business, you need to make sure that you are offering a service the people want. Either that or a service that they need. Without this incentive, people are not going to bother with your business in the first place, and this is going to harm you greatly. You need to have done your market research before you came into the industry to make sure that what you are offering is something that people are going to go for. It is not a hard task to find the gaps in the market as long as you are willing to invest the time into getting this information.
The final thing that we are going to look at is marketing. You one hundred percent need to make sure that you are heavily marketing your event. Whether you decide to hire a professional to help you or go it alone is completely up to you, but do make sure that you are employing a whole range of marketing strategies. For example, ensure that both online and offline methods are being used. Otherwise, you are going to miss out key groups of people that you want to see your business. However, you also need to make sure that your marketing is steered towards the right kind of demographic, or you might lose customers this way as well. That is why you should think about having someone on your side who has been through this before.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and will follow these business launch tips!