There’s no need to tell you that as an entrepreneur, networking is essential for your business. But are you trying hard enough? You need to take every chance you get to make connections because it is only a small percentage of those contacts that will eventually come to good use. Has it ever occurred to you that when you travel, the world becomes a gigantic networking event? So if networking is not on your mind then, you might be missing out on some promising connections. Here are four ways in which you can build your connections while travelling, be it for business or pleasure.
Image : shutterstock
There are many groups on Facebook for entrepreneurs and startups, such as the India Entrepreneurs club and local groups for each city. Through these, one can stay updated with the latest networking events. If you don’t have the time to attend said events, you could simply put the word out about your travelling schedule requesting to meet interested individuals over a cup of coffee. Tweeting your schedule is also a great way to let your followers know you’re available so they can they put the word out for you as well. Tagging your already existing contacts in each of these cases will give you a chance to make some common business acquaintances. These aren’t called social networking websites for nothing, you know.
The demand for co-working spaces has been steadily on the rise, what with the increasing number of freelancers and entrepreneurs in the country. It is slowly turning into an entrepreneurial hub and is now a sector of its own. Some co-working spaces even host programmes to mentor entrepreneurs as the sector has realised that entrepreneurs are drawn to co-working spaces – specifically with the intent to build contacts – like bees to nectar. Schedule a day for this in your itinerary because you never know if you’ll cross potential investors or partners down the hall.
Travel gives you a chance to cross paths with people of various backgrounds. When you travel, you have the chance to meet more people in a week than you do in a month otherwise. Get into conversations with the person sitting next to you on the plane or the bus, in a café, or a store. Even if they’re not business people, there are chances that they might know someone who is – it’s a small world after all. Networking tends to make it even smaller. Even if some of these connections don’t work out as potential business contacts, you would have in the very least made some new friends.
Every new place has something different to offer. When you’re open to these activities, you create more networking opportunities. Think of this as organising your own networking event, except that it’ll be way more fun. Attend music events, book launches, festivals, visit flea markets, and the list can really go on. This is also a great way to gain inspiration for marketing strategies, public relations, and for improving your product as a whole.
It doesn’t take much to turn on the networking mode while travelling. You simply have to keep your eyes open, ears attentive, and get talking.