Networking: A Key Ingredient for Small Businesses

Running a small business is exciting but can often feel solitary, so building networks is essential for connecting with like-minded individuals and accessing support from your community.

Networking becomes not just a vital tool, but a much-needed lifeline!

So why network?

To build relationships and trust

Networking nurtures authentic connections among local entrepreneurs. By engaging in conversations, small business owners can build their network and find support.

Aime from Studio Cotton says:

The connections I’ve made when networking have helped my business win clients, create partnerships, and probably most importantly, avert many disasters. There is no way I’d have the business I do now if I hadn’t pushed through the cringe and the fear, and booked a ticket every small business event that might just be my cup of tea.

To access resources and expertise

The networking scene provides a wealth of resources and expertise for small business growth, and can help us get out of our ‘self-sabotage’ thinking by sharing success and failures. Whether it’s tapping into the knowledge shared or discovering local suppliers or service providers, we can often gain invaluable insights and new opportunities.

One of our networking events ‘Speed dating style’

For opportunities for collaboration and partnerships

Collaboration thrives within the small business ecosystem. By partnering with fellow creatives or teaming up with similar brands, we can amplify our voices and reach new audiences.

Sophie Carefull says:

As an introvert who works from home, it’s very easy for me to spend all week on my own without leaving the house much (or even talking to another human some days!), but I soon realised how important it is for me to go out and meet new people regularly. Networking with fellow business owners gives me such a boost and helps normalise the experiences we all face as self-employed people. Through going to various events over the years, I’ve met clients, collaborators and friends who I’m so grateful to know! I may need to give my introverted self a pep talk before going to networking events (and I only ever choose ones that seem relaxed and friendly, not corporate and stuffy!), but I never regret going and giving myself the opportunity to create connections with lovely people who get what it’s like to run your own business.

To increase visibility and brand awareness

Networking events offer us a platform to showcase our businesses and connect with potential customers. Through positive interactions and word-of-mouth referrals, we can boost our visibility and build a loyal customer base.

To overcome isolation and build confidence

For us small business owners, networking can provide a sense of belonging and support, and can help dispel the loneliness that we all experience sometimes.

Lisa from Wildgrove says:

As I spend most of my time alone in a workshop, networking is a fun way to ensure my social skills are exercised. Events designed to help me meet so many interesting and talented people leave me feeling inspired to continue growing personally and professionally. The nibbles are awesome as well!

In short, networking can play a pivotal role in the success of small businesses. By actively participating in local events and communities, we can harness the collective power of collaboration, support, and opportunity, propelling us towards sustainable growth and maybe even making friends in the process.

Our next networking event is at The Bristol Loaf, Bedminster on Wednesday 17th July, 7-9pm.

To book, go to our Eventbrite page !

Photos by Narrated Frames


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