Friday, January 21, 2011

You Have Started a Business - Now What?

You Have Started A Business, Now What?

As business owners, we all decide one day, “I can do this.” You no longer need your boss. Heck, your boss couldn't make it without you! You bravely make the decision to start your own business. You have been in your industry for years. You know all there is to know about your field of work.

You go out and get your business license. You get some business cards. You even get a website. You are ready!
Now what?

To be successful with your own business you have to start doing thing you never thought you would do; all the things your mom warned you about.

"Don’t talk to strangers." Yet, now you find yourself standing in the corner of a restaurant, by yourself, staring at your shoes instead of networking with other business owners. It’s hard to get the nerve to walk up and talk with someone you have never met before.

But it doesn’t have to be hard. If you go to a networking meeting ready, the conversation can flow as easy as coffee with your best friend.

You have a secret. No one knows you are nervous. Chances are they are nervous too. Put a friendly smile on your face and walk up to someone at the networking event. Find someone standing at the opposite corner of you. I guarantee they will welcome you.

Always give them a business card. If you are not comfortable just handing them your card. Ask for their card. Take that opportunity to give them your card in return. If you ask them about their business they are sure to ask about yours. Take the time to listen to them. Even if that person isn’t a potential client for you, they may know someone in the future that needs your services.

Follow up. After going to a networking event take the time to contact the people you met at the event. To be a successful business owner you must build your relationships. A quick note that says it was nice to meet you or loved hearing about your business will not be forgotten.

Remember, not talking to strangers has been ingrained in us since we were two. But to have a successful business talking to strangers becomes our biggest ally.

Submitted by Diana Kohn
Diana Kohn is a member of Koinonia Business Women. She is the owner of FLAIR. Her business is designed to help small business owners grow their business through networking.She is also available for writing projects.

No comments: