5 Networking Tips for Women Business Owners
According to the Harvard Business Review, too many women have contacts in their company and industry, but not enough outside their respective fields. Doing this can put you in jeopardy if you decide to switch careers, your business fails, or you have other job-related challenges.
Due to this, it’s important to make connections through hobbies, events, and even online. Inc. Magazine also states that “women naturally tend to have fewer connections with work colleagues than men, and we’re less confident about utilizing the ones we do have.”
In this post, we’ll offer five helpful tips so you can expand the contacts in your personal and professional networks, and in turn improve your small business.
1. Join Business Organizations for Women
There are many organizations that help women business owners network with each other. If you’re not currently a member of this type of organization, the National Association for Women Business Owners is a great place to start. It’s one of the largest networking groups for female entrepreneurs, and they have regional chapters throughout the country. In addition, they have a member directory so you can search for other women in your field and make virtual connections.
The American Business Women’s Association is also a great organization to join because they have regional conferences throughout the United States. Their mission is to “bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.”
2. Attend Chamber of Commerce Events
Attending Chamber of Commerce events is a great way to meet business owners that live in your community. Not only could this get you additional clients, but it could also help you make new friends or advocates of your business. Most Chamber of Commerce chapters have minimal member fees, and once you join you’ll have access to special events and listings.
3. Collaborate with Other Women
Partnering with other women is a popular way to save money, or could lead to exciting new ventures. For instance, you could partner with another woman-owned business to promote each other’s businesses on social media, share a booth at a local event, and even collaborate on products or services. If the partnership will benefit your business, it will likely be well-worth it!
4. Create a Mastermind Group
A Mastermind Group is a group of five to 10 people that meet on a regular basis (virtually or in-person) and discuss business ideas, frustrations, and achievements. The goal is to have a group of people who can help you navigate business challenges.
This type of network is especially helpful for solo entrepreneurs, because these groups use collective intelligence to solve problems. The hardest part will be finding other women who are willing to commit to a group with you, but you may be able to find them through women entrepreneur-focused Facebook groups, professional associations, or the local chamber of commerce.
5. Volunteer at Your Child’s School
If you have children, networking with other parents can be great for professional and personal reasons. There’s a high chance that many of the working moms can relate to your as an entrepreneur, and they might even have connections in your field. To network with other parents, join the PTA, volunteering at the snack stand during the football games, or bake snacks for fundraiser. In addition to making connections for your business, you can also spend more time with your child!
It’s important to create new contacts not only to build your business, but to also create friendships and partnerships. The life of an entrepreneur can be lonely, and finding other women who can share in the joys and hardships can help motivate you.
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