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How to build networks/how to network effectively..

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1 How to build networks/how to network effectively.

2 Are you familiar with other cultures? (Cross-cultural skills) How to develop my entrepreneurial skills? (Entrepreneurial skills and traits) How to communicate in a new culture? (Communications skills) How to network effectively. (Networking skills) How to expand your business to a foreign country? How to start up a business in a foreign country?

3 This module offers advice on how to build a network that is beneficial to your business and how to maximise the benefits of that network. Effective networking is a key way of generating business at low cost and can take place in person/face-to-face, online, via the telephone - anywhere that there is contact between two people. As well as providing hints and tips on effective networking this unit will also provide you with links to additional information and advice. How network effectively? Existing networks Online networks Building new networks Helping others and building trust

4 Existing Networks

5 Networking is essentially an interaction between two people and can take place in a variety of settings including face-to-face meetings, online, via telephone or even post. ‘Networking’ is as easy as getting to know people and gives you the opportunity to both learn the culture you are living in and to advertise and promote your business. How to network effectively? NetworkingNetworking is an essential part of building a successful business and if done effectively will allow you to build your own network of contacts that will be beneficial to your own development and the development and growth of your business.

6 Effective networking will help you grow your business, build a portfolio of potential customers, develop business opportunities and to receive help and support from your peers. Equally importantly it will allow you to provide others with guidance based upon your own experiences. Networking can be a way of directly reaching decision-makers and each new contact provides access to wider networks. It is a low cost way of marketing yourself and your business. What do I gain by networking?

7 Yes, you do! You’re already an experienced networker and will have a range of contacts from family and friends, work colleagues and people with whom you attended university, school or college. Networks of family and friends are valuable in supporting entrepreneurship and can offer advice, guidance and in some cases the initial funding or security that you need to get your business started.supporting entrepreneurshipfunding Do I already have some networks?

8 It is important to exploit these existing networks which may include ones developed through education, work, your local community and existing business contacts. Start by letting your current contacts know that you are starting or growing a business and then set yourself the target of building a new network of contacts.new network Can I benefit from my existing networks? ”As soon as I announced to my contacts that I was going to establish my own PR Consultancy an old contact offered me work.” Swedish PR consultant in England

9 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB

10 Building New Networks

11  Look for local networking groups and associations - a simple Google search will help, ask your local business group or chamber of commerce what groups are available.  Remember that all events and meetings are a networking opportunity - you don’t need to look for specific ‘networking’ events or groups.  Try to find a setting in which you feel comfortable; if you feel more confident in an informal setting then try first for social events or if you prefer structured networking try to find the right group for you. Look for existing networks that you could join

12 ”Networking in different local associations, such as the Rotary Club, was a big help when starting up.” German marketing professional in Finland.  You may be able to find sector specific meetings and these are not only useful for meeting new contacts but for peer support and garnering other peoples experiences.  Attending language classes is not only a good way to improve your language skills but provides a great opportunity to meet fellow immigrants; searching out people with similar experiences doesn’t just help to build your network of contacts but means that you can use their experiences to help you understand systems and procedures in the country in which you are now doing business.language

13 1. Have ready a good introduction – a short, simple description of you and your business. Make sure you have a business card or an effective way of passing on your contact details to people. 2. Highlight what it is that makes you different and memorable. 3. Help and listen to others - even more important than telling others about yourself is to listen to what they do and offer advice and guidance where appropriate. Share your own market knowledge. 4. Choose your targets - try to get a look at the attendance list if you can and choose which contacts you would like to meet. Don’t spend too long talking to people who you know will bring little benefit to your network. 5. Maintain communication. If you take somebody’s details and tell them you will contact them - make sure you do. Refer them on to your own contacts where appropriate. Keep in contact with them at appropriate regular intervals. How to make the most of any networking event?

14 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB

15 Helping others and building trust

16 ”I used my knowledge and experience to assist other immigrant female entrepreneurs. So, when an immigrant entrepreneur wanted to start up a business, they contacted me. Based on this experience, I decided to make business consulting a career.” Dutch business consultant in Greece Always maintain good lines of communication, meet peoples expectations - if you promise to provide them with information or a contact make sure that you do. Share your experiences with others both online and offline. If you are capable, and have the experience, offer to speak at relevant events, tweet, blog and pass on tips and advice where possible.blog Networking is a two-way street It is not just about helping yourself, far from it, if you create a successful network you should support that network - help others make useful introductions. Each relationship must be of mutual benefit to you and your contact

17  Keep your network up to date with what you are doing - this can be done in a number of ways but regular newsletters are an effective way of doing this. Avoid ing too often and keep all updates relevant ensuring that they are not repetitive.newsletters  Pass on useful contacts and make referrals to your contacts where possible - don’t pass on contact details for the sake of it - ensure that there is the possibility of an effective relationship being formed. Keep your networks alive by effective communication

18 Trust is essential part of networks Building trust is essential to an effective network. Don’t oversell yourself or your business and always follow up with contacts and complete any tasks that you committed to. To maintain an effective network you must retain credibility - only give advice on subjects of which you are knowledgeable and never make promises that you can’t keep. If you help people find good contacts they will reciprocate and this will be a key part of building a successful network and of ultimately growing your business. Constant contact helps to build trust - if you meet somebody in person, keep in contact via the web (social media) and . Build and maintain your database of contacts. Picture: some rights reserved by Aidan Jones

19 ”It’s important to be active, to talk with people, to promote your business on every occasion and to seek social contacts outside of work life; ‘you can never know which contacts will turn out to be valuable in the long run’. Building up trust is an important part of the process.” Dutch consultant in Finland

20 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB

21 Online Networks

22 We already know that networking can take place anywhere and networking online is equally as important as traditional methods. It is quick and easy to establish a network via the internet and there are numerous sector specific online communities which can be found with a quick Google search.Google Global networks can be established at the click of a mouse and are just as beneficial for peer support and learning from other peoples experiences as they are for potential customers or sales leads. Don’t forget online networks! DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009 by Michael Mandiberg / CC BY-SA

23 ”Online networks are a tool for finding work and showcasing my portfolio. I now have contracts in China and France as well as across the UK.” French Creative in England. ”Both physical and virtual networking skills are essential to successful entrepreneurship.” Greek software designer in England

24 Make use of online social networks such as Twitter, Linked-in and Facebook but find which ones you are most comfortable with or will be most effective for your business. TwitterLinked-inFacebook Similar rules apply to when networking in person: Have a succinct description of you and your business In your profile. Help, listen and engage with others. Choose your targets - who to follow, friend and add and maintain communication - update, tweet and post regularly. Choose were you want to invest our time in!

25 Benefits of networking: ESOURCES ESOURCES European Social Fund: Enspire EU: EUbusiness web site is Europe's leading independent online business information service about the European Union: European Small Business Portal: Enterprise Europe Network: network.ec.europa.eu/http://portal.enterprise-europe- network.ec.europa.eu/ Europe Direct: UK Welcomes - a free business advice and support service provided by the UK Government: Your Europe: Online business networking and social networking: Links to further information

26 Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnership Please, visit us on: WEB


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