The Importance of Small Business Networking

By Drew Sauveur

We’ve all heard by now the term “Networking”. It’s a common buzzword used to describe what sales people do every day. However, many small business owners do not take advantage of the cheapest advertising they will ever have the opportunity to participate in.

Some tips to successful marketing are:

1.) Find a local business group that you’d like to participate in. In fact, find 2. You’ll have more success in meeting with as many people as possible, and most groups are free or nominal cost.

2.) Have a clear message to present to the networking group. It’s important to be confident in your business, and to rehearse prior to presenting in a group setting so that those you are meeting will immediately understand what you and your business can provide.

3.) Do not sell! Most people try immediately to sell when they meet others in a networking function. The best way to understand what the person you are meeting may need from you, is to listen to them. A 2-way conversation with a person you are meeting will garner far more potential business than you walking through a crowd with a bull horn, shouting about your business.

4.) Get cards. Ensure that you give out business cards, and keep track of everyone you meet by getting theirs.

5.) Follow up. After the event, follow up with those you had a discussion with, and those you didn’t. If you feel as if you can build a referral network with someone from the event, suggest that you meet with that person one on one to discuss that possibility further.

Despite the digital age, and our online proclivities, face to face interaction still remains one of the most effective forms of marketing for small business. Find a local networking group today, and join in!

For more information on some of the networking groups in Durham region, please email