Hey Business Owner… What do YOU do with all of your extra cash? Everybody knows that business owners have cash coming out the wazoo! Right? The reality is that most business owners are doing everything they can to keep their business running toward the positive and extra cash, if any, is usually put back into the business to help with operations.

Small business owners get hit from all different directions by necessary expenses. Expenses such as Accounting or Bank Fees, Employee Benefit Programs, Rent on Office Space, Maintenance and Repair Costs, Payroll, Taxes, Insurance, Marketing, Capital Costs, Utility Costs… These are just a few of the typical expenses we have and the list goes on! Small business owners often find themselves evaluating their expenses and prioritizing between “must-do” and “want-to” expenses.

You have no flexibility when it comes to the “must-do’” because that’s what keeps the lights on and the doors open. If you don’t tackle these necessary expenses your business could begin to falter and you may be forced to close your doors. Tight expenses are a natural factor from time to time in the lifecycle of your business, especially if you are a start-up! Understanding how to maximize the opportunities for business growth are what keep your business in a “client acquisition” mode and on a growth trajectory. Proper planning is vital to the success of your business, and you must be constantly working to get new clients in order to keep your business viable.

If you aren’t networking right now then it’s time you began to look at the right way to network. Networking is an easy, affordable, activity which can really help a startup business grow but it is an activity that many small business owners don’t do or, at the very least, don’t understand. Networking is helpful to your business in a couple of very meaningful ways.

First, networking helps people begin to know you and your business, what you do and whether they want to choose to do business with you, or not. Networking gives you lots of experience promoting yourself and your business in a non-threatening environment. As a Small Business Specialist, and a small business owner, I always recommend networking to my clients because it is an easy way to build your chops and work out the message you are sharing with potential customers. If you are shy, or introverted, today I will share the 5 basic principles that will make you a networking pro and make all of your face-to-face interactions meaningful.

1. Don’t go in with the attitude that you MUST make a sale today. You only want to meet people and share 3 basic things; Who you are, what you do and what you do for your clients. (when they want to know more, they will ask.)
2. Ask them questions about their business. Ask questions like; What do you like about your business? How long have you been doing this? What type of customers do you do business with?
3. Be approachable! Lead with a smile and a good handshake. If you look like you are happy and pleasant, they will want to chat. If your handshake is good, they may not even notice. If your handshake is limp or weak, they won’t remember anything else.
4. Lead with value: what do your happy customers love about your business and what you do for them? That is what they want to know about your company and what will help them decide to buy from you.
5. Ask them questions about their business. Ask questions like; What do you like about your business? How long have you been doing this? What type of customers do you do business with?

Networking can be fun and it can bring lucrative results because you develop trust with the people with whom you networking.

The Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce will be creating more networking opportunities in 2020 and will give you a chance to meet other potential customers. Watch this space and our website for updates! Until next week!