9 Clever Networking Tips for Beginners

If you are a small business owner and are unsure of how to promote your business, and to also stay within your budget, networking just might be the answer to help grow your clientele and increase your foot traffic.

Here are the top nine best ways to network in your community and online to help you take your business to the next level. And don’t forget to bring your custom name badge to these events!

9 Clever Networking Tips for Beginners

Networking With Name Badges and More

  1. Volunteer at Local Community Events. Community festivals, parades, holiday celebrations, and other annual celebrations are great ways to get your name and your business in front of local consumers. People love supporting small businesses they feel make positive contributions to their community.
  2. Wear an Official Name Badge. Although it might seem insignificant, wearing a professional-looking name badge can help take your business to the next level. If you are new to self-promotion, a name badge takes the pressure off starting an awkward “What’s your name and what do you do?” conversation. You can also include an attention-grabbing title like “Special Events Coordinator” or “Real Estate Specialist.” You are much more approachable when others already know your name and what you do.
  3. Join the National Small Business Association (SBA). The SBA offers invaluable advice and endless resources. Some associations even offer mentoring programs that connect new business owners with successful veteran entrepreneurs who volunteer their time to help you market and grow your business.
  4. Join a Local Professional Association. Choosing the right small business association can provide support, advice, and tools to ensure success and get you where you want to go. By connecting with other entrepreneurs in your area, you’ll gain perspective on issues and create mutually-beneficial partnerships with other businesses. Start with your local Chamber of Commerce, rotary club, Industry and Trade Associations, or your local chapter of SBA, NFIB, or Meetup.
  5. Team Up with Similar Businesses for Cross Promotions. Thinking about your target market demographic, what other goods and services might interest your customer base? For example, a local yoga studio might pair well with an independent coffee house or green grocer, while a high-end women’s clothing boutique would partner well with a wine bar or spa. Browse our community’s local shops and businesses to see what is available.
  6. Volunteer for Charity and Fundraising Events. Local marathons, Toys for Tots, The Salvation Army, silent auctions, and Gala dinners can be amazing networking venues. When customers notice your humanitarian efforts, they will be more likely to go out of their way to support your business.
  7. Rent a Booth at Local Expos and Trade Shows. These events are held specifically for networking and mixing it up with a new customer base. If you live in an area where there are many different types of these expos or trade shows, make sure you find one that makes sense for your target demographic.
  8. Make an Appearance at Local Job Fairs. If growing your business is in your immediate future, then you will need to recruit and hire staff. Getting your business out there as a potential employment opportunity is crucial to your company’s future success.
  9. Take Advantage of Workshops and Seminars. No matter your gender, if you have a female employee, sending a representative from your company is a powerful way to be seen as an advocate for working women. For instance, if you own a financial consulting firm, sending a female consultant to a Women in Finance seminar would benefit your company’s image immensely.

At Name Badges International, we want to make sure your business is successful. As we’ve demonstrated above, networking can be an easy and even fun way to take advantage of growth opportunities and increase foot traffic in your business.