When venturing into the world of small business and entrepreneurship, it’s comforting to know there are others who have been there before. They’ve likely shared the same struggles and hardships while enjoying the rewards and success that also come with being your own boss.
For those looking to network with like-minded small business owners and entrepreneurs, Agilec will host a monthly networking series beginning later this month.
The kick-off session happens Wednesday January 25 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Taste of the Grille, 1270 Maple Road in Innisfil.
Different employers are showcased on a monthly basis, and each event will take place at a different location. Since the Innisfil Chamber of Commerce dissolved, this series aims to fill the gap left behind.
“Empowering Through Employment Networking” is the first session which will focus on local success stories from employers who have empowered candidates through employment. It’s a great opportunity for local businesses to promote their work and share their story with the community.
As in-person events return to normal, there’s no better way for entrepreneurs to network than in-person events such as these. Especially for start-up companies who are just getting their feet wet, meeting fellow entrepreneurs can open up a lot of opportunities for growth.
“One major thing in terms of networking is to attend events if possible, because that’s where there is the gathering of different businesses together,” said Jennifer Westra, team leader at Agilec Innisfil, “You can lean on each other, collaborate and support each other, as well as use referrals to your advantage.”
Networking events also provide an opportunity to educate others about your business. Detailing the products and services you offer can be a challenge, but in-person meet-ups allow you to detail your business far more in-depth.
Word of mouth is often one of the most effective forms of promotion, and meeting up during networking events can help spread the word of your business to other local business owners. In fact, a quick conversation could lead to a referral or lead for potential business.
“It’s been shown time and time again that a lot of businesses get their referrals or reviews as their core business,” Westra said. “Referrals are a huge part of that. Especially for a start-up.”
Organizations like Nottawasaga Futures will also be on hand at these sessions to help first-timers with advice and strategies on how to utilize the power of networking with like-minded business owners.
In regions like Innisfil, a rising tide lifts all boats in the small business community. Referring a family member or a friend to a fellow business owner may pay dividends down the road with a referral to your own business.
“It works two-fold; what happens is if someone comes into the business and says: ‘This business referred me to you,’ you tend to want to do the same for them, because you want to grow each other’s businesses,” Westra said.
The inaugural local business networking event happens Wednesday January 25 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Taste of the Grille in Innisfil.
To learn more about this event, or for more strategies and tips on networking, check out Agilec.ca.