Networking is one of the most valuable tools in any businessperson’s toolbox and it never stops. Your network of family, friends, and business associates can help point you to different resources and offer your own experiences. Knowing the right people is not always easy, especially when you are trying to break into a specialized or niche industry. Some of the traditional methods of networking are:
- Trade Shows
- Professional Associations
Given the realities of COVID19, some of these options are no longer available, however many have simply moved online. Some of these online alternative networking methods are listed below:
Biz Warriors and Other Industry Message Boards
Every industry has web pages that often contain a message board where you can go to ask questions or network with other people in the same field. It is a handy tool because it can be accessed from almost anywhere, at any time. Other times, they are purpose-built forums for sharing information on a common topic.
No one knows the Cornwall area better than the Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce. An invaluable tool for any business owner small or large, the Chamber provides a list of resources and networking opportunities you just cannot find anywhere else.
Often called the Facebook of the business world, LinkedIn has grown to become the site for online networking. You can look up a specific person or business for more information and can send messages.
Fishbowl is an app you can download on your phone. Used extensively by the business world, Fishbowl works like LinkedIn but provides a more secure method of business communication and networking.
MeetUp Professional groups, WhatsApp Networking groups, and other Business Group Chats:
Group chats based on business activities are an excellent way to network with people not only in your specific company but also with other companies that are in the same industry. There are often in-person meetups which are great networking opportunities because you can meet people in your industry that you might not otherwise get a chance to meet. Some, like the WhatsApp groups, might require an invitation.