No matter what industry you’re in, networking can supercharge your business’s success. Networking boosts your credibility and authority, lets you access advice and knowledge from a wide range of sources, and opens up new business opportunities. In a shared office space, your opportunities for networking are multiplied, so what’s the best way to take advantage of it? Use these strategies to get started on building your network today.
1. Refine your elevator pitch
Your elevator pitch is a short summary of what your business does and how you deliver value for customers. Elevator pitches are indispensable when you’re building your network and meeting lots of new people. Make sure it flows and sounds natural, and keep it succinct and effective. Also, keep your elevator pitch up to date. With a great elevator pitch, you’ll make the right first impression by providing everyone you meet with a memorable description of your business.
2. Focus on building genuine connections
Avoid approaching networking like you’re in a business meeting. Concentrate on building genuine connections instead. You can do this by asking insightful questions, listening, paying attention, and taking a genuine interest in others and what they’re doing. You can develop a stronger connection by getting to know people on the personal level, so don’t confine your conversations to business topics. Be open and friendly, and let your natural curiosity about the other businesses in your office space guide you.
3. Recognise the different types of relationships
As you build your network, take stock of your contacts and recognise the different types of relationships you have with each individual. Avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach to every connection. For example, some people might be friendly acquaintances whom you can approach for business opportunities, while with others you could have deeper connections with who may also become mentors, customers, or partners. By recognising the types of relationships you have, you can better leverage your network and create opportunities for mutually rewarding exchanges.
4. Use communal areas and events
Use communal areas in your shared office space to meet new people, build rapport, and strengthen your network relationships. Maintain your network connections with regular informal chats in communal areas.
Events are excellent ways to get to know new people as attendees are usually there to network. Shared office spaces often host events for the businesses on site, so look out for them and make an effort to attend these. You can even create your own events – from casual lunches to formal networking luncheons and workshops – and add to your networking opportunities.
5. Be a super-connector
Accelerate your network by becoming a super-connector in your coworking space. Super-connectors add value by enhancing the network opportunities of individuals in their network. As a super-connector, you’ll introduce two or more people who can benefit from knowing each other. If you know other super-connectors, don’t hesitate to get them in touch if you think they can benefit from the introduction.
6. Mind your manners
Respect business etiquette when you’re networking, and be mindful of boundaries, especially in shared office spaces. For example, you might find it best to confine longer chats to communal areas. Depending on the individual, you might want to set up times to touch base in advance instead of approaching them in their workspace on a spontaneous basis.
When you’re connecting with others, be mindful of their schedules, and make sure you let the other person speak. Above all, be generous with your time and resources, especially if you’re seeking advice, an introduction, or something else in exchange.
7. Focus on quality, not quantity
Your time is limited, like everyone else, so it can be worthwhile to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to building your network. Rather than trying to accumulate as many names as possible, concentrate on genuine connections where there’s opportunity for mutual advantage. A dozen genuine, strong connections can prove to be more valuable than numerous shallow connections.
8. Create a valuable exchange
Think about all the ways you can add value for your network partners as well as how they can benefit you. In an open environment like a shared office space, you might find great partners for exchanging referrals, businesses in complementary industries for cross-promoting campaigns, and keen entrepreneurs with whom you can share valuable knowledge. Don’t hesitate to provide value and approach other people for what you’d like to exchange with them.
9. Use promotional materials
Promotional materials can make useful tools for strengthening your network. Promotional products, posters, brochures, and even the humble business card allow your new connections to quickly and easily understand what you do. They serve as reminders and reinforce your brand in the shared office space, so the next time a partner needs a service or product you provide, you’ll be the first name to come to mind.
10. Make it easy to stay connected
Whether it’s an online presence, a link on your business card, or an open-door policy, be welcoming and make it easy for people in your network to stay in touch with you. Be proactive about sharing your contact details. Where appropriate, end your interactions with a “call to action” so your new connection feels welcome to get in touch if they want to.
Start networking today
Shared office spaces or coworking spaces are much more than simply places to work. They can give you access to a diverse community of creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs. All potential partners for your network. By applying these networking strategies, you could build a valuable network that helps drive your business towards success and greater profitability.
NexusHub is the new way to live and work on the Central Coast. We offer state-of-the-art workspaces at an affordable price. To find out more about how our spaces can help you collaborate, innovate, and network, explore our website or contact us for a discussion today.