This article was written by Laurie McCulloch, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor
The monthly Women in Business Breakfast event concentrates on exchanging resources and referrals, expanding contacts, improving networking skills, making business connections and build relationships with like-minded women. No matter how hard you work, you cannot live up to your full potential as an entrepreneur operating in total isolation. Even if you are not a social-preneur by nature attending business events can accomplish four key things to help you both personally and professionally:
- Educational Benefits in Networking: You will likely learn at least one new tip or strategy, or maybe an easier way of doing things. Having others to brainstorm and bounce ideas around with can save you time, money, and headaches.
- Networking Improves Your Credentials and Professional Appearance: You can beef up your website and business credibility by talking about the events you attend. The more serious you are about investing time into your business, the more serious others will be about your business, too.
- Networking Boosts Your Confidence and Sense of Pride: You feel more empowered and validated as an entrepreneur when you participate in the “live” business world. It is easy for work-from-home moms to feel like they are an “impostor” business woman because they work in jammies at the kitchen table answering emails at 2 a.m.
It is important to remember that no matter where you work from, how small your business is, or even if you are taking a loss right now, if you own a business you are still an entrepreneur. Meeting other women in various stages in their own professional lives (including working from home offices in ratty sweats) can be very encouraging.
Getting to network face-to-face is exciting and rewarding because you get to talk about your business with others who are like-minded. When others share your enthusiasm it can help restore your vision and passion for your own business.
- Make New Business Contacts: And last, the obvious benefit of networking: you will make new business connections that could lead to clients, sales, investors, and other important contacts.
Online contacts are often like blind dates and take longer to establish, but meeting someone face-to-face gives instant gratification and affords you the ability to more quickly assess if a potential business relationship is worth investing time and attention to develop further.
Try your networking skills at SCORE’s next Women in Business Breakfast – May 8th at the Center Club, Costa Mesa starting at 8:00 a.m. You can make a reservation on the Score114.org website.