It is not what you know, it’s who you know that matters most- cliché, but true.  Business networks generate referrals and give access to professional services + advice when you need them most. Most new businesses don’t have sales and marketing teams, so we have to do it ourselves from scratch. Here are a few pointers.

Advice

Advice at the right time can be the difference between project success and failure. With a support network around you, you will have the number of someone who can advise you when you need support. When you are starting out, you may benefit from joining either a specific trade association (ideally local) and perhaps attend a few meetings organized by local business support networks. In the UK, both local and national governments have set up many programs to help.

For example, if your business is in export, you can visit the Exporting is Great website that will connect you to the local Trade Office team who would be delighted to help. Check out this website: https://www.great.gov.uk/contact/office-finder/.

The Princess Trust has a very handy Business Plan kit that will help you create a business plan to help you manage your business. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/25DMi7R.

There are many regional growth hubs that can help you to get going. You can find one here: https://www.lepnetwork.net/growth-hubs/. There are many support networks to help women entrepreneurs. Check out BAWE- https://www.bawe-uk.org/about. For working parents running a business, there are eco-systems like Huckle Tree that offers working spaces with a focus on parents: https://www.huckletree.com/.

Opportunities

Networking unveils new opportunities for business. For example, many people hear about MachFast through networking. We are the UK’s only free company formation app with a business current account.

Referrals

Referrals are the best possible source of new business for everyone. Your friends, colleagues and satisfied customers are the best drivers to increase your business. Check out this cool Referral Networking picture from CommsAxis.com.