Get the Sale Without Spending A Ton
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How Can I Make Sales on a Shoestring Budget?
Networking is one of the most affordable, effective forms of advertising available to small business owners. Networking involves regularly attending meetings or events with other business people, with the purpose of connecting with a group of like-minded individuals. By building relationships with this group of people, you build trust. They come to know you as a person, and vicariously, they get to know and trust your business.
Getting Started: Not every networking group is ideal for you. Each group has its own focus, so research the groups in your area and decide which you fit best with:
- Frequency: Some groups meet every week, while others meet monthly. Do you have the time to dedicate for weekly meetings? If a group has mandatory attendance, can you ensure you can make it to every meeting?
- Gender-Specific: Some networking groups focus on women or men entrepreneurs, while others are mixed.
- Specific Functions: Some groups are all about generating business for one another, and others are more philanthropic in nature. Don't go into a meeting with an agenda different from everyone else.
Once you find a few groups you're interested in, attend a few meetings before you lay down the cash to become a member of the organization. Some groups ask for $200-$300 for annual dues, which is pretty hefty considering you may not find a good match with the group. Usually, you can attend several meetings before you have to decide if you want to join.