14 Oct 7 Ways to Connect and Network With Other Entrepreneurs
Since most entrepreneurs need to interact with other like minds, the idea of collaborative space has natural appeal. They’re people who thrive on connecting and networking with others. Because entrepreneurs are visionaries, their conversations are exciting and energizing, so finding new ways to interact with other entrepreneurs can result in mutually beneficial joint ventures and even mergers and acquisitions. Sharing new ideas or perspectives can result in lifelong mentor relationships. Here are 7 ways to connect, interact, and network with other entrepreneurs:
#1.Collaborative Space: Partnering Potential
A startup is unlikely to spend precious working capital on an expensive office. He or she will say, “I just need an office.” As the process of office space unfolds, the entrepreneur realizes the office location and other variables matter.
In some instances, the “solopreneur” may just say no to closed doors. He or she may want a collaborative space at all times. He or she may be looking for a Class A executive suite with an open space to promote communication. Most traditional office space is likely to chafe against the entrepreneurial spirit.
Steve Jobs quipped that the difference between entrepreneurs who succeed and those who don’t is perseverance. The early-stage entrepreneur may sense he or she is losing energy and resolve without interaction with others. If the business isn’t ready for employees or co-workers, entrepreneurs can get sense of participation with others by sharing a collaborative space.
Today’s entrepreneur knows that innovation, effort, and teamwork are necessary to realize his or her vision. Startups are likely to begin at home but, as the business starts to grow, a bedroom or local coffee shop workspace prevents continued progress. The young entrepreneur that’s in search of a small office considers network equipment, logistics, amenities, and utility costs.
#2.Time is Money
The good news is, many collaborative or shared office space solutions are incredibly cost-effective. They often come with lots of benefits that minimize the young business’ expenses. Take a look at all of Workstyle’s amenities (most are free). The most important intangible benefit, other than saving the daily cost of expensive caffeinated beverages, is that the entrepreneur’s ability to bounce ideas off others is likely to increase productivity without making any other changes.
There are also soft money costs associated with committing to renting an office space. Entrepreneurs and freelances know that time is money and renting an office will save tons of time. Forget about haggling over the lease terms to signing vendor contracts to troubleshooting and managing IT networks. Shared office space will save time and headaches each and every day.
#3.Use Social Media: Connect with LinkedIn and Twitter
Social networking is one of the easiest ways to establish relationships with other entrepreneurs. Even the most successful folks share tweets on Twitter or build connections on LinkedIn. Getting most of these amazing people at the top to pick up the telephone to chat is unlikely, but it’s simple to do with social media in real time.
Follow the tweets of others and send tweets in their direction. When stars respond to tweets, consider this a chance to build a connection. It’s essential to contribute on social networks. Don’t expect connections without sharing meaningful breaking news or thoughtful content. Likewise, don’t use social media as a website proxy. Build the business website, blog, and making outgoing links to other thought leaders. Inbound links can mean the start of something big.
#4.Join an Organization for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs want to befriend other like-minded individuals. Most don’t consider interaction with others as a competitive tool. They enjoy giving and receiving advice and derive pleasure from encouraging others.
Consider “entrepreneurs only” groups, including FounderSociety, YEC, and Business Collective. These groups may request anyone who wants to join to self-qualify for initial entrance to the organization. Business Collective is the most inclusive of the three.
#5.Ask for Introductions to Other Entrepreneurs
Just as marketers naturally ask for referrals to others, the entrepreneur should ask members of his or her network to make introductions. An entrepreneur’s network of contacts is fluid and constantly growing. Remember the “cocktail party” rule of networking. Offer help to others when asking for new connections and advice. The entrepreneur’s reputation grows when he or she makes any level of contact a win-win for all involved.
#6.Host a Meetup
Startups renting a small office usually do so for social reasons. Clients, prospects, or investors want to visit and inviting these important contacts to a restaurant or Starbucks doesn’t cut it.
For an entrepreneur in search of new connections of all kinds, hosting a Houston meetup at the office makes good sense. Bringing people together is one of the best ways to identify potential new projects. Thought leadership does not occur in a vacuum.
Cater the meetup or plan to offer lots of finger food such as crudites or cut/sliced fruits and beverages. Serve cheese and wine for an after 5:00 pm get together. The meetup doesn’t need to be expensive to look that way.
#7. Joint Ventures and Other Profit-Making Opportunities
Collaborative space facilitates working together with others. Entrepreneurs are observant people. Working side by side with others is likely to stimulate ways to do things better, faster, and at a lower cost.
Executive suites can find ways to align. When entrepreneurs resonate, it’s likely that joint ventures and ways to work together are the result. Two startups may realize their visions align. By combining resources, costs to realize the goal are reduced for both.
Opportunities to work together on a project may pave the way towards greater profit-making opportunities. Entrepreneurs are unlikely to want to reinvent the wheel when corporate marriage of some sort solves a problem. One business owner may decide to acquire a business in an acquisition for stock and/or securities. Another may realize a merger with the business is the most efficient solution.