BENGALURU: The success of any startup does not solely depend on the idea. It takes years of commitment, determination, and perseverance to stand out and thrive. One of the most important steps in a startup’s journey is the ability to create a network.
The network does not merely mean meeting people but has a broader meaning of building and sustaining professional relationships. Professional connections help a business raise its profile; meet potential clients and at times interest from prospective investors.
An entrepreneur is the face of its start-up. Therefore, the strong presence of an entrepreneur in the startup ecosystem can bring a lot more value to the business. Networking can happen through social media tools or professional events, where you meet like-minded people and exchange ideas. However, before attending any such event, one should have a clear understanding of the goal and what you to want to achieve from this professional network. Online networking is also a great tool to build your network and expand the business.
- Ashish Gupta, CEO- Docprime.com
In the ultra-competitive environment we live in today, there are a whole lot of guidelines for success that are widely taught and practised. One of the most ignored and underrated skills in today’s ever-connected the world is networking.
A great network not just helps in honing your professional skills, but it adds to a constant learning experience. Having spent a lot of time in enterprise sales, I always tell my friends and colleagues that one big advantage I have over some others is that I get to meet many people who are far smarter than myself. Be it existing or potential clients, key decision-makers in large enterprises, key government officials, investors or other ecosystem players.
The network effect helps in more ways than you can think. Unfortunately, a lot of folks spend time interacting with the same group of people at work, home and in their social life which limits exposure and perspective. Build a strong circle of mentors, influencers, and key individuals who have common interests.
Once you meet someone at a forum, figure out a good way to keep in touch. Letting people know about your new journey, be it a new job or a new startup, is going to add so much value.
- Sheshgiri Kamnath, Co-Founder and CEO-
Along with time, money and focus, the magic fourth ingredient startup entrepreneurs need is a network of employees, mentors, advisors, industry insiders and well-wishers. Building a network takes time and determined effort.
The digital world offers immense opportunities to network, from LinkedIn to online communities and forums. But face-to-face still wins when it comes to networking. Entrepreneurs should make it a point to meet three new people every week - I recommend no-agenda meetings over a cup of coffee. Look for meetups, breakfast clubs and networking groups like TIE and BNI that are hubs for entrepreneurs and investors. There are plenty of free and low-cost events too for bootstrapped entrepreneurs. Make it a point to actively listen during these interactions rather than just pushing your product or service.
Every employee should be a brand ambassador. Get the business cards and send them to relevant conferences, workshops and meetups - Bangalore is full of them. Next, invite your employees’ significant other or spouse to a company get-together. Spouses may be well placed in their own careers and prove to be valuable connects. Networking is not transactional - it may not bring immediate results. But the return on investment of your time can be immense in the long run.
- Rohan Krishna, CEO and Co-Founder, Get Me A course