As we are facing the end of the third week in lockdown the familiar networking meetings we all attended seems a dim and distant memory, however the small business community adapts quickly and reasonably efficiently.
So, how are we staying connected in Lockdown?
Since gatherings were stopped we have turned to the likes of Zoom, Skype and Teams to hold virtual networking sessions and better still without the travelling. Some will say that the rapport, banter and general pleasantries have been lost and yes I have to agree, but this is where things have actually got better!
As seasoned networkers will tell you, the networking session is only an introduction, the real work starts when you do your one to ones.
The one to one is where you find out more about the person you met at the networking session. This person may be a potential client, supplier or just someone who will refer business to you and where do you meet? In a coffee shop where there are lots of distractions.
Now you can hold a one to one virtually from the comfort of your own desk, as someone said the other day drink the coffee or tea that you like and in a controlled atmosphere where you can both concentrate on what each other is talking about.
However, to make the most of the meeting set an agenda, get the pleasantries out of the way and then make sure what you want to speak about, you may want to email an agenda over to the other party so that you both know what you are going to speak about.
Whether you like BNI or not the organisation has some very good procedures and every member is encouraged to write out a GAINS sheet where it sets out what you do what your ambitions are and more importantly who you would like to speak to or be referred to. Why not do your version of that to send over.
To finish off, there are plenty of on line meetings to attend and the majority are free of charge but please make sure you follow up with one to ones with the people you think you can work with.
Since 1989 I have owned and managed my own businesses, from a successful surveying company to a large catering company.
This has given me a considerable amount of experience in establishing new start companies, business development, management of staff, marketing and finance.
I have had to be experienced in accounting/book keeping, raising finance and all forms of management.
Having been a member of The Federation of Small Businesses for a number of years has helped me with my current position as membership advisor for City Centre/South Manchester and being Regional Chairman for the last two years has given me an insight into the extensive and important work that the FSB carries out on behalf of all the 5.5million small to medium enterprises across the UK.
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- #1 – Invasion of the zombie office workers
- #2 – Get your positive pants on!
- #3 – The A-Z of working at home
- #4 – Tips on working from home
- #5 – Staying health in lockdown
- #6 – Staying connected in lockdown
- Your project lockdown
- Software solutions
- Your environment
- Home working security
- Time management & motivation
- Mental health inlockdown
- Working amidst Covid-19
- What 2008 taught us
- Raising your profile
- Adapting your business to Covid-19
- Developing your brand
- Forward planning.
Build Your Profile
“If you’re reading this, chances are you actually want to grow your profile in spite of any reservations, and recognise the value in it. As I mentioned earlier, getting started is the key. Once you begin engaging with others and generating some responses, you’ll start to realise it’s actually pretty good fun.
So spend some time every day building your profile, and you’ll grow an online presence that reduces the damage done by being housebound.
By the time the lockdown is over, you will have started to carve out your own starring role on the digital stage. Break a leg!”
Rebecca (Becs) Bate
Social Media Trainer
Social Media Executive
Stay Connected On Social Media
“Depending on how big your following is you may find it difficult to keep in touch with all of your customers. If this is you, you should focus on nurturing your key customers.
To explain this in the simplest term let’s look at the Pareto Principle, sometimes referred to as the 80/20 rule.
It states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Strengthening relationships with your key 20% of customers will help you remain afloat during this crisis as they are the ones to give you your best return on investment.”
“Social media isn’t called ‘social’ for nothing, it’s supposed to be a place to have conversations, engage with other people and connect.
During this lockdown situation when we aren’t allowed any physical meetings, then growing your online networks can work just as well. Why not try out a different way of connecting such as joining a Twitter chat or a Facebook watch party?
Look out for the topics or groups that fit your interests and industry and you’ll find some great opportunities to have some fabulous conversations, meet new people and grow your network.”