Five Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

Networking is one of the lesser appreciated talents that the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have mastered. It is not an easy skill, either. Knowing how to network is a fine line between making friends and actively seeking out business partnerships. You cannot become best friends with everyone you meet, after all, but you do need to make a good enough connection to trade favors with each other. Reaching that stage can be incredibly difficult because if you aren’t careful people will only see your efforts as wanting of something. To properly master the art that is networking, try adopting these top five tips.

Skip the Sales Speech

If you go into any new relationship with a goal to sell products or gain a favor, you will most likely fail. Only a very few people have mastered their charm to the point where people will be willing to help out or buy something new from the get-go, especially if they weren’t expecting you. So, skip the sales speech and instead start a conversation. It is far easier to connect with someone in an organic conversation than it is if you give them an elevator pitch.

Help First, Ask Later

One of the easiest tips to follow and arguably one of the best is to find out what you can do for someone else. Be proactive about networking. This way will help you make connections, diversify your portfolio and skills, and of course give you an acquaintance you can later ask for help. You don’t need to be best friends with people, but you do need to foster mutually beneficial relationships.

Take Notes and Keep Track

Try as best you can to keep track of information about the person in question. Keeping notes in your contacts app can help you stay in touch and give the personal touch all at the same time. Try to keep track of both corporate information (their job position, who they work for, etc.) as well as personal information (if they have allergies, for example). People respond when they feel like you care.


Another way to network is to collaborate. This way you can put effort into fostering one relationship, and then meet others in that niche or industry in a far more organic way – being introduced. As a bonus, you will also be working in a new field or project on the side that can further your career and show your ambition.

Host Your Own Event

Finally, consider hosting your own event. If you are a consultant or own business, for example, you can organize an event, create a great atmosphere, offer free drinks served by professional bartenders from services such as, and get key people from your industry to attend. Then, as the host, you can get to know each and every one of them with a position of authority. They will be interested in knowing you because you took the initiative to create a great event everyone in your industry will be talking about. In turn, you can make new business relationships and connections.

Networking is a never-ending task, but it should never be seen as a chore. Instead, connect with people. Try to gain insight from them, help them, collaborate, and even host them. By doing this you not only network with people, but you set yourself up as a huge name in your industry.

Time to Expand? How to Get it Right

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Expand Your Business | Time to Expand? How to Get it RightIf the time has come for your business to expand and take things to the next level, you need to tread carefully. Of course, growth and expansion are vital parts of running a successful company but expansions should always be undertaken with great care and consideration. Get things wrong and your business could be left in a worse position than it started in and that’s not what you want. Here’s how to go about it the right way.

Plan to Mitigate the Challenges That Come with Growth

Expansion is all well and good, but you must also remember that growing businesses bring their own challenges that shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re going to succeed with your business, you should do what you can to mitigate the challenges that come with growth. That means ensuring you have processes in place to deal with more customers and things of that nature. Even in something positive, challenges and problems can emerge if you’re not careful.

Scale Up the Workforce

You must also scale up the workforce if you’re serious about expanding. There’s no sense in asking your small team to deal with an expanded business and a raft of new clients and customers. That will only place pressure on them that they might not be able to deal with, and that’ll backfire badly in the end. So hire more people and bolster your business’s workforce.

Take Over Another Business

Mergers and takeovers give you the chance to make your business bigger and expand its scope at the same time. Many big businesses have grown by swallowing up others and growing along the way. This applies to just about any business too. Whether you want to view dental practice listings to buy up other local practices or take over retail operations, it’s worth exploring and considering going forward.

Introduce New Products or Services

As part of the expansion of your business, you should also aim to introduce new products and services to your business. People will be more interested in your business and what it’s offering if they can see a clear improvement and more options. If they already know what you’re offering and there’s nothing new, there’ll be no incentive for those customers to take a second look.

Look to New Territories

Expanding into new territories is definitely a good idea if you have the resources available to you to make that happen. It’s a natural and productive way of expanding your offer because you’ll be giving potentially millions of new customers a chance to engage with your business that wasn’t there before. Be sure to carry out market research and see if this is something you feel your business could benefit from.

Expanding a business is always a big challenge and there are plenty of things that can go wrong along the way for you. But expansion is key if you want your business to have a sustainable long-term future. There’s only so long you can keep your business at the same level before feeling the need to expand it.

The Legislation Involved In Working With The Government

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Articles | Government Contracts | The Legislation Involved In Working With The GovernmentSecuring a government contract is the Holy Grail of business. As an entity with a trillion dollar budget, they usually reward contractors with competitive deals. Plus, they are an establishment which needs work completing on a regular basis. As a result, the agreements are lucrative and are long-term too.

Of course, working with the government isn’t a walk in the park. While it’s rewarding, it’s also potentially dangerous on various levels. Lots of companies have folded after a deal gone wrong with the government. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s imperative that you understand the risks.

Here are the main ones to consider.

Licenses And Permits

Before you can apply, the US government requires a few things from you first. Chief among them are the correct licenses and permits to ensure you’re an eligible contractor. A prime example is a D-U-N-S number which is a nine-digit code. It provides them with a physical location for each business premises of your company. Or, there’s a NAICS code which collects data relating to the economy. Any organizations that apply without either of these two things will get rejected. So, it’s essential to have your paperwork in order.


Speaking of paperwork, it’s pretty important to ensure everything is in order before applying. Remember that this is the government you’re talking about and they will perform a rigorous security check. If anything in your background is a little dodgy, it will show up as a red flag. Not only will this result in your application getting thrown out, but it will also be forwarded to the relevant office. So, say you owe tax, the IRS will get in touch to ask about an irregular tax return. If you’re not squeaky clean, it’s best to avoid the hassle in the first place.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Articles | Government Contracts | The Legislation Involved In Working With The GovernmentInsurance

It’s tempting to see them as the most reputable client in the world. After all, it isn’t as if they’re strapped for cash. However, governments have to cut costs too and they will do so any way they can. If that includes stiffing you with a dodgy excuse, they won’t hesitate. It’s not as if they can’t use the legal system to their advantage. A policy entitles you to legal representation for Defense Base Act cases which go wrong. It won’t be included, yet the fact you have one is a strong basis for a lawsuit. Always have a backup plan in case there are unforeseen circumstances.

The Value

Competing with huge contractors is tough when they have the resources. So, it’s crucial to understand how the system works with regards to small businesses. Did you know that the law requires that government purchases worth $3,000 to $100,000 be directed to SMEs? It’s true, which means there is a lane for startups and non-specialists. All you need to do is to check out the opportunities on the Fed Biz Opps website and place a bid.

Even if you think there is no chance you’ll win, it’s worth a shot. And, if you’re right, keep plugging away until you hit the jackpot.

Three Ways to Establish a Baseline for Your Brand-New Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Three Ways to Establish a Baseline for Your Brand-New BusinessIn business terms, a baseline is where you start. It gives you an idea of your bottom-most revenues and ranks, then allows you to improve upon them until you have a new baseline to replace the start-up version. This is super-important for a brand-new business, as you need to know where you’re starting from to grasp where you want to go. Especially important in project management for business, baselines should be included in your initial business concept. Or at least projected and considered. That said, this article gives you more to think about when establishing a baseline for your brand-new business.

1. Establish a Projected Baseline of Your Hopeful Revenues, Ranks, and Business Presence for the First 3 Months

Baselines are your bottom dollar and where you begin in business. It’s the rock-bottom of your company, and it’s rather low to start with because you don’t know exactly what your business will make. However, you can do a projected baseline as a goal for the next three months. Project a hopeful new baseline, and if you accomplish that one, then that will be your new standard until you consistently make more.

2. Compare Your Actual Baseline to Your Projected Baseline AFTER the First 3 Months and Make Note of Things to Do Differently/Similarly

The first three months are crucial to the success of your business, so keep well-documented records of projected baselines and actual revenues and ranks. When the first three months pass and your business is still standing tall, make tangible notes of what you did, what you will keep the same, and what to do differently. This will be your routine for every three months that your business excels. You could even make a tangible office chart on your wall. Make custom stickers to represent your baseline, projected revenues, and current ranking numbers.

3. Build on Your Business Concept Using the Baseline as an Example of What You Can Accomplish—but Update it Every 3 Months

Baselines change, and businesses go through the trial and errors that either lead to big successes or big failures. Look at where your business began and how much you have accomplished every three months. Let these numbers drive you to do better and maintain a standard of success within your business.

Top Trends for Entrepreneurs in 2019

StrategyDriven Entrepreneur Article | 2019 Top Trends | Top Trends for Entrepreneurs in 2019Entrepreneurs need to understand the changing markets that they are involved in. No matter their sector, failure to understand what modern consumers are looking for and the best ways to meet those needs, is one of the main reason for business failure. That’s why understanding emerging trends has always been a fundamental priority for those either running their own business or preparing to launch. There are some strong trends that look set to dictate the business landscape in 2019, and smart entrepreneurs should be looking at the coming year and finding the best ways to integrate these trends into their business models. For those that prefer to stick with outdated methods, the future will be much more difficult to thrive in.

Consumer Relationships

Consumer interaction is more important in the business landscape than ever before. Through social media, email newsletters, and in-house blogs, consumer engagement is the key to improved customer loyalty and higher conversion rates. It’s vital that business-to-customer interactions are natural and honest. As the most effective way to build on the strength of a brand, consumer engagement is the number one focus for businesses of every size and sector. Look at how big names have prioritized interaction, and become much stronger and more trustworthy brand names as a result.

Efficiency Trends

Every entrepreneur should have a strong focus on efficiency. Failure to remain efficient results in the unproductive use of resources and time. The good news is that it has never been easier to become more efficient, and this can be achieved through a variety of methods. However, one of the most consistently successful is through the use of a Kaizen Burst. Statistical analysis of your business processes is not new, but it has become increasingly popular since big name brands started adopting its use. There are potential benefits for businesses of all sizes, and entrepreneurs would be wise to start looking at their own Kaizen Burst Event before their competitors do.

Technology Trends

There’s no disputing that although the human touch is important, technology has become the primary driver of all business management. There are a variety of tech solutions available for all business, and whether you’re looking at the transition to cloud technology, better software, or even artificial intelligence, tech remains one of the most important elements for budding entrepreneurs to be aware of. As the rise of the Internet of Things continues, businesses are benefitting from greater collaboration through more connectivity. 2019 looks set to be the year that the IoT really takes off, making it one of the most essential elements to explore for those entrepreneurs hoping to capitalize on the benefits.

The consumer landscape is one that needs to be watched on a regular basis. If your business is not keeping up to date with what consumers are looking for, then you will lose out to those companies that have a consumer-centric focus. Running a business is rarely simple, but with modern technology and trending business methods, it’s never been easier to create a business model that not only works but has a long-term future.