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The Importance of Networking for your Business

by Nic Gray, VA, and Owner of Nic Gray PA

I’m Nic, a Virtual Assistant based in East Sussex. I have over 20 years’ experience in admin and accounts and set up my business in 2021.

I support business owners with the admin, bookkeeping, and social media tasks in their business that they can’t, won’t or don’t want to do. Leaving them time to concentrate on working on their business.

I realised pretty quickly that the best and fastest way to grow my business was to be visible. The best way to do this is through networking.

Starting out.

It’s all very daunting when you first realise that you need networking in your life. I first started by finding online events. Practising a small sentence about my business and not overcomplicating my introduction.

60 seconds.

Most networking events, whether they are in person or online, require you to say a bit about your business to the others in the meeting. This usually sparks fear and dread across a lot of business owner’s faces. So, when you are first starting out, a simple speech is better than nothing at all. Work your way up to the 60 seconds after you’ve attended a few events.

What to say:

It’s your business so you get to decide how you represent it. As a guide it’s good to make it into a small story. Start with what you do, how you help and an example of what you’ve done.

I usually say “Hi, I’m Nic Gray from Nic Gray PA. I support business owners with their admin, bookkeeping, and social media tasks. This week I have been creating a newsletter for a charity using Mailchimp, booking in appointments and responding to queries for a local Electrician and creating graphics and writing captions for my social media clients. If you are looking for support, please contact me. That’s Nic Gray at Nic Gray PA”.

Keep it simple.

By keeping it simple you haven’t really got much to remember, as you’re just stating the facts about your business and what you’ve been up to in it. This gives you less of a chance of stumbling with your words and more of a chance of being heard by everyone in the room.

Where should I attend?

There’s no right or wrong answer here and sometimes it’s best to try a few different ones to see where your ideal clients are hanging and where you feel most comfortable being.

I would start with your local Chamber of Commerce and go from there.

Do I need to be a member?

You don’t necessarily need to be a member of any of the networking groups you attend, but once you’ve found your feet and decided on the ones you would like to regularly attend it’s usually advisable. Find out the member benefits of each group and make sure that they would help your business.

“I’ve been networking for a while now and still not had any business.”

You mustn’t expect business straight away from networking. The aim of the game is to get your name and business name out there in the community. Writing blogs and social media posts on your own experiences in networking with pictures is a great idea to show your presence. 

The biggest part of networking though is making some great connections. These connections don’t necessarily have to be your ideal client. 

Know, like and trust.

You are building a relationship with your fellow networking attendees which is why you can’t just attend one meeting. It works both ways, so you want to be building a list of connections that you can refer out to other business owners too. Building that know, like and trust is important for this.

10-minute speaker.

For the more seasoned networker and the more confident you get at those 60 seconds, there is usually a great opportunity to put your name forward to be a guest speaker at an event.

Now I must admit that in my two years of networking I’ve only done this a couple of times myself. 

There are two reasons why being the guest speaker is a good idea. You get extra publicity before the event, and you get to talk about your business in more depth in front of all attendees.

Get yourself out there.

 I hope this has given you some courage to get yourself out there and promote your business to your local community (or even global if online).

If you’re in need of a Virtual Assistant or would like to find out more about what I do, please do not hesitate in getting in contact with me via my website

Please do let me know in the comments of the contact form if you’re contacting me after reading this blog post.

Nic is the Owner of Nic Gray PA. She grew up in East Sussex and lives with her husband and two children in Hailsham with their small dog Minnie the ‘Mexican Hot Dog’.

Nic worked for several companies over a 20-year period, predominantly as a Credit Controller and over the past 10 years as a bookkeeper and producing management accounts.

She wanted to be able to support more businesses on a flexible basis, to be able to be there for her children growing up, so being a Virtual Assistant ticks all of the boxes.

This blog was prepared or accomplished by Nic Gray in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kayleigh Johnstone or COZ PR.



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