Networking is an important part of running a business. Connecting with people in your industry and outside can be just as enjoyable as it is beneficial. In a new city, however, getting acquainted with fellow professionals can be stressful and it can be hard to know where to start. We have compiled these tips to help you reap the benefits of networking, even in an unfamiliar setting.
Join Professional Organizations
Nearly every industry or career path has its own professional organization. A membership in a professional organization can have several benefits. Benefits of networking within a professional organization include access to resources and knowledge specific to your industry. You may have the opportunity to attend local or national conferences about your industry, while connecting with people who can advise you and vice versa.
Local chambers of commerce can be very beneficial to find leads and establish yourself as a business community presence in a new city. Chambers of commerce are there to further the interests of the businesses of their members, so people who are members are especially interested in speaking to other professionals about their business interests.
Social Media Connections
Don’t be afraid to use LinkedIn and other social media outlets to make connections in a new city. The ease of finding connections using social media is one the main benefits of networking today. If you interested in finding a new job, you can follow companies that you have an interest in. If you see people in your new city with whom you have connections, ask your connection politely to introduce you to them. People who are established in a city are generally very welcoming and may be more than happy to show you around and introduce you their friends/peers.
Don’t Work Alone
If you are a small business owner or sole proprietor, you may be tempted to run your business from home. This can be cost effective, but may also limit your business and your networking opportunities in your new city. Look into your city’s coworking establishments or shared office environments. Working alongside other professionals in different industries can allow you to create meaningful professional connections in your city, get you out of your home office seclusion, and enjoy the benefits of networking in your new location.