How To Start Your Own Business–Tool #3: Networking The Lifeblood of Growth

FoxBusiness published this article 12-18-2007

Reuters published this article 12-19-2007

You have the vision for a new startup business in place. You have identified your market, their challenges and needs. You have taken that information and applied what “differentiates” your business, from the competition, to the challenges of your potential customers.

What next? Identify the best way to meet the decision makers within the companies you wish to work with in the future. The best method of introducing your company, in the real world, to your target is through networking groups, associations, and industry specific organizations. Network, Network, Network!’s networking objective is to provide personal development for human capital within organizations in Silicon Valley. Whether you are a Realtor, broker, or entrepreneur in another field, networking is the lifeblood of your business growth. The following are off line real world networking resources which can also be applied to the online world. These are the associations, organizations, places, and events I will utilize in my networking efforts for

The List:

1. Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs: This organization is a vast resource for entrepreneurs who wish to meet VC consultants, HR Directors, like minded entrepreneurs, current movers and shakers in the valley, and technology pundits. Here is what you get for your $99 yearly membership:

a) Startup Reference Guide: This guide has the following tutorials for anyone wishing to start their own business-Accounting, Finance, Recruiting, Product development, Sales, Legal, Insurance, Human Resources, General Business. Each section is packed with important “how to” information.

b) “Startup U”: This is a series of events held twice a month designed for the startup entrepreneur. Attendees are new business owners and industry experts looking the next big thing. It is a great place to meet and be heard.

c) Events: This is where the extra value takes place. Events include Venture Capitalist mixers on Sand Hill Rd, industry wants and needs sessions, as well as high level corporate decision maker speeches. The cost varies and can be high but so is the return on your investment.

2. Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources: Fantastic organization with chapters throughout the Bay Area. Events and meetings include consultants, HR directors, and many decision makers on the organizational development level. In addition this organization has a fantastic forum “Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources Community Forum” where employment opportunities, wants and needs, as well as practical how to topics are discussed. Connections and information on how to make connections are plentiful.

3. American Marketing Association Silicon Valley Chapter: Professional memberships run $215 per year. Included is a schedule of events and meetings designed for the marketing professional. Great information on marketing, networking within this industry, Silicon Valley centric practices, and strategies for startup to large firm marketing campaigns.

There are other organizations to investigate but so far these are the three that have provided me with the best information. In any business niche you will find associations, organizations, and like minded professionals. Seek them out, absorb their experience and knowledge, and remain open minded to new techniques or change.