[memberonly level=“Group Membership for Businesses of 2-5 individuals, Student, Individual or Solo-Preneur”] This workshop was…
The term networking sounds very corporate and may be something that pole business owners don’t think about when going to pole events. The first priority for attending a pole event might be fun, education, or the opportunity to compete/perform.
If you own a pole business though, you might be missing out on some of the most important part about being in the same room as other pole businesses.
What is “networking”?
At its most basic, networking is simply talking to other business owners or employees of a business with the intent of creating a business connection.
Maybe you attend a pole event like IPIA partner PoleCon and you visit with the various vendors. Sure, those vendors could sell you something cute right then and there, but they might also be a broader connection for you or your business.
This connection could look like: creating a wholesale account for your studio, creating a custom line of apparel for your brand, or even introducing you as a potential brand ambassador for their brand. It could also be finding a new tool for your business, finding a new job or a new employee, or even just researching before you start a new business. The opportunities are limitless if you come with a business-centered mindset.
How do you network?
You talk to people!
Talking to people can be scary so start with people who are in a clear business role first like vendors at an event.
Or maybe you focus on talking to the event staff.
Ask them questions about their business or their role within the business and listen to see if there are opportunities for your business and their business to work together. Not every business has an opportunity for you so it’s important to listen and look out for future “win-win” possibilities for yourself or for others.
The best networkers make notes of business needs and potential synergies across different businesses. These people can help make introductions between other businesses or businesspeople that have no immediate benefit for them. Helping others make connections is a great way to support the industry as a whole.
What happens after you network?
If you found a potential business opportunity, partnership, or synergy, make sure to follow up after the event! Everyone has a lot on their minds and might not remember every conversation they had during the event. Make sure you get their contact info and send them a note to follow up on your conversation. Take notes in your phone or maybe follow each other on social media so you remember to keep in touch. You might not have a business need now, but sometime in the future.
While it sounds super salesy or corporate, networking is a simple and easy way to meet other people who also love pole dancing so much that they started a business in our industry. Supporting each other my making connections keeps the entire industry growing which is good for all of us!