You may start noticing a theme on the BIG Blog – “Back to Fundamentals” – and when you sit down and think about it, it is a really simple idea that can have a really big impact on your business. Whether or not your company is in a financial pinch, the economy is in a slump or things are booming, it never hurts to evaluate things and get back to the fundamentals of business.

Marketing is a key component to the success of any business, so I want to focus my future posts on getting back to the fundamentals of marketing. Often times people think effective marketing campaigns require a big budget, when in reality there are many ways to market with little to no budget. Networking is one of those ways.

The word “networking” can evoke a mix of emotions from people. The old, standard definition of networking (a meet and greet evShaking Handsent where you shake hands and make small talk with others) isn’t the only way to truly and effectively network. That being said, there is generally going to be some handshaking and small talk to learn about someone’s business and tell them about yours. There are a number of ways to effectively meet people, learn about their businesses and determine how you can create a mutually beneficial relationship, all with little to no cost and without cheesy and uncomfortable small talk. Here are some simple ideas of where/how you can network:

  1. Professional associations related to your industry
  2. Local or regional associations or groups
  3. Traditional networking groups/clubs
  4. Cultural associations
  5. Chambers of Commerce
  6. Local business events (business after-hours, business expos, etc)
  7. Join a gym
  8. Volunteer

In general, use every opportunity (business or personal) as a potential networking opportunity. Networking doesn’t have to be cheesy or boring. It can be as simple as striking up a conversation with someone who you meet in your morning workout class.

Kristen Langham
Manager of Business Development
Palo Alto Software