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How Networking Come out, meet us and let’s join forces. For more info call 250-516-7653.

Can Work For You by Deborah Rogers

Simply Cremations & Funeral Service In Your Time of Need we Keep it Simple Leslie Duncan Licenced Funeral Director

250.656.5555 Unit #3 2075 Henry Ave West, Sidney, BC New Pre-Arrangement Office 2405 Beacon Ave. Upstairs


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2444 Beacon Ave, Sidney, BC V8L 1X6 | 250.656.4626 30 SEASIDE | JANUARY 2015

Being a solo-entrepreneur or small business owner can be a solitary life. When it’s just you responsible for the whole business (which can include being bookkeeper, marketing department, sales, customer service and janitor) it can feel like there’s no time to engage in business mixers or social events. But getting to know your business community, and getting known in your business community, are two vital elements for enjoying and growing your own business. There are many networking opportunities on the Saanich Peninsula. Some of these are business specific, or just for women, but all operate on the principle that we can learn and benefit from mixing with other entrepreneurs. Having a support network is invaluable, especially when starting out. In larger businesses this is built into your work life through your colleagues; as a solo business person you can look to your peers to provide feedback, advice and sometimes just to listen if you’ve had a difficult experience, or want someone to celebrate your successes with. Business to business networking is a great way to share skills too. There is always more to learn and especially when starting a new enterprise it is invaluable to have the resource of someone else’s experience. This means that you need to ask questions of each other. Think of networking as a two-way conversation – you’re not just selling your own business; you can uncover the knowledge base that your fellow business owners have built up. Someone else will always have been in the role that you are in now, and by reaching out and asking questions you may find a solution to a problem that you couldn’t have achieved on your own. Networking is also a significant means of understanding the business opportunities in your community. Each time you share your skills you ensure that you are more visible as a business. Networking allows connection between what’s available and what’s needed. Make sure that you are recommending your networking colleagues when you hear about opportunities, and they will be doing the same for you. Remember that digital networking counts too: the impression that you make face-to-face needs to be mirrored by your online presence. Regularly attending a networking group or business to business mixers will inevitably expand your range of contacts. In a small community word-of-mouth is a crucial marketing tool. It’s not just about making an impression, you need to reinforce it through consistently giving the same message. Attend; contribute; make sure that it’s your name that springs to mind when someone is recommending a business in your category. Formal or informal networking opportunities are a great tool to utilize as a solo business owner. Jump in and join a group and watch how your business can grow!

Seaside Magazine January 2015 Issue  

Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated. We’...

Seaside Magazine January 2015 Issue  

Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated. We’...