The ability to network is one of the most crucial skills any entrepreneur can have. Many people go to networking events, but very few know how to network effectively. Networking is more than just getting out and meeting people. Networking is a structured plan to get to know people who will do business with you or introduce you to those who will.

Join us every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month from 7:45 am to 9:15 am at the Clarksville Entrepreneur Center

 

Women In Business

Women In Business

       Have you ever seen a woman walk in the room and instantly think, “Who’s that Woman?” It usually has nothing to do with the clothes she’s wearing or the car she drove, but the confidence that she exhibits when she walks in the room. Women are not magically...

Open Mic Networking Event

Better Business Bureau – Clarksville The Better Business Bureau has a quick, focused opportunity for you to meet people, gain new clients, projects, jobs or friendships. Join BBB, Tuesday, August 29th at Edington's Etc and build your business with our open mic...

Clarksville Young Professionals

Clarksville Young Professionals The next CYP meeting will be on Wednesday, September 6, at 12 noon. Meeting held at the Chamber office, 25 Jefferson Street. The Consolidated Government Commission will host and provide a panel...

Business to Business EXPO

Business to Business EXPO On Thursday, October 19, from 5pm-7pm, 5 Star Media Group is hosting the Business Showcase at Business After Hours. Grab a booth and promote your small or home-based business! Six-foot tables available for $125. To register or for more...

Chamber Business After Hours

Business After Hours Old Glory Distilling Company will host the next Business After Hours on September 21, from 5pm-7pm at 451 Alfred Thun Road. Join us for great food, music, and the opportunity to network with other Chamber members and business leaders. This event...

Networking 101

The trick with networking is to become proactive. This means taking control of the situation instead of just reacting to it. Networking requires going beyond your comfort zone and challenging yourself. Try these tips:

  • Set a goal to meet five or more new people at each event. Whenever you attend a group, whether a party, a mixer or an industry luncheon, make a point of heading straight for people you don’t know. Greet the newcomers (they will love you for it!). If you don’t make this goal a habit, you’ll naturally gravitate toward the same old acquaintances.
  • Try one or two new groups per month. You can attend almost any organization’s meetings a few times before you must join. This is another way to stretch yourself and make a new set of contacts. Determine what business organizations and activities you would best fit into. It may be the chamber of commerce, the arts council, a museum society, a civic organization, a baseball league, a computer club or the PTA. Attend every function you can that synergizes your goals and customer/prospect interaction.
  • Carry your business cards with you everywhere. After all, you never know when you might meet a key contact, and if you don’t have your cards with you, you lose out. Take your cards to church, the gym, parties, the grocery store–even on walks with the dog.
  • Don’t make a beeline for your seat. Frequently, you’ll see people at networking groups sitting at the dinner table staring into space–half an hour before the meal is due to start. Why are they sitting alone? Take full advantage of the valuable networking time before you have to sit down. Once the meeting starts, you won’t be able to mingle.
  • Don’t sit by people you know. Mealtime is a prime time for meeting new people. You may be in that seat for several hours, so don’t limit your opportunities by sitting with your friends. This is a wonderful chance to get to know new people on either side of you. Sure, it’s more comfortable to hobnob with familiar faces. But remember, you are spending precious time and money to attend this event. Get your money’s worth; you can talk to your friends some other time.
  • Get active. People remember and do business with leaders. Don’t just warm a chair–get involved and join a committee or become a board member. If you don’t have time, volunteer to help with hospitality at the door or checking people in. This gives you a reason to talk to others, gets you involved in the inner workings of the group, and provides more visibility.
  • Be friendly and approachable. Pretend you are hosting the event. Make people feel welcome. Find out what brought them there, and see if there’s any way you can help them. Introduce them to others, make business suggestions or give them a referral. Not only will you probably make a friend, but putting others at ease eliminates self-consciousness. A side benefit: What goes around comes around. If you make the effort to help others, you’ll soon find people helping you.
  • Set a goal for what you expect from each meeting. Your goals can vary from meeting to meeting. Some examples might be: learning from the speaker’s topic, discovering industry trends, looking for new prospects or connecting with peers. If you work out of your home, you may find your purpose is simply to get out and talk to people face to face. Focusing your mind on your goal before you even walk into the event keeps you on target.
  • Be willing to give to receive. Networking is a two-way street. Don’t expect new contacts to shower you with referrals and business unless you are equally generous. Follow up on your contacts; keep in touch; always share information or leads that might benefit them. You’ll be paid back tenfold for your thoughtfulness.