Male entrepreneurs, on average, are more successful than their female counterparts in making businesses expand. For female business owners to be as effective as men, it’s not necessary to act like a man. However, they do need to accomplish something that many don’t – build a better network.
This assertion has already been backed up by research. Those entrepreneurs who maintain larger and diverse networks, and networks that include professional advisers, have been shown to be able to expand their businesses better and faster than others. Costa Rica business professional Ann Puig realized this early on in her career and has included the trait in her development as one of the leading entrepreneurs in the country.
Explains Puig, “Research has demonstrated that, in numerous economies, women business owners and entrepreneurs had a tendency to have smaller network than do the men. Entrepreneurs of both genders tend to look for guidance frequently from those with whom they had individual connections—their close circle of contacts.” In fact, women were more disposed to look for direction specifically from family and friends. In contrast, men tend to rely more heavily on the counsel of friends. Men were likewise more prone to utilize other system sources, for example, their workplace or expert guides.
By and large, the entrepreneurs who had bigger and wider-reaching networks, and the individuals who stressed non-private advisers (such as business or professional), likewise tend to report more noteworthy levels of development, internationalization and development desires. However, female entrepreneurs and business owners are sometimes at a disadvantage because they typically have smaller networks with less diversity and only rely on private advice.
“Not networking is not an option,” says Puig. “As an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared to participate in a number of activities that may not be comfortable and this is one of them. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is virtually impossible if you try to do it yourself and networking is a valuable way to take a business to new levels.”
Even though it may be an undesirable activity, there are ways to control the scene. Choose the venue – there are a number available and, if you don’t like the feel of one, you can always find another. Consider gender-specific events
In attending a networking event, be comfortable and confident with your information, but don’t be prepared to offer a sales pitch. Your only goal is to let others learn about you and what you are doing. Present the information in a manner that leaves them wanting to hear more.
Ask a lot of questions. Says Puig, “Ladies are awesome at building closeness and associations through discussion. By making inquiries you’ll draw in the individual and truly become more acquainted with what they do. Still not happy? Imagine you are talking with individuals for an article about the occasion; get the who, what, and why. Make the assignment less personal and more abstract.”
At an event, it’s important to speak to as many people as possible. Have a short conversation with someone and then continue to another. If necessary, consider it like a game to see how many business cards can be collected in a given timeframe. It can also be turned into a competition, where a friend or business partner is brought in to see who can collect the most.
Don’t expect to attend a networking event in order to get something – make sure you give first. The benefit of helping someone will pay off at some point – maybe not immediately, but the results will be seen.
Make mental notes of those individuals that seem to have the ability to provide substantial assistance. Follow up with them after the event through a phone call, private meeting or email to keep the lines of communication open. “This step is often forgotten,” asserts Puig, “but it is very important. If you don’t follow up, taking the effort to network will have been for nothing.”
These tips fill one need – to put the focus on others. It’s important to not look at the crowd, but, rather, the individuals and determine which of those can help you, and which you can help.