How to enable networking within a small firm
September 30, 2013

When just starting out, it's customary for business owners, as well as accountants and bookkeepers, not to know anyone else in their field. In fact, leaders might try to shy away from others in the industry, viewing them as competitors and acting cautious about sharing tips and ideas with those who are fighting to gain customers.

That being said, that's not always a good strategy to take, as networking with other entrepreneurs can be very worthwhile and open up new doors to future growth. Especially when an accounting firm owner is new on the scene, meeting with others and learning the lay of the land can be beneficial, as it can educate leaders on which manufacturers are the best, the most cost effective furniture companies to outfit the new office, current consumer sentiments regarding spending in the area and so forth.

So, once these anti-social walls are broken down, firm leaders should follow common entrepreneurial advice and approach making connections with others in the area.

Consider other industries
Especially if a company leader is a little wary about trading tips with the competition, Inc. Magazine suggested having team members go to organizations in different industries and seeing how they engage with their customers and run their office. Having connections in other sectors can prove advantageous down the road and open new doors to future expansion and potential collaboration on products.

The news source said that this sentiment can even extend to include artists, scientists and other professionals. This way, leaders can find out how they solve problems in their own sector and translate that to the small business issues that are faced.

Put in the effort
As with all relationships, entrepreneurs are going to have to realize that there's some give and take, and they're going to have to put in legwork to cultivate business connections. Forbes explained that this takes time, so accounting firm leaders shouldn't expect to forge a strong connection immediately. They're going to have to play the game and contribute something of value to the other person, too.

Don't neglect the people in the office
While networking has more to do with going out of the firm and making connections with individuals in other businesses, Inc. warned against neglecting the strong relationships that can be crafted within the work place. The news source said that these connections can last long and create a more powerful corporate culture in the process.

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