Thanks to burgeoning technology, entrepreneurs and business owners are getting younger and younger every day.
No longer is business ownership the realm of older, established people. However, even though these young people are striking out on their own and starting businesses and developing products of their own, it can still difficult if not downright daunting to make the connections necessary to take their businesses to the next level. So, how can young entrepreneurs make valuable connections when starting out?
The first place one might look is to social networking. While many use these outlets as fun sources of entertainment, savvy entrepreneurs understand that on the other side of that social media profile is a human being that might be able to help them in the business world. Taking the time to connect with others in business specific ways is a great way to build and nurture valuable business relationships. Oftentimes, you can perform a one on one with someone else via an online social networking site and decide if taking the relationship to the next level would be something you (or they) would be interested in. In addition, these sites often contain groups of all types of subjects and searching for ones that pertain to the subject of your business can help you locate potential prospects and even potential future business partners as well.
While the younger generation is certainly well versed in the ways of online networking and connecting, offline networking is still an incredibly valuable tool that should not be overlooked. Some young entrepreneurs shy away from this feeling that their young presence means they will be taken for granted by the older, more established business presence in their area, but this is not always the case…not by a long shot.
Many older business owners and professionals are gravitating towards those of younger individuals and recognizing the potential opportunities that exist with their technological skills. Simply by stating their expertise in a particular area of technology might strike up a valuable conversation with an established business entity and lead to an amazing opportunity. More and more often, Chambers of Commerce and other similar organizations are establishing YOUNG PROFESSIONALS groups or organizations to help galvanize young talent in a particular area. Joining these groups and establishing an active presence is a great way to increase one's network of business relationships and help acclimate in an area that will eventually lead to deeper relationships with the established business professionals they are looking to do business with.
The most important thing for a young entrepreneur to remember is…if you are trying to establish a relationship with someone who is more established than you, learn what is important to THEM. While your knowledge and ability may be of use to many, if you are not respectful to those who have tread before, you may never get the opportunity to demonstrate your skills. Treat lightly, be respectful and once the door is open to you, let your skills shine. Once they do and others become aware, opportunities will abound, you can count on it.