Networking on International Women’s Day

by Michelle Marley, Bizwize Director.

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and also one of our Director’s birthdays.  It was a great opportunity for Laura and myself to visit Conti’s in Wanneroo to celebrate both the birthday, and the success of women in business.

Wanneroo Business Association had a networking morning tea at Conti’s where Berlinda Conti (one of the female wine makers) spoke to us about what it was like to be a part of the wine industry. Unlike some other networking functions, this was a very casual morning, and was more about getting a taste of the fine food on offer and taking time to celebrate the day.

As business owners, it is beneficial for us to attend several networking functions and they are all different in the way they are run; from the very formal running of BNI to the casual coffee catch-ups that are run by the WBA. The one thing they all have in common is that they each provide an opportunity for you to put your name and face in front of a group of people who are also there to grow their business connections and their businesses.

Networking isn’t easy, and we can all get caught in the trap of sticking to who we know and not taking advantage of the opportunity to meet new people.  At this particular function, Laura and I found it easy to mingle; the coffee and cake made great talking points, and everyone had a pleasant coffee / sugar buzz that made them happy to chat.  There is a time and place for the hard sell but sometimes in the smaller events, like this one, we have found it is more about making your initial connection and then following up later if it is called for. The main priority with these events is to make an impression.  Be the one that people remember fondly and if the opportunity presents itself to call upon a business like yours, maybe they will use you or even recommend you to your next most valuable client.