As you enter the world of entrepreneurism, you will find that there are plenty of things to be done. One thing new entrepreneurs often neglect to do is networking. Why is networking so important for a new entrepreneur? You will want to set a sturdy and strong foundation as your network. The more people you know, the more business opportunities will be available to you. Follow these tips for networking as a new entrepreneur:

Be Prepared

Before you attend a networking event, do your research. Don’t just research the event; research the keynote speakers, the hosts and the topics. Do as much research ahead of time as possible. Not only will this ease your mind once you are there, it will likely help you in your networking. The most important research you need to do is into yourself. What service do you provide, and why do people need it? What is your product? Don’t show up to a networking event unprepared. That being said, remember you are not there only to make a sales pitch. Your goal in attending these events, especially early on, is to establish relationships with people who could potentially be customers down the line.

Be Yourself

While you may feel the need to be overly professional while at a networking event, the best types of networkers are those people who show their true colors. Obviously you want to be professional, but don’t be afraid to let your silly side show. If you are a more serious person by nature but you have a strong interest in hiking, don’t be afraid to discuss that. By discussing personal interests, you are proving yourself to be a unique candidate. Lastly, don’t forget to keep smiling! Sure, you are there for business purposes but there is no rule that says you can’t smile and have fun while you’re hard at work!

Follow up with Connections

One of the biggest mistakes people make after a networking event is thinking their work is done. A lot of the work that comes with networking happens after the actual event. It is imperative that you follow up with the connections you forged. Whether this be via Linkedin, a text or even a phone call, following up with connections is crucial.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you will want to engage in networking to get your business of the ground. While networking, make sure you come prepared, you show your true colors and you follow up with the connections you form at the event. Networking is a great way to bring in new business, so make sure you are doing it right!