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Oct
02

How to Become an Entrepreneur Through Free Business Networking

How to Become an Entrepreneur Through Free Business Networking

Many people aspire to become an entrepreneur, but actually taking the first steps can be hard. Coming up with a good idea in the first place is probably one of the most challenging parts of becoming an entrepreneur. To help you gather as many ideas as you can always carry a notebook around noting down things from everyday life that cause an inconvenience or anything that can be improved. Looking back at your notebook can often bring up patterns in why problems occur and how they are solved, which gets your brain thinking exactly the way an entrepreneurs should.

One thing that makes entrepreneurial success easier is having a business partner who shares your business vision and has skills that complements your own, and which are necessary for your mission. Finding a one however, is usually not that simple. For example, if you have an idea to patent a new computer chip, then a business partner with connections in manufacturing, or skills in developing, would be a huge advantage. It is great if you know business people that can help you straight away, but most of us would not have these connections right from the start.

Because we are lucky to be living in the 21st century things are a little different and networking is much easier thanks to free social networking sites like Friendster, Face book, MySpace and the newly released ThinkBowl. Through these easy means of approach, one can seek for business partners and join like-minded communities to find good corporate links. With free networking websites like these you can also read other peoples stories, questions and ideas, also share your own thoughts and issues, and receive feedback from the community, as well as writing blogs about your projects, which is a great way to get yourself noticed. Who does not want free marketing?

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Some basic guidelines apply to all online business networks; you should never reveal too much about yourself to the general community (basic details are fine), but wait until people are trusted to reveal more. The same goes for ideas; make sure you only reveal the basics unless your ideas are protected i.e. patents, copyrights, trademarks etc. Although every precaution is taken by sites to weed out “scammers”, they cannot vouch for someone’s character, nor take responsibility for any stolen ideas etc.

When you look for a free business networking website, make sure select one that is relevant to yourself and therefore cooperative to you. If your business is all about gardening, there is no need for you to be on a diving networking website. Look for the ones with interesting site content, useful tools and a good-sized community with actual active entrepreneurs. Read the forums and blogs, this way you can tell if the users are the contacts you are looking for and if they are serious enough.

Enjoy your activity in the community and use it as an effective business tool. Remember, all the people on the site probably have similar goals and will collectively have a wide knowledge base, so do not be afraid to discuss topics you think are important, ask for feedback or share opportunities.

Marketing resources i.e. internet, television, magazines, radio, flyers etc are most important when releasing your project to the world. You should use as many as possible but if your budget is tight, you usually can contact the local newspapers who will give you free advertising in the form of a one page story if your project is interesting enough. Before you contact a journalist, make sure you have your story ready. Journalists can be lazy so if you prepared everything and they do not have to do too much work adapting the story they are more likely to use it.

When you launch your project, keep reviewing it at regular intervals and set realistic goals to reach at each of these points. Any good project evolves over time so do not just launch your project and think your job is done!

Be critical and always strive for perfection. Write down things that are going well but more important the areas that have to be improved. Learn from your mistakes by improving them and always ask for help. Once the company is running like a train get back to the drawing board and think up your next entrepreneur project!

Michiel Van Kets provides articles for Mark Basset who is an entrepreneur and the founder of ThinkBowl.com. He has built up good corporate links through free business networking. Mark is now working on projects to make becoming an entrepreneur easier for people with the right attitude.

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