Networking has emerged out as a prime reason why entrepreneurs, small & medium enterprises, and travelling professionals prefer using the services of a coworking space. Regardless of whether networking falls in your nature of work, it’s indeed one of those staple ingredients of dishing out of your own fruitful business. One of the advantages of working from a shared office space is the networking openings that emerge from being in closeness to such a large and diverse number of other budding businesses.
However, despite everything you must try to assure that you are giving the right impression when meeting your co-workers the first time. All things considered, you never know who would one day turn into a customer, or who may have the capacity to acquaint you with other people who can help in your business. Obviously, there’s always the chance to make long-lasting friends.
Networking has its own essence in a co-working space and how you can successfully manage it can amend or upheaval your working experience.
Here are some cool ways to networking in a co-working space that won’t make you feel like you’re cornering your new office-mates and pouring out your full business pitch at them.
Be ready with your “elevator pitch” wherever you go – One of the primary inquiries you’ll get asked when you move into a co-working office is what does your business do? If you haven’t created or worked on your elevator pitch yet, now’s an ideal opportunity to do it. Having the capacity to give a brief, straightforward, and important portrayal of yourself and your venture will go far in helping spread the good news about your organization.
Need help with preparing a crisp elevator pitch? Here’s how you can do it (video source):
Most introductions usually happen naturally while making a tea or coffee in the communal kitchen or lounge area. But don’t be afraid to stop by your neighbours’ desks or offices in your first couple of days to introduce yourself. Being open and friendly isn’t just great manners – Your fellow tenants are more likely to remember you as a genuinely nice person. This, in turn, will make you more memorable next time a friend of theirs may be looking for a particular service that your business happens to provide. Be sure to vocalize that you’re happy for them to pop over and tap you on the shoulder whenever they have a question as well
Try acquainting yourself with everybody you meet – Most first introductions in co-working office happen normally during the pantry breaks. It is when you are making tea or sipping a cup of coffee that you make an eye contact with most of the members. Yet, don’t be reluctant to stop by your neighbours’ work areas. And, whether he/she occupies a dedicated desk or works from a hot desk – don’t let their financial capacity come in between your networking efforts. In your first couple of days of being open and friendly would be an awesome act of conduct.
Your co-workers will probably make an impression of yours as a really pleasant individual. This thus will make you more important the next time a friend of theirs drop by the next time. More new faces to meet, viola! Another effective step that you can take is to make yourself available the next time anyone needs any help. This way they will be available for your help the next time you need anything.
Make yourself visible – Put your resources into making some great business cards and signboards for your work area. You can more often leave these in the meeting zones, play or lounge areas of most shared office spaces. These should state what your business really does so that whenever you’re not physically at the workplace, they’ll do the talking for you. You can go above and beyond and arrange stationery or writing pads with your organization’s name imprinted on them to pass out to your office colleagues. It will work out as an extraordinary step to them the next time they’re considering who to work together with or seek counsel.
Ensure you have your profile marked out on whatever area you choose to select in a co-working space. Whether you are a four-member startup having a private office or a couple of freelancers working on a dedicated project on the bean-bags; ensure your photograph s, business cards, flyers & pamphlets are always handy with your business’s name and other significant information mentioned on them. You can also ask the community manager to create a feature post on you and your team in their social media channels.
Organize free workshops or events for your co-workers – Regardless of whether your shared office space organizes events or not, you can always have your own and welcome your colleagues along. A workshop doesn’t necessarily need to take up a lot of time, you just need the opportunity to get ready for it. For professionals from the media and creative agency background, these little workshops are the advantages they need for a good running of the business. Folks with a marketing-centric business can showcase their digital media and promotion skills and garner attention and potential customers on the way. Consulting businesses and professionals can show valuable resources that might work for other co-workers.
Any which way, not missing on the chance to either participate or create your own events should be on the agenda. There are plenty of coworking spaces in Gurgaon, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, and more which often hold events, like happy hours, brown bags, learn-and-lunch, and other casual events for networking. Attending these is a great way to start.
If you’re flying solo, you send out an email inviting everyone to a local bar or eatery and buying them drinks and snacks. Do this without any expectations around. Just go there and whoever shows up, start a conversation with them over food and drinks. This way not only you will get to know them a bit more, but also it could become a space for other members to get to know each other. That’s a great thing for a member to do.
Most importantly, have an open-door policy – We all understand that things can get busy and sometimes (or most of the time) you need to stick your headphones on and eliminate all potential for distractions to get more done. But, constantly throwing a signal that you are there just for work and nothing else will work inversely for you. Don’t send out a wrong message this may put people off; even the ones who had a likeness of asking a few questions to you. So, the best bet is to have an open-door policy where you can spare some time to have an interaction with your team members or just to say to others that you’re happy to chat.
Hope these little steps will go a big mile in your networking efforts within your co-working space and you’d create amazing new connections. Tell us how your attempts went.