I feel I’m a terrible networker. I have a great business that...

I feel I’m a terrible networker. I have a great business that I know can add value to other SMEs, but I don’t know where to find prospects. Where do I start?

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A defining entrepreneurial attribute is the ability to identify and seize opportunities wherever they exist.

This will sometimes mean stepping out of your comfort zone. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know what you do, and as a start-up, particularly if you launched the business alone, the only person who can let people know what you’re doing is you.

Allon Raiz, founder of business incubator Raizcorp, has a great anecdote he likes to share:

“The MD of one of our partner companies once found the smart looking business card of a blue-chip company executive lying in a parking lot. Believing that nothing’s a coincidence, she picked it up and called the number on the front to prospect for some business – and that spontaneous phone call led to our partner gaining a major client.”

This story illustrates a basic fact: Whenever an entrepreneur is placed in a situation where it’s possible to strike up a conversation, they can turn that situation into a networking and sales opportunity. Speak to your neighbour on a flight, or chat to the people next to you in a bank queue – they may need exactly what your company can offer them. Share your passion and the results will surprise you.