Community building for female entrepreneurs

Published on Jul 06, 2023

Community building for female entrepreneurs

While it may seem like being an entrepreneur is a solo gig, the truth is, community is a crucial part of business growth and success. Connecting with other business owners can lead to idea sharing, building lasting business relationships, and finding new opportunities.  

Networking as an entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, you likely wear multiple hats and juggle quite a few responsibilities at a time. Finding the time to network might seem like a challenge. Consider these approaches to growing your network:  

Networking tips

However you choose to grow your network, remember it’s about the quality of your connections over the quantity of connections. Here are three important tips to keep in mind:

1. Consider the context of the meeting

While networking typically happens in a social setting, it requires you to bring your professional persona. Remember, you’re selling yourself when you’re looking to make professional and business connections. The appropriateness of your actions matter so show up prepared. Think about things like:

    • What you’re wearing

    • How you’re presenting yourself

    • Showing up prepared

    • Having your elevator pitch nailed down and

    • Knowing who you must meet at the event.

2. Follow up

It’s great to make a connection with someone at an event but what’s more important is following up after the event is over. The 24 hours after an event is a small but important timeframe for you to make sure you remain top of mind of the people you met. Follow up in whatever way makes the most sense for you. You can:

    • Connect and message on LinkedIn

    • Send an email

    • Send a letter with your business card or

    • Make a phone call.

However you reestablish that connection, make sure that you continue following up at a regular cadence to really build those relationships.

3. Focus on relationship building   

The real power of networking comes from the professional relationships that are formed after an initial meeting. Here are things to keep in mind as you create those relationships:

    • It takes time. All relationships take time and professional relationships are no exception. Meaningful connections aren’t established overnight. Give your new connections time to flourish.

    • It takes effort. As discussed, the follow up is important in fostering relationships with your connections. Keep asking questions and making time to meet. If you put in the work, it will result in valued relationships.

    • It takes trust. Building trust is a result of doing the work. That takes research, knowledge, and questioning to get to know your connections. Show that you understand your connections by learning about their business and their industry. Using online research tools such as Google and LinkedIn will allow you to easily demonstrate your investment in the relationship and build that desired trust.  

Valley’s Women in Business Program

Valley’s Women in Business Program is a great resource for women-owned businesses looking to expand their network, connect with others in or out of their industry and take advantage of unique program perks. Learn more about our program that fosters collaboration and connection. 

Women in Business

Women in Business

Valley's Women in Business Program is an essential resource for women looking to expand their network, connect with others in or out of their industry, and take advantage of unique program perks.

Learn More