Step one for millennials interested in starting a business is networking. After all, businesses are rarely started with the efforts of only one person. There are mentors, advisors, and friends that can contribute to your business’s founding, growth, and successful. For millennials who have recently graduated and are excited about starting a business, here’s how to network effectively:
- Utilize Your School’s Alumni Directory
People you reach out to are likely to be far more interested in talking with you if you have the same alma mater. Use your school’s alumni directory to find out which professionals in your industry attended your university. It’s a great conversation starter when seeking a connection with someone.
- Reach Out via Social Media and Email
It’s easy to make a connection with someone over the Internet. Reach out via LinkedIn or Facebook to people you’re interested in talking to. Remember, when approaching someone virtually, don’t start out by talking about you. Simply let the individual know you admire his or her work, and that he or she inspires you. Then, perhaps you can request a meeting, or a phone call to pick the individual’s brain.
- Meet Other Young Professionals
Ideas don’t only lie in people who have already achieved success. You should also be networking with other young millennials who are at the same stage in life as you are. You’ll have common with these people, and you’ll learn a lot about what other people in the industry who are your age are up to. It never hurts to get chatting with those who have similar interests and goals as you do.
- Join a Group
Look for opportunities to attend networking events. If you live in a major city, chances are there are plenty of organizations, clubs, or groups in the area that specialize in supporting people like you. Attend some meetings or events, and start chatting with people. You never know who you’ll meet. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for you to practice your elevator pitch and get some ideas about the small business you hope to start.
- Talk to Everyone
You never know who you’ll meet and when or where you’ll meet them. Inspiration, support, and ideas can come from all kinds of sources. Don’t be afraid to discuss your ideas with family members and friends. Sometimes, just talking through your ideas and hearing what other people have to say will spark some inspiration in you.