Networking is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to grow a business. Unfortunately, not all business owners know how to network well. Try these 10 ideas to see whether they improve your company’s brand awareness, popularity, and profit margins.

Be There When Your Community Needs You

Whether your town just had a flood or a child goes missing, make sure your business is there when the community needs you. Being there in person will show that you care and give you opportunities to meet more people.

Give Your Neighbours the “Secret Deal”

The businesses located near you are your neighbours. Give them a price break when they need your services. They’ll become loyal customers, and they’ll probably tell their friends about your great work.

Join a Business-Oriented Community Group

If you want to meet other business owners, then join a business-oriented community group. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk to other people building businesses in your area. Some of those people might become important to your company’s success in the future.

Support Your Staff

You don’t even have to leave your office for this networking opportunity. Get to know the people on your staff, and reward them when they do great things.

Share What You Know

Not every up-and-coming entrepreneur is your enemy. Share what you know to help other people find success. One of these days, you may need that person’s help. You won’t get it by slamming the door in his or her face.

Talk Up Other Local Businesspersons

You know local businesspersons who have unique skills and perspectives. Sing their praises when you send their companies potential customers. Again, don’t think of other businesses as enemies. Think about building a supportive community.

Sponsor Community Events at Your Space

When a community organisation needs a large space to hold a meeting or fundraiser, open your doors to them. Your boardroom or warehouse could provide the perfect space for the group’s activities.

Be Prepared for Impromptu Opportunities

You never know when someone will ask you for a favour. Make “Yes” your default answer so you can grow your network quickly.

Adopt a Local Non-Profit

Find a local non-profit that works on an issue that you feel strongly about. Perhaps you’ll partner with a group that rescues stray animals, cleans the waterways, or builds houses for disadvantaged people. As long as you believe in the issue, you’ll love working with a local non-profit.

Don’t Hide Behind Your Computer

You can do a lot of important networking on your computer. Eventually, though, you need to walk away from social media so you can meet people in the real world. Growing your network of friends and colleagues can do great things for your business. Get out in the world and see which of these tips appeals to you.