How Do You Approach Other Businesses For Networking?

Business By Dreme Updated 26 Apr 2010 , 1:02am by dalis4joe

Dreme Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Dreme Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 9:44pm
post #1 of 8

In person what do you say? How do you advertise yourself without looking like an idiot?

I'm stressing bc I'm realizing I have to actually go out there and network. I can only hide online for so long. It worries me bc I am not social. At all. As I get older my anxiety is just getting worse not better. So this is a really big deal for me. I don't really know what to say without sounding or looking odd.

Do I leave samples for them to try? or ones for display? What and how much stuff do I bring with me?

7 replies
KHalstead Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KHalstead Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 10:58pm
post #2 of 8

Here are a couple ideas:

1. arrange to have a "tasting" party for local business, mail them all invitations about 1 month ahead of time (be sure to include anyone locally that is a wedding planning, owns a venue, etc.)

Then a couple weeks ahead, or the week of call and personally invite them over the phone, let them know you're a new business and you're looking to network with other area businesses and you'd love for them to come to a tasting session and see what you're all about!

Then host a tasting, have several of your best flavors along with a folder for each person to take with that with business cards (to give to brides they come in contact with), magnets, brochures of your cakes, etc.

Have them come and hang out with you and introduce yourself and try to go around and be personal with each of them. Get their info and give them yours.

2. You could call them and say, "Is there a good time for you, where I could come in and bring you some samples and information on my business......I would love to get your information as well, to pass on to my customers"

They'll see it as an opportunity to get some free advertising and free samples too!

cheatize Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cheatize Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 12:14am
post #3 of 8

Look up networking groups and see if there's one in your area. I can't remember the name of the one around here-Ameri something. It's for women and they get together for coffee once a month. You could bring samples to your first meeting and I think this might be a good way for you to get started- a situation that's set up for networking, instead of having to talk to strangers who aren't there to network.

Dreme Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Dreme Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 1:06am
post #4 of 8

I like both ideas. Its just that in face to face social situations I usually have anxiety attacks. I just want to get away from the person. The word party just sounds scary. Never hosted one before.

On another note: How do you approach someone on facebook? PM them or leave a message on their wall? Which is more professional for businesses?

jillmakescakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jillmakescakes Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 1:19am
post #5 of 8

Well (in my bes IndyDebi voice) you're just gonna have to get over this shyness thing when it comes to networking icon_lol.gif

bottom line, you're promoting your business, not you personally (like a traditional party).

A few things to remember:

compliment the other vendor first- you wouldn't want to network with them if they weren't good, right
discuss how you will promote them, then they should reciprocate
accept compliments graciously-- don't point out your flaws, simply say "Thank you, this design has been so well received" or something similar.

sarah5008 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
sarah5008 Posted 25 Apr 2010 , 10:33pm
post #6 of 8

Is there anyone that you feel comfortable with that can help you? Don't have them do it all because you still need to be the face of your business, but they can be there for support. I really like the tasting party idea. If you have a "partner" that can be there to answer people's questions and help get the conversation started that may help. I'm a shy person to start out and having someone I know and trust there to get things going always helps me. It is scary to just get out there and do it all by yourself.

Also, something I learned from mulitple college presentations is to PRACTICE! It may seem weird to stand in front of a mirror or walk around the house repeating a "script" but it will help the conversation flow if you have everything prepared and are used to hearing yourself say it.

SPCC Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
SPCC Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 12:15am
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

Well (in my bes IndyDebi voice) you're just gonna have to get over this shyness thing when it comes to networking icon_lol.gif

I was thinking you were going to say to put on your big girl panties and get it done. If you want to get your business out there you do what you have to do!!!

dalis4joe Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
dalis4joe Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 1:02am
post #8 of 8

I had the same problem at the start.... so I used DH and he is so good with public speaking and talking to ANYONE.... he was amazing.... and little by little I started to add to what he said.... and befor eyou knew it.... I was doing all the talking....

It's good that you have samples... cause that can be like your "shield" u know what I mean? the samples are the conversation starter... talk about them... the flavor... etc... and like stated before.... don't point your flaws... take a complwement with a simple thank you and a smile....

I go around about once every 2 or months... and take samples to area banks... realtors... florists... doctors office (doctors office... specially when it's a medical group... are really good) my sons school... I drop it off for the staff.... , church.... etc.... just think of places where there is a lot of traffic... it doesn't nessesarily need to be related to cakes/parties/weddings.... people from all walks need a cake here and there....

Good Luck... and I know what u r feeling... but it's like with anything.... the first few times u will sweat... have stomach cramps... even stutter (sp?) but after the first few... u will be a pro....


I pack the samples either in pretty boxes with bus. cards inside or I use a 12 inch cake board... fill it with my lidded cups and use celophane to make like a "easter basket" with ribbons and all... looks pretty...


Quote by @%username% on %date%