Don’t believe that vegan networking will get you business? It will when you follow these basic tips:
The most important lesson: For you to have a change of mindset. If you really don’t believe that it won’t work, then it won’t actually work for you and you are non-positive mindset. Switch that to a positive mindset and ‘hey presto’, you’re off.
What is vegan business networking? It’s the newest way that vegans, vegan businesses and cruelty free business owners can connect, trade, refer and learn from each other. It’s the Vegan Business Exchange Network (UK) (VBE). We’re the first and only vegan business network in the UK boasting over 300 members already, since it’s inception in July 2018: https://www.facebook.com/groups/veganbusinessuk/. The network events started in Bristol as monthly meetings and have progressed to one in Birmingham, launching on 13th Nov 2018. We have plans to run the monthly meetings in Edinburgh, Devon and London.
Who better to learn from than someone that has shared values and is already successful at running a vegan business. We have to keep this network strong. The more vegan businesses that support one another, the more likely a vegan will want to set one up. The more vegan businesses there are, the more veganism will inevitably become mainstream, not to mention the pressure it puts on non-vegan businesses.
Many people that start-up a business in today’s world feel more comfortable when they are supported and can learn from others that are already successful.
Networking is a three-fold process. I see networking as a three-fold process:
1) You have a network you are part of ie the Vegan Business Exchange, UK Facebook group;
2) You have network meetings you can attend; and
3) You have the connections that you make in person at events, online and through people you’ve met
Which one of these will bring you business? Well, you choose which you want, but I know it’s the connections that you make that get you the business! People buy people. If you’re liked, you will get business. It is that simple.
6 Degrees Of Separation
The connections you make when you are at a network event, get you the business.
How? At the event, there will be an event organiser, a host (perhaps the same person), a guest speaker, a special guest, new and existing business owners. All of these people can give you business, they are you potentially customers as well as potentially they can refer you. It is extremely unlikely that you will get business from a person that attends the same event as you immediately following the event. It is more than likely going to come from someone they are working with, or an advert they saw of someone looking for a particular service. It could be from someone they know who has a customer looking for and so on……
6 degrees of separation. I co-ordinate the VBE facebook group, co-host in Bristol and host in Birmingham. I met an attendee at the Bristol event, who was also introduced to me by another vegan business owner. I put them in touch with a friend who was also an expert in PR for vegan businesses. My friend was able to refer the attendees to a very high-profile individual who was able to connect them with someone that can increase the sales revenue on a part of their business, due to the connections they have. In the simplest terms, that is 6 degrees of separation. In this sense it is who you know. You never know when the connections will happen. But they will only happen if you attend events. It may take some time or sometimes it can be quicker. My first client 6 years ago came from 3 degrees of separation. But I didn’t get this referral until I attended the same event more than three times.
Being known as the expert. If you are lucky enough to be the only vegan gardener or tax accountant at the event. Do you think you will get a referral over and above a normal every day gardener and accountant? Yes, you will. Why? We want to support each other.
So lets get networking. Find out where you nearest VBE event is, or if there isn’t one, contact me and we can look at setting one up in your area.
Tania De Bruler | 01905 317537