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Networking 101

An Introduction to the What, Why, and How of Entrepreneurial Networking

What is Networking and Why Should I Do It?

AMI exists to make an impact, and it was with that enthusiasm that I marched into a local networking event for small business owners. I was nervous, to be sure – it’s not easy going somewhere unfamiliar surrounded by strangers to peddle your ideas, but I learned quickly that the business community is a friendly place, and within minutes, I had gotten to chatting with another attendee, one who was incredibly passionate about his olive oil business. This passion for business is infectious – and in being receptive to that passion, and sharing my own, AMI was able to build a relationship with him. Networking means a lot to AMI – it helps us connect with the community, our reason for existing. But as a small business owner and entrepreneur, why should it matter to you?

Consider this: Forbes reports that half of all small businesses fail within the first 5 years, mostly because of the following reasons:

  1. No market need

  2. Not enough capital

  3. Not the Right Team

  4. Competition

  5. Pricing

Each of these falls into a few major categories that demonstrate the value of networking: Knowledge Sharing, Financial Resources, and Building Your Business Network.

Let’s take a closer look at each:

Knowledge Sharing

Starting a small business is difficult, especially if it’s