Coworking spaces have become the norm: a great way to save money on rent, have an open-minded office, and utilize space best fit for the environment—and your business.
What’s another great benefit financially and for the growth of your business?
Well, whether you’re a startup or have hit a plateau in your growth and want to look for a push forward, business networking by taking advantage of your coworking space can be a simple way to make the most out of your office—and the people in it.
Making that next big move and connecting with other coworkers can seem pretty fake and pushy—finding your way into a conversation or slipping in an ideal topic with other businesses under the same roof can be difficult and potentially leading to nowhere (or at the very least, awkward).
To help you causally network with other businesses and employees in your coworking space without being pushy, here are a few tips:
Staying in touch with them, whether it’s shooting an e-mail, taking a coffee break and expressing your ideas and hopes to connect with other businesses under the same roof, can give them a push to take initiative.
If your community can get together for a mixer, that’s a great opportunity to socialize and connect with one another.
In this online age, you definitely should also be reaching out and connecting not only with your community manager but using the online platform that your space will normally have (such as slack or a member portal). Make sure your profile is up-to-date and you’re contributing to the online community, as well.
Just like with any job or business opportunity, if you end up connecting with a coworker IRL (in real life), follow up with a social media add or e-mail. This casual segway of adding that person on LinkedIn or through their Facebook page can help facilitate communication and maintain that connection.
You should already be following the other business’ pages of those who share your working space, too!
Of course, this doesn’t have to have a keg or fancy gourmet food—you can make it happen during lunch hour by ordering in catered food by a local restaurant and inviting the whole gang. You can also simplify things with just cookies and coffee or ordering a whole bunch of doughnuts.
Making it as casual as possible can help members of the coworking space loosen up and connect on a much more meaningful level that surpasses just business-talk.
Simple questions can help be an ice-breaker, like “How long are you working here?” or “What is it that your company does?”
Instead of just strictly doing this connecting through a shared or organized event, if your working space has a common area—like a kitchen—try and eat your lunch or have your coffee there, to connect with others from different businesses.
This is the ultimate partnership—when one brand offers and the other gives something in return.
Researching what a company does ahead of time can help you better see the possibility of a working relationship and trade.
This swap in services is not only a great way to help promote your brand but also build relationships and connections through business networking.
Who knows? Perhaps all the businesses under the same roof can help one another—growing into one big, happy, coworking family.
For example, if you have a graphic designer in your space and need a banner for your next company event, think of something that you can give them in return.
This can help you save money on that banner you were already going to buy. It also gives you exposure for the creative coffee products you sell when you give each of their employees a to-go cup made of recycling materials—with your logo on it.
All in all, a working space is a fantastic area where you are encouraged to promote your brand. Simply by having your logo on office items like pens, post-its, and magnets can help get your brand out there and possibly be brought outside of office walls—whether on accident or on purpose.
We know you’re most likely really busy trying to run your business—however, if you’re a part of these coworking spaces, it’s extremely important that you attend as many events as possible, to help you connect with various professionals who are already there in the same place as you!
Connecting with your coworking community may feel like a daunting task ahead, but it can be much easier than it looks with these simple tips.
You’re already in a great situation for business networking, so get out there, collaborate, grow your business, and develop your best brand.
Subscribe to our email and get weekly reports of new articlesfrom Alley community.