RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

How to Network Smarter

April 26, 2017 2:33 am

(Family Features)--Business is built on relationships. For many entrepreneurs whose small businesses are thriving, successful networking is one of the most common threads.

Making connections and building relationships are among the most beneficial aspects of networking with other small businesses, according to more than half of the respondents in a survey by The UPS Store. This is especially true among younger business owners, who are more likely than their older counterparts to take advantage of networking opportunities with fellow small business owners.

Not only do they crave these connections, 61 percent of small business owners say they want to establish in-person relationships. Attending networking and meetup events is a great way for entrepreneurs to form new relationships, share experiences and celebrate their hard work. In honor of National Small Business Week, The UPS Store will offer several networking events to facilitate small business connections. The following tips can help small business owners make the most of networking events.

Practice your elevator pitch. When introducing yourself, be prepared to give a brief explanation of your business, boiled down to a couple of sentences. Be sure to include your business name, the solution you provide and anything that makes you unique. The key is to deliver enough context that others can engage in meaningful conversation, while keeping it succinct enough that you have plenty of time to listen. If you think your elevator pitch is perfected, submit a 90-second video describing the business or idea to enter The UPS Store national Pitch Off contest at theupsstore.com/pitchoff for a chance to win $10,000.

Be prepared to participate. Successful networking is as much about giving as it is receiving. Ask open-ended questions and be prepared to listen to what others are saying. Actively participating not only leads to more productive conversations, it helps build stronger relationships.

Embrace the competition. It may feel counterintuitive to forge a relationship with a direct competitor, but there's some obvious benefit to trading notes with someone who is operating in your market from a similar vantage point. Remember, while neither of you is going to give up proprietary information, a respectful dialogue may get your wheels turning to think about solving a problem in a new way.

Represent your brand well. A networking event is intended to be social, but it shouldn't be treated casually. You are every bit the face of your business in this setting as you are within your business walls. Dress the part and present yourself as you would to potential customers. Make sure you have updated business cards, as 75 percent of survey respondents said they are the most common marketing tool used to promote their business, and any other printed materials such as brochures or fliers that showcase your business.

Retain your newfound knowledge. After meeting a handful (or more) of new people, all the faces and names can run together. When you get back to your desk, take some time to make notes on everyone you met. Include pertinent contact information and details of your conversation, areas where the connection may be fruitful in the future and any immediate follow-up.

Source: theupsstore.com/smallbizsalute.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Weird and Wacky Scholarships You May Not Know About

April 25, 2017 4:33 am

College admission season is in full swing, but many high school seniors are as concerned about where their tuition money will come from as they are about which schools will send them acceptance letters.

While scholarships are typically offered for scholastic and/or athletic achievement, there are plenty of oddball scholarships available to students with a variety of unique interests and talents.

Recent research turned up these options for openers:

Duct Tape designers – The Henkal Corporation’s Duct Brand Duct Tape’s “Stuck at Prom” competition offers 10 awards of up to $10,000 to individuals or couples who create prom outfits completely made of duct tape. To enter, send a photo of your creations to your personal Instagram or Twitter account along with hashtags #DuctTapePromposal and #Sweepstakes.

Duck Calling – The Chip and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest offers four $2,000 scholarships to the best high school senior duck callers, who have 90 seconds to demonstrate hail, feed, comeback and mating calls. Find out more at StuttgartArkansas.com.

Parapsychology – Undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in parapsychology programs such as telepathy, reincarnation, or near-death experiences can apply for a $3,000 grant from the Eileen J. Garrett Foundation. Details at parapsychology.org.

Golf caddies – The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship offers renewable full tuition and housing scholarships to qualified golf caddies. Information is available online from the Western Golf Association.

Knitting enthusiasts – The National Make It Yourself With Wool organization awards two $1,000 or $2,000 scholarships to knitters who create killer knitted garments. Get the details at Makeitwithwool.com.

Trekkies – Yep, the Klingon Language Institute and the Starfleet Academy organizations offer several scholarships, including the Gene Roddenberry Memorial Scholarship for Young Writers. You don’t even need to speak Klingon. Look up the details at kli.org and acad.sfi.org.

Candy lovers – How about a $5,000 scholarship for students interested in confectionary technology who will major in food science or a related area? Find out more from the American Association of Candy Technologists at aactcandy.org.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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