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Business Networking in the Collectibles Trade

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 6 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Business Networking Collectibles

Business networking within the collectibles industry can be a valuable way of improving your skills as a retailer, increasing sales through learning about your business and finding out ways of attracting customers. Although there is traditionally a school of thought that business networking is stuffy and dull, many small business owners are now attempting to make networking with other like-minded individuals more fun and rewarding. There are a variety of different ways to get involved in business networking, so lets have a look at some.

What is Business Networking

Business networking is generally a marketing tool where business advancement is created through a variety of networks that have like minded goal oriented individuals as members. They focus on developing relationships between members that will hopefully generate business opportunities at the same time. Overall, it’s considered that business networking is a fairly low-cost way of advertising your products to others and creating long-lasting ties to other business members in the community.

Often business networks will meet on a regular basis and will generally try to make this a social event rather than a formal business event. At the meetings, the aim is to exchange a variety of business leads, referrals and other information that can lead to an increase in sales or ways to attract customers. Many business networking takes place locally, but there are a variety of national meetings and groups that you can become part of as well as online groups that only meet virtually.

Online Business Networks

As a retailer in the collectibles industry, you may often find that you’re considered a niche industry therefore other merchants aren’t overly happy to network with you and share their experiences. They may see you as a threat to their business, especially if they’ve cornered the market already, however a business network should be about all members benefiting from the knowledge of other members. A great way to get involved in business networking without the worry of others thinking you’re stealing their ideas, or them yours, is to get involved in an online business network. Many businesses are using social networks as a way of growing their business contacts and finding out global contacts. The great aspect of online business networks is that you’re not tied into any face to face meetings and can participate more at your leisure than other options may allow.

Sources of Business Networking

If you’re new to business then you may not be aware of the best places to seek out sources of business networking. A great initial place to get information is from your local economic development department at your local council or alternatively speak to someone in business development in the area. They will be able to provide you with good starting places and can inform you about costs involved in joining any particular business networks. They can also let you know how formal it is and whether members meet regularly or more occasionally. Another great way to find out about local business networks is to look online or if you’re looking for something specifically tailored to the collectibles industry, try trade magazines.

Business Networking and You

When it comes to business networking and whether you should get involved in it, ask yourself what you hope to achieve from taking part. If you’re not a very social individual, it’s probably best to avoid being part of a group that thrive on social activities. If you think you’re capable of growing your collectibles business without the help of other business owners, then there’s no need to become part of a group. If however you feel that you could benefit from learning others experiences in your trade, discovering ways to attract customers and pick up tips on increasing sales, getting involved in a business network is ideal.

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