To put it simply, networking is a process that allows the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share common interests. Basically if you are an entrepreneur or innovator, who work in shared office or coworking space you get an opportunity to connect with other members of your community. The main advantages of such great social and professional connections are knowledge sharing, effective collaboration or future partnerships.
But how to connect with other members of coworking space or shared office? Here are some useful tips for anyone interested in building long-lasting networks with other entrepreneurs.
Be friends with your coworkers
Of course it’s obvious, but it’s clearly the fastest way to build meaningful professional relationships with fellow coworkers. Just pay attention to your surroundings, especially to people around you. Don’t forget to smile when you meet someone you don’t know. Make eye contact, smile and say ‘hi’.
Attend events in your shared office or coworking space
Such in-house events offer perfect opportunities to connect with other entrepreneurs. So try to attend as many networking events in your shared office or coworking space as possible. Off-site happy hours also offer a great opportunity to build solid connections.
Newcomers are your potential friends and business partners
Make them feel welcome, accepted and appreciated. New coworkers often have valuable experiences that they are eager to share with you. Ask them about their backgrounds and fields of expertise, which may be vastly different that yours. Express a genuine interest in the new coworker as a person. Discover his/her common interests and always be helpful to any newcomer.
Host events in your shared office or coworking space
Attending networking events or happy hours is not enough, so think about hosting your own event for example exhibit of your works (if you are into painting or photography) or mini-concert (if you are an avid musician). Hosting your own events equals meeting new people with common interests and forming reliable friendships.
Eat your lunch in the common break room
Try to avoid eating your lunch in front of your laptop. Simply take your lunch and go to the community area. Strike up a less formal conversation with your neighbors. Voilá! New valuable connections are born.
Don’t forget about networking online
Communicate with other entrepreneurs online, especially when they travel very often or work unconventional hours. Introduce yourself via email and continue with online communication. You can always get to know your contacts personally later.