Contributed By


Cindy Bates

Vice President, US Small and Midsized Business & Distribution at Microsoft

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Networking Remains Key Growth Factor for Women-owned SMBs

January 12, 2017

Even in today’s high-tech, always-on business world, few things beat good old-fashioned networking.

Even in today’s high-tech, always-on business world, few things beat good old-fashioned networking. People tend to do business with those they know and like, which is why networking should remain an important strategy in your SMB toolkit. As many as 25 percent of SMBs plan to increase their participation in trade shows and events in the next 1-2 years, according to the 2016 SMB Insights report.

Networking has long-remained an essential tool for women SMB owners, who were, in the past, denied opportunities based on gender. Communicating the secrets to success with other women was a way to break down barriers, promote growth and create meaningful connections. Technology has also proven imperative to advancing women-owned SMBs. Still today, with advanced technology and the number of women-owned businesses on the rise, networking is key. Whether at local events, industry conferences or other gatherings, getting out to introduce yourself and your business to potential customers and business counterparts can be one of the most important ways to build your brand.

Jo Burston, an entrepreneur, author and founder of Rare Birds, is an encouraging example of a woman using the power of community to fuel success. Through storytelling, mentorship, and funding, Rare Birds is a community of inspiring women entrepreneurs who challenge the existing cultural values and attitudes that hinder global economic growth. Jo, who is aiming to inspire 1 million more women entrepreneurs, is giving this powerful group a voice.

This article originally appeared on Cindy Bates’ Blog.

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