When you search “tips for growing your small business,” you will often come across lists that include containing costs, franchising, or income streams. What is often left out, however, are social tips, like networking and workshops.

That isn’t to say things like customers, employees, and revenue aren’t important (you are a business, after all), but it is only part of a much larger picture. However, forming strategic partnerships won’t happen sitting in an office or stock room all day.

Making connections with other business owners in your area, for instance, can truly make a world of difference. For starters, it can grant you access to a whole slew of customers quickly by discovering opportunities to work alongside your new connections. Who wouldn’t want that?! Nevertheless, we understand that social networking can look like one of those things that are “easier said than done.”

TIP #1 – Spend time attending networking events.

Finding these events can be a daunting task, but a necessary evil if you want to extend your network. Building relationships with other people, not just with your current customers and employees, is imperative. A great place to start is by looking at local social clubs where professionals tend to gather to talk shop and blow off steam.

One place in the Windsor Essex area that is great for its social networking opportunities is The Windsor Club, a private club that attracts business minded people. Though there is a membership fee, consider it a business investment that will no doubt benefit you in the long run.

TIP #2 – Attending or participating in workshops.

It never hurts to volunteer (if that is the case) your time by leading a workshop and sharing some insight into your business. You never know, you may learn a thing or two along the way in return. Workshops are where people go to learn about a particular field or skill that they feel they are lacking within their own business. Voila, connections are made again!

Not one for public speaking, not a problem. Take the time out of your day to attend workshop events. Mingle with the crowd and get to know the people sitting next to you.

Using the Windsor Club as our example again, they offer talks once a month called Water Cooler Wednesday that include guest speakers from local businesses from around the Windsor Essex area. The event is free and encourages members and non-members to stop by to listen and learn. You can’t really argue with free, can you? We didn’t think so.

So, leave your excuses at the door and get to socializing.