Joining a coworking office space has many benefits. One of the best perks is building positive business relationships with the other companies and organizations within your space. Even though you might feel like blending in to your coworking space like a wallflower at a school dance, you need to break out of that cycle and start networking like the pros! Here are our top five coworking networking tips:
- Get to know your receptionist. Most coworking spaces share one office receptionist. He or she is a goldmine of business development information. They will know who’s been there the longest, who knows who, and even a little office gossip. Tell your receptionist about your business and what kind of clients you’re looking for. Obviously you should wait until the right time to tell her these things. You need to build an authentic relationship first.
- Don’t be afraid to peek over your office divider and strike up a conversation. Even though everyone has work to do, almost everyone loves to grab a cup of coffee and/or tea. Ask your neighbor if he or she wants to join you at the local coffee shop. Ask them about their business and find out exactly what they do. Tell them about your business in a casual way.
- Be a connector. After you get to know everyone in your coworking office, think about your business contacts and you coworking neighbors. Would anyone in your network benefit from knowing each other? Can you connect the dots for them and increase their business development opportunities? If so, make introductions and get people talking. They will thank you and remember your services should the opportunity come up.
- Keep your coworking neighbours up to date on the latest office trends. Did you find a neat app that tracks hours and billing? Maybe you found a cool transit app that calculates your miles travelled. Is Facebook offering a new marketing service for small businesses? Keep your finger on the news pulse and share regularly. Sharing your knowledge will make you look intelligent and in the know.
- Trade services. Would your coworking neighbour benefit from your business services? Could you use theirs? When you encounter someone who offers a service you need, figure out if they need your service too. The benefits of this coworking networking tip is that other people in the office might hear about your services too!
Moving into a coworking office space is fun and exciting. You get to meet new people, hang out in cool space and even get to do a little networking. Getting to know your receptionist, sparking conversations, being a connector, staying up to date on the news and possibly trading services are all great ways to do a little business development while on the job.