THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Innovation and enterprise blog

09 February 2017

Networking with confidence

The networking area of the Business & IP Centre is a bright and buzzing space. Here, entrepreneurs can meet, collaborate and network freely with their peers. Our staff will also help you to find what you are looking for including information on our workshops, industry guides, case study stories and much more. In addition to this, our latest corporate partner Vistaprint, has now provided us with an impressive self-service stand from which our visitors can ‘see, touch, feel’ the products with no obligation to buy.

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As Charlotte Waters of Vistaprint tells us, ‘It’s exciting to be able to offer free samples of key products including business cards and flyers, sample kits, product catalogues and information leaflets about our graphic design services and digital offerings. We hope that by having these samples and information available, you are able to browse the range and see, touch, feel the products' quality first hand, in turn giving you the confidence to purchase and market your business with pride’.

For those of you who’d like to refine your networking skills and overcome your fear of ‘working a room’, the Networking for Success workshop presented by Rasheed Ogunlaru will give you the tools to network effectively and confidently. In the meantime, Vistaprint have kindly provided some top tips to help you along the way:

  • Think big, start small

There are big benefits to networking, but you need to start somewhere. Begin with just one email, phone call or coffee date a day. Then keep it up!

  • Find shared interests

It’s easier to connect and stay in contact with businesses that operate on the same principles as you do, so don’t shy away from asking people what motivates them. Sometimes, discovering a common problem is the next best thing, as it allows you to quickly relate to the other person and even discuss solutions you haven’t tried yet.

  • Make a great first impression

Business networking can sometimes be rather dry or feel disingenuous, but not if you’re doing your best to be completely open. Having a business card handy is an easy way to initiate a conversation and show who you are in a fast, visual way. Take a look here for some inspiration.

Vistaprint is the leading provider of customisable printed and digital marketing materials, enabling millions of UK micro businesses of any kind and at any stage to market themselves professionally and affordably. Our world-class online design studio allows customers to easily customise their products including business cards, marketing materials, signage, promotional products, clothing, websites, and more.

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