Networking with Small Business Owners

Small Business Networking Ideas

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Being a solopreneur or small business owners can often feel isolating. It may feel like you’re facing challenge after challenge alone, without the support or networking opportunities that larger businesses provide.

For small businesses, receiving advice, support, and guidance from peers who have been through the same challenges as you is a complete game-changer. Although it can be difficult to find the right communities, there are a few tricks you can employ to build those relationships and find opportunities for mentorship and best-practice sharing.

In our constant quest to empower SMBs, Finli brings you a list of excellent networking opportunities for freelancers and small business owners:

Best Networking Ideas for Small Businesses

Local Business Associations

Joining your local chamber of commerce or a business association offers immediate access to a network of business professionals committed to economic growth in your area.

These organizations often host events, workshops, and meetings where you can meet other business owners, learn about local market trends, and get involved in community projects.

They’re especially valuable for local visibility and finding collaboration opportunities.

Professional Networking Groups

Groups like BNI or Rotary Clubs operate with the goal of fostering a supportive environment for business growth. Members meet regularly to exchange referrals, share business tips, and offer support.

These organizations emphasize mutual benefit, ensuring that all members have the opportunity to grow their business through the network.

Conferences and Trade Shows

These events are tailored to specific industries and are ideal for staying abreast of the latest trends, products, and technologies.

They provide a platform for meeting with industry leaders, potential clients, and suppliers in a more formal setting. Trade shows are also excellent for showcasing your products or services to a targeted audience.

If you do choose this path, you can even sell your products/services, without needing a POS. One of our most prized features is the Pay By Link option. Collect instant payments, without any additional hassles.

Online Networking Platforms

LinkedIn is the premier professional networking site, allowing you to connect with other professionals, join industry groups, and participate in discussions.

Other platforms, like industry-specific forums, can also provide valuable opportunities to share expertise, ask questions, and build relationships with peers around the world.

Getting leads from these portals is easy, getting paid is even faster: your clients can either choose to pay via credit cards or ACH, our digital payment systems provides both options. Did you know that we have 0 (as in ZERO) ACH fees?

Community Events

Engaging with your local community through events, charity work, or sponsorships can increase your brand’s visibility and reputation within the community. These activities allow you to network in a more relaxed, social setting, which can lead to natural business opportunities and partnerships.

Workshops and Training Sessions

By hosting or attending educational events, you can demonstrate your knowledge and position yourself as an expert in your field. This not only attracts potential clients looking for top-tier services but also provides a platform for connecting with other professionals interested in your area of expertise.

Social Media

Active engagement on social media platforms can help you reach a broader audience. By sharing insightful content, commenting on industry trends, and participating in online discussions, you can build relationships with customers and peers alike. Each platform has its own culture and best practices, so tailor your approach accordingly.

Mastermind Groups

These small, peer-to-peer mentoring groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability, and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills.

Mastermind groups can be incredibly powerful in helping you navigate challenges using the collective intelligence of others.


Donating your time and expertise to non-profit organizations not only benefits the community but also puts you in touch with people from various walks of life, potentially opening new doors for business opportunities. Volunteering can also improve your company’s image and brand perception.

Alumni Networks

Your college or university’s alumni network is a ready-made network of professionals who already share a common bond with you. These networks often host events, offer mentorship programs, and provide directories to facilitate connections among alumni in various industries.

Donate to Local Sport Groups

Small money donations can do wonders for your brand, at a local scale. Find the local Little League, High-School Tennis club, whatever gets people excited in your community. Sponsorships allow you to get in front of potential customers and sets you up as an important “player” in the local business community.

Advocate for Your Interests

Use the association platform to voice your concerns and advocate for policies that benefit small businesses in your community. Make your voice heard and you’ll get in touch with other SMBs having the same ideas.

Identify complementary businesses

Brainstorm businesses that don’t directly compete with you but offer services or products that complement yours. For example, a financial advisor could partner with a lawyer specializing in estate planning.

In such cases, as competition is not even a problem, you can grow together and cross-promote. We’ve seen successful cross-promotions done by tennis clubs and spas, dental offices and beauty salons etc. Find local companies that you admire and are not direct competitors and find ways to collaborate.

Become a Mentor

Look for organizations or programs that connect mentors with aspiring entrepreneurs. You can also reach out to local colleges or universities with business programs and offer your mentorship directly.

Consider the areas where your expertise can be most valuable. Do you excel at business strategy, marketing, or operations? Tailor your mentorship to address those specific areas.

Host Industry Webinars

Identify topics that are relevant and timely for your target audience. Conduct surveys or research industry trends to understand what challenges or questions your audience has and turn these into webinar ideas.

Such events have the added advantage that you don’t need to travel outside of your office, as they are performed online.

Focus on providing actionable insights and practical takeaways for your audience. Discuss one of your customer’s pain points at a time and provide extremely detailed insights. Most webinar platforms allow you to pre-record these events so you can re-use them at a later date.

Once you have successfully performed a webinar, you can reschedule it weekly for instance, with zero ongoing involvement from your part.

At the end of your webinar, give your attendees an offer they cannot refuse. At least a few of them will take your offer every week.

These are just a handful of networking ideas for small businesses that our clients have tried in the past. Whatever options you choose, don’t forget that with Finli you get a full-fledged payment system to finally manage your money in one place.

PS: we have a mobile app too, check it out!

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