Build Your Social Network

Your social network—your friends, family, former colleagues—is absolutely invaluable to your business. Human capital, those relationships you keep and cultivate, is the largest investment you can make in your business.


Because, let’s be honest, at the beginning of your venture, you don’t have much else. Most startups don’t yet have customers or capital or traction or even a performance record. So those people in your network—family, friends, former colleagues—will be your first critical feedback as well as your connection to your first coaches, employees, mentors, customers and investors.

How do you build your social network? By networking strategically.

How to network for your business

Anyone can walk in a room and hand out a stack of business cards. To cultivate a true network that’s going to help you grow your business, you have to be intentional about the relationships you build. Because we do business with people, not business cards. Be a person people want to know.

  • Before you enter any networking event, ask yourself who are the three people I really need to connect with—and what can you do for that person as well?
  • Practice your why. Have a 30- second and 1-minute description of who you are and the value you bring to your customers. It’s not about what you do, but why you do it.
  • Be ready to share. Networking is about being generous with your time, information and resources. Come equipped with a valuable piece of information, maybe your favorite restaurant, movie, book, handyman.
  • Bring better questions into your conversations that help build a connection. You could ask “What do you do?” Or you could ask a more memorable question, like “What’s your story?” or “What’s your favorite app?”
  • Open your network. Look for opportunities to introduce a fellow entrepreneur to someone who can help them.

Opportunities for networking and practicing your elevator pitch


Go beyond the usual networking events. Attend a Startup Weekend, set up shop at a coworking space or find a new networking event near you. (That last link will take you to our business calendar, chock full of networking events across Missouri. Follow that link and then you can filter by your location or distance.)


Want to always know what’s going in Missouri entrepreneurship and where you should be? Get a curated list of key events in the metro and inspirational entrepreneurial stories that’ll help your business. It’s all here in our newsletter. 


Not sure who you need to know? Talk to our Resource Navigators about your next introductions.


Call us at 866-870-6500 or tell us a bit about what you need, and we’ll craft your very own (totally doable) action plan that’ll show you exactly whom in Missouri you can contact to move your business or nonprofit forward. All of our services are free.

Networking organizations in Missouri you should know

These Resource Partners offer courses, events, training to help you up your social game and build your professional network. Head over to The Resource Navigator to further filter your search by business industry, zip code/city/distance and/or specific need—or just give us a call at 866-870-6500 and we’ll make your Personal Action Plan of next-step resources for free.

>> Remember if you need help, give us a call at 866-870-6500 or send us a message. We can guide you through the next steps you need to take to start your business.

Remember if you need help, give us a call at 866-870-6500 or send us a message. We can guide you through the next steps you need to take to start your business.


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