There’s a groundswell in the NYC business community. Entrepreneurs, like myself, are using the economic downturn to our advantage by leveraging Social Networking. There are events going on all over the city (BNI, The Real Deal, Ladies Who Launch) that bring together entrepreneurs to talk about and sell services in fun, social settings. This is great for business, and great for social life and brains.
People are forced to get out there and talk to one another. The recession has forced our hands. We can’t can’t afford to sit around all day depressed or at our computers watching stock indexes fall. And why would we, when there are boundless opportunities to get busy doing business in unique and socially acceptable ways.
For example, event mixers are cheap, cheap, cheap with many comped. And of course online social communities like Facebook and LinkedIn are free. No more swag bags? That’s ok, we’ve got stacks of glossy business cards to give away and a cash-bar drink in our hands. After all, it’s the recession, stupid.
It’s good for dating too. Meet a mate while you are at it! I went to The New York Times Small Business Summit in November and during a speed networking mixer met a guy who owns a moving company. We exchanged cards over drinks. I got a referral lead and… a date.
Yes, there’s no doubt, the recession has affected my bottom line. But it turns out the more I do on the cheap the more people I reach and the better the financial (and personal) returns. Of course, I’ve changed my services to meet the times, now offering low-cost and free workshops as an alternative to home-based sessions, as well as introducing this blog. I’m not alone in this. All around professional are offering discounts, promotions and free events.
The best thing a small business owner can do right now is keep moving. Free or low-cost Social Networking is a recession-proof strategy for professionals who want to stay on top of their game. As a friend said, “My marketing budget is small. The only place to go is up.”
Be bold: Social Network today.