How a startup company in Seinäjoki, Finland started to develop its own worldwide network…

  • ‘Whenever I come to one of these events, I see the Xport team.’
  • ‘I see you guys everywhere.’
  • ‘I noticed that you’ve been busy on Facebook.’

1. Contact local business support organisations

They will be interested in your business idea, and will probably be happy to share their experience and ideas. In Seinäjoki, Xport has connected with;

2. Join local membership organisations

This will prove a great source of information and contacts;

 3. Engage with these member organisations

Attend their meetings and events, swap ideas, learn what’s occurring in the area, get yourself and your company known. Meet people and give out your business cards, we normally come back with handful of new business cards

 4. Try to connect other people together

Think of networking as doing favours for other people, without expecting anything back. If you can use your knowledge for someone else’s benefit, they may one day return the favour, and you position yourself as someone ‘in the know’. A contact made 10 years ago could result in a job or business opportunity. A contact made last month could be reinforced by a common contact you made last year.

 5. Use social media

It’s not just for sharing cat photos, use LinkedIn to reach out to people, join LinkedIn groups in relevant industries and start discussions, also make use of the InMail service. Also, if someone sends you an InMail don’t ignore it, you never know where it might lead!

6. Build your own overseas network

Xport has connected with several networking organisations overseas, as well as individual consultants and companies, for example;

 7. Share your contacts

Introduce the different networks to each other. Again, your image will only improve as someone ‘in the know’, a well connected company.

20.8.2014 Mark Wiltshear, Co-founder, Xport

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