The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) is a nonprofit 501c6 membership organization and one of the largest trade associations in Arizona. This year, ASBA celebrates its 50th year anniversary of supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing them with the tools they need to grow and thrive.
ASBA is proud to serve as a voice for our small business community through advocacy, useful resources and relevant education. At ASBA, we are committed to bringing people together and we recognize the need for professionals to make connections both virtually and in person. With its diverse and wide membership reach, ASBA is a hub of opportunities to network and connect with other small business owners and entrepreneurs.
There is a saying that in business, it is not about what you know but who you know. Networking is one of the most important strategies for growing your business and strengthening your skills as an entrepreneur so your business can succeed.
Networking involves cultivating positive, mutually beneficial relationships with professionals in your industry. Importantly, networking is an opportunity to exchange information, provide and receive valuable guidance and advice, and stay informed on industry developments and key trends (www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/networking-in-business).
An instructive article from LinkedIn outlines the value of networking and its many benefits. Specifically, networking can help you grow your network of allies who can offer you support and inspiration. Learning different perspectives and sharing your own expertise with others aids in navigating the challenges that come with entrepreneurship and owning a small business. Networking also widens your reach and expands your audience. Building connections with other professionals can increase opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other small business owners and entrepreneurs, ultimately attracting more clients.
Forbes provides additional information about the importance of networking. Connecting with other professionals in your industry can help you learn about and make use of best practices, boost your creativity, and even improve your confidence. Developing these long-lasting relationships is also a powerful way to increase your catalog of resources and elevate your status. Networking can help you gain support from high-profile individuals and make your business, expertise, and services stand out.
It is important to be proactive and take advantage of as many opportunities for networking as possible. This can be done through social media, online platforms, and in-person events. SCORE recommends joining professional associations and attending their events that offer networking with small business owners and potential clients. Virtual and in-person events hosted by professional associations like ASBA are the perfect place to interact with individuals from your industry and learn from one another.
Each year, ASBA hosts AZBizCon, a tradeshow and networking event for small businesses in Arizona. AZBizCon features food and drinks, vendors, speed networking, giveaways and opportunities to connect with key business owners and leaders.
This year’s Phoenix event will take place at the National Bank of Arizona’s headquarters (6001 N 24th Street, Phoenix, Ariz.) on Thursday, May 4th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Members of the U.S. Small Business Administration will be attending the event and announcing awards for small business owners to recognize and celebrate their achievements.
To learn more about AZBizCon and register for the event, click here. For sponsorship and exhibition table opportunities, contact Robin Duncan at ASBA.
Hannah White is the Program Manager at Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA).
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