Tips for Smart Risk Taking for Small Businesses

Taking risks is scary, most people tend to avoid risks when possible. But most successful people will tell you they got to where they are because they were willing to take risks no one else was — whether that was developing a product nobody else thought would work or investing a sum of money everyone else thought was crazy.

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Tips for Smart Risk Taking for Small Businesses

Every business involves risk. Taking risks is crucial for businesses to grow, whether they are expanding into new markets, opening new locations, reaching new customers or extending product lines. Sometimes, doing nothing is a risk in itself.

 

To feel more comfortable taking risks and make more informed risk-based decisions, keep these five tips in mind.

 

  1. Determine Goals and Risks

 

Identify your business’s goals. Since more heads are better than one, identify key employees to participate in a brainstorming session to outline goals and identify potential risks. Consult with mentors and experts if necessary.

 

  1. Identify What You Can Afford to Lose

 

Don’t “go all in” and invest all your money on something you think might be successful. Ensure you have a buffer in case things go wrong, such as enough money to cover expenses through six months of reduced revenue. Smart risk-taking for small businesses can mean taking small risks to test the water and examining results before taking a plunge with a bigger investment.

 

  1. Plan in Detail

 

A comprehensive plan that covers each step of the process is essential. Things to consider include funding the venture, ensuring the necessary supply of materials, training staff and marketing your efforts. It is important not to rush the planning stage since this is essential for lowering risk and giving you a better chance of success.

 

  1. Just do it!

 

Once all this is in place, you are ready to go ahead. As the new effort unfolds, keep careful watch to see if it’s meeting your expectations. It’s highly likely that some fine-tuning may be needed, but if you’ve paid careful attention to the previous three tips, your careful planning can help you identify corrective measures. Trial and error is an essential part of risk-taking.

 

  1. Review Your Process

 

Whether the risk you took produced the desired results or not, there will be something to learn from the outcome. You might learn that taking smaller risks first is a good idea for your company. Discuss the process with your original brainstorming team, as they’re likely the same people you will rely on when making future business-related decisions.

 

Every decision you make in the business world has some sort of risk attached. The key to being successful in the long run is smart risk-taking that will minimize negatives and maximize positive outcomes. Have you mastered taking risks, or are you still working on it?

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents
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At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

 

Ways to Make Things Happen Now in Your Business

Are you in the early stages of a newly launched startup, or gaining traction after being in business for several years? As a small business owner, there are many things that you have done to set yourself apart from other people. Some individuals are content to be employees because they don’t want the stress and responsibilities of owning a company. Other people, like you, love the thrill of creating something new and focusing on unstoppable freedom through business management.

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Ways to Make Things Happen Now in Your Business

You finally have your business up and running, but it isn’t growing at the pace you’d expected, or maybe it is even struggling. What steps can you take to grow your business?

 

It is important to take action daily to improve your business. Every business is unique, but these steps will help set your business up for growth.

 

  1. Take a critical look at your business

When trying to grow your business, it is important to see what is working and what is not. Sometimes profit may be growing adequately, but some products may be costing you much more than you are making—preventing that growth from falling to the bottom line. Consider simplifying your business by weeding out unprofitable products. Also, don’t try to be everything to all people. Know what you do and what you don’t do. Focus on what you are good at and which audience can benefit from it.

 

  1. Get your team on board

Teach your team the importance of customer service—both to suppliers and customers. If you take care of people and build relationships, people are more willing to return the favour. It is more cost effective to cross-sell to existing customers than to acquire new customers.

 

When is the last time you or your team member talked extensively with your customers? Find out if there is anything else you can do for them; it might generate ideas for new products or services at the same time it solidifies the existing relationship. Exceed your customer’s expectations so you don’t have to spend all of your efforts replacing customers who left you. Similarly, good relationships with vendors can pave the way to the best prices and service.

 

  1. Invest in marketing

A business might have the best product and best customer service, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. Make sure you are taking the time to market your business; there are many low-cost strategies that can have big returns in certain industries.

 

The first step is to make sure you understand and protect your brand. What is it that makes your business different from competitors? Creating a positive brand image that provides customers with an emotional attachment will make it difficult for them to switch to a competitor. Create social media accounts and promote them on your website. Be part of relevant community groups and directories, and if financially able, sponsor local teams. Create content that educates your users.

 

Ask current customers if they would refer friends to your business. Word-of-mouth is a huge way to expand your customer base. Always under promise and over deliver; do more than they expect. If you there aren’t people willing to refer your business, ask them what you are missing.

 

  1. Consider technology

Technology can help you grow and manage your business more efficiently. Try to automate your processes to save you time and to provide more opportunity to grow your business. There is technology for almost every area of your business. Consider technology for onboarding employees or customers, marketing applications, raising capital, productivity, customer support, storage, and cash flow management. Real systems and processes can help you do more with less human resources.

 

Whether you are a seasoned veteran in the business world or you are just getting things off the ground, it is important that you are proactive to create a strong financial future for your company.

With the help of these tips, you can transform your results and create more success for your business.

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents
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At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Tips On How To Start Your Own Small Business Part 2

Thinking about starting a business? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people catch the entrepreneurial spirit, launching small businesses to sell their products or services. Some businesses thrive; many fail. The more you know about starting a business, the more power you have to form an organization that develops into a lasting source of income and satisfaction. For help with the beginning stages of operating a business, following these tips is a great way to start.

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Start your own small business with these tips

 

Recognize your strengths and weaknesses – Every small business owner has certain skills, abilities, knowledge and experience that give them an edge when it comes time to build up a business and start operating it. However, no small business owner is so adept that they can be an expert in every single process related to developing a new company.

 

While you’ll have to wear a lot of different hats, especially during the business’s earliest stages, don’t place too much of a burden on yourself for too long or expect yourself to dive into a highly complicated task with no prior training. Develop a strong understanding of your skills and weaknesses so you know where to best focus your attention, and where delegation and outsourcing will make the most impact.

 

Understand your target customers and existing market – It’s possible to develop an excellent business concept and deploy it in the wrong area. That’s why it’s important to understand the area in which you want to start your small business as well as your target customers. An idea that could work out very well in a large, densely populated area simply may not get the amount of foot traffic or number of customers it needs in an area with fewer residents.

 

Assessing the market for your products or services, seeking out the presence of potential competitors and conducting an assessment of how your business will hypothetically perform can all move your idea in the right direction.

 

You can also look to competitors and similar businesses for ideas and guidance, although indirectly. Visiting their stores, looking at their websites and marketing materials and other intelligence-gathering initiatives can help you fill in pieces of the puzzle.

 

Determine your endgame – Are you building a business that you hope to eventually sell? Or are you working toward a long-term, sustainable family business that you could someday pass down to your children or grandchildren?

 

Knowing where you want to end up, and when, will help to inform many of your business decisions along the way. Take the time now to outline your long-term endgame, as well as the steps you think you’ll take to get there.

 

Being a small business owner is truly not for the faint of heart: owning your own business is a never-ending, 24/7 adventure. The learning curve will be constant. The Internet will be your best friend. And the challenges and questions that come up for each business owner will vary as widely as the different types of businesses out there. So, how to start a business isn’t a question with a universal answer. Even so, we hope that these tips will help and give you a preview of things to come. Good luck!

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Tips On How To Start Your Own Small Business

A lot of people play around with the idea of starting their own small business, but figuring out what steps to take where they start to feel overwhelmed is another thing altogether. The fact is, most small businesses start out with a simple idea. Whether or not that idea actually takes flight, however, all comes down to one word – action!

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Start your own small business with these tips

Being a small business owner certainly isn’t easy. The challenge of entrepreneurship comes loaded with risks. You’ve probably heard the scary stats about business failure. But if you have the drive, determination and the right attitude, there’s also a lot of reward at the end of the tunnel. We know because we did it!

Like most things in life, we believe that entrepreneurship can be learned, you just have to be willing to put one foot in front of the other.  Consider these tips for starting your own small business and incorporate them where they are most valuable to you in your business journey:

Start with a simple business plan and grow it as needed – One of the first things you should do as a small business owner is to develop a business plan. It’s vital that you develop this essential document to steer future work and hold yourself accountable, but it’s also important to not go too in-depth during the early stages of developing your concept. 

As work progresses and your idea moves closer to actual operations, you can expand your business plan. Over time, include more accurate estimates, actual costs, longer-reaching projections, mission statement, company summary and other elements commonly seen in fully developed documents.

Focus on something you have a passion for – Having a passion for something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your all-time favorite activity or type of business. It does mean that you won’t quickly grow tired of running that type of business. There will be key parts of the core business offering that appeal to you. Ideally, you can use some combination of existing knowledge or skills related to parts or all of the operation to your advantage in building your empire.

Finding an existing need and targeting it is a major element of starting a successful small business. Pairing that need with something that excites, interests and motivates you can lead to substantial development and returns. This tip is relatively basic and most useful when deciding what type of business to start as opposed to getting a specific concept off the ground. Focus on your passion early on and pair it with a strong business plan to give yourself the best chance of crafting an enduring and popular organization.

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Benefits of A Professional Community for Small Business Owners

When you’re a very small business owner, a professional community is vital, but it can also be challenging to find the right networking circle for you when you don’t know where to turn. Chances are that you want to give it a shot because you’ve heard how important it is to market your brand, yet you don’t know where to start.

 

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What can entrepreneurs benefit from professional networks?

 

The professional world is a huge place when you run a small business. Somehow, you need to find a way to make your industry take notice of you, which can be a struggle if you’re a small business owner. Professional networking provides this benefit and more. Here are some of the many advantages of networking:

 

Making Connections – You need connections to succeed in your industry. Networking means you’re not just connecting with the people at an event or in a room, but all of their connections as well. That’s the compounding impact of networking, which will open many doors for you beyond your initial points of contact.

 

Boosting Your Profile – Small businesses always need extra exposure to boost their profiles since they’re constrained by finite marketing budgets. By regularly going to business events and networking-based social gatherings, you’re able to stay on the radar of those in your industry. This’ll come in handy when they’re thinking of whom to refer their contacts to—if you’re always networking, you’re likely to be near the top of their list.

 

Building Up Your Credibility and Brand – The beauty of professional networking is that it’s not just for getting leads and referrals—it’s also about boosting the reputation of your small business. The more you listen, take and give advice, ask the right questions, and consistently show up to various networking events, the more you’ll be seen as a serious player in your industry. And that can lead to all sorts of opportunities and connections, too.

 

Seizing Opportunities – Opportunities don’t come along all the time, especially when you’re running a business, which in and of itself is a risky enterprise. There’s a degree of urgency with which you need to approach networking because the fewer networking events you attend, the fewer chances there are to get a referral, hear about a partnership possibility, or receive a direct request for your business’ product or service.

 

Getting Good Advice – Good advice is hard to come by, but a networking forum with people in your industry is the perfect chance to learn, as there will always be those more experienced than you. Now’s the time to ask questions about how to deal with problem employees, how to handle your accounting, if you should be putting more emphasis on marketing and advertising, etc. Of course, beware whom you ask since not all advice is going to be high-quality, so stick to folks in your industry who’ve successfully been in business for a while.

 

The benefits of networking are clear. It will help you grow your small business connections and give you greater exposure in your community. Professional networking puts you in touch with a lot of business opportunities, such as new clients and potential partnerships. This should definitely be at the top of the list of things to do when you have a small business to run.

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Throwing a Celebratory Event for your Small Business’s Wins

Starting and growing a business is tough stuff. Just ask the 80 per cent of small business owners who fail within the first twelve months of their operation.

With data like that, it’s not surprising that those who do stay in business want to celebrate the big wins—and the smaller ones, too. And if you’re looking for a reason to pop your own cork, many experts believe that celebrating accomplishments actually leads to more success.

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Throw a Celebratory Event for your Small Business’s Wins

 

With a little planning and imagination, throwing the perfect celebratory event is a snap.

1) Decide on a date for the celebratory party early on
Poll employees and narrow down the date to one that accommodates as many people as possible. Give adequate advance notice of when and where the event will be held and request that employees save the date.

2) Choose the perfect event location
This is a crucial factor to consider when planning your event. Arrange transportation for people who need it. Make sure employees can get to and from the venue easily. Make sure it’s conducive to social gatherings. Invest in decorations and transform the space from bland to festive.

3) Seek input from staff
Ask employees what they’d like in a party. What kinds of food and music would they enjoy? Do they have any creative suggestions for themes or activities for guests to enjoy? Would they prefer a formal or informal affair?

4) Provide unique entertainment and activities
Adding unique elements like interactive food stations, games, raffles (with prizes!), professional DJs or bands, and photo booths are a really fun way to keep guests entertained and engaged during the event. These special touches encourage people to mingle and have fun and provide great memories long after the party is over.


5) Serve fresh, high-quality food
What’s an event without delicious, festive food? Make it clear ahead of time whether a full meal will be offered or if it will simply be appetizers and treats. Provide a variety of items with unique options that will suit all different kinds of tastes and don’t forget the vegetarian options.

 

Anytime is the perfect time to celebrate your business’s achievements, no matter how small. This will show your employees how much their hard work is appreciated. A great opportunity to celebrate goals and accomplishments, a festive, fun celebratory event can boost morale, allow employees to connect without having to think about work and give everyone the opportunity to socialise, celebrate and relax.

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

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At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

Why You Need To Celebrate The Wins In Your Workplace

When your team achieves a success, what do you do? Do you ignore these wins, automatically working toward the next goal without an acknowledgement of what has been attained? Do you just share a quick “good job” or “congratulations” and then head back into your office?

 

In our non-stop, 24-7 world, it’s all very easy to place immediate focus on your next task at hand and forget to stop and reflect on what’s been achieved. But if you ignore the wins of your team, you will miss a vital opportunity to inspire your team on to even greater successes.

 

If you bypass your team’s successes without recognition, what does that say about you as a leader? How do you think team perceive, think and feel about a leader when their efforts go unappreciated? These perceptions also reflect on the company as a whole, and that kind of downward spiral can mean loss of some of your best team members.

 

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Reasons to celebrate the wins in your workplace

 

Here are some of the reasons why celebrating wins is important for you, your team and for building up your own company morale.

 

1) It will remind you of the goal you set and why you set it in the first place.

It’s easy to forget why a goal was important, but forgetting that removes all meaning from the task. When people remember why the work they do helps grow the business, they’re inspired to do more.

 

2) It will remind you that a good, focused goal-setting process works.

You set the goal, create strategies to achieve it and reach the outcomes you want. This not only delivers good results, but it inspires your team to set goals in all areas of their work as well.

 

3) It will motivate your team to continue delivering good work.

Employees who feel appreciated and know their efforts have been noticed become even more productive with the next round of projects.

 

4) It will remind the team that they work for a winning organisation.

People want to work for winners! So, one of the greatest morale-builders that a leader can offer employees is the knowledge that they work for a successful company, even if… no… Especially if there are other areas where the company might be struggling.

 

5) It will force you and your team to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative.

Even if your company has taken some hits, there are still wins you can celebrate. Give your team a boost by celebrating and reminding them that good things are still happening for the company.

 

As a business owner, it’s your job to keep your team motivated toward its own growth as well as toward the common goal of growing and building the company. Celebrating wins is a great way to do both and has the great side effect of boosting your own leadership image at the same time.

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high value offering, our dedication to community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or in Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

How to Recognize and Celebrate Wins at Your Small Business

People love celebrations. Everyone can agree that when positive things happen, they’re reasons to celebrate. We celebrate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays, and other special events. It’s totally normal and expected, but do you celebrate wins in the workplace?

As a small business, you need to be proud of your employees, teams, and company when they achieve great things. These successes are major accomplishments and they ultimately boost your bottom line. Show your employees that you care by celebrating big events at work. Things that might deserve celebration include completing projects, reaching milestones, hitting goals, accomplishing individual achievements, closing deals, meeting financial goals, breaking records, or gearing up for the next holiday season.

 

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Recognize and celebrate wins at your small business



Office events are a fun way to share in your team’s success and recognize their hard work. A simple acknowledgement is fulfilling, rewarding, motivating, and inspiring for your team. Mark every success with an appropriate show of appreciation. It makes your team happy and that’s part of running a good business.

Go out of your way to create a genuine and authentic culture that supports, recognizes, and rewards hard work. When you celebrate success in a timely manner and make celebrations a regular habit, it will:

 

  1. Increase engagement
  2. Boost motivation
  3. Improve productivity
  4. Strengthen team building
  5. Enhance company culture
  6. Create loyalty


These are all things that your company strives to achieve and one way to get there is to celebrate your successes. If you’re not sure how to celebrate success in the workplace, here are a few ideas:

 

  1. Team event
  2. Rewards
  3. Employee recognition
  4. Handwritten thank you notes
  5. Inclusion on social media, newsletters, etc.


Whenever you have reason to celebrate, let people know. Communicate your successes to the world and make it official. Show your team that you care. They are your most valuable asset and they deserve to be celebrated.

 

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
At Our Place Melbourne, we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high-value offering, our dedication to the community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or on Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

How To Host Your Own Networking Event

You’ve been working on your networking strategy – attending events, perfecting your elevator speech, and following up. Even with all of that, you’re starting to feel like you’re not making the right connections or the events in your area aren’t exactly what you’re looking for.

Maybe it’s time you take matters into your own hands and host your own networking event! As the host of your own event, you are in charge of the guest list, flow and feel of the event, and, of course, the logistics (time, venue, etc).

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Host your own networking event!

Hosting and sponsoring an event sets you up as a business leader in the community and gives you and your business a huge boost in exposure.

So, let’s make your networking event a success!

Consider the details.

The time and event venue you choose will set the feel and flow of your event. Consider the type of event you’d like to host. Decisions such as time of day, event location, and what food & beverages to serve, will impact the overall feel of the event. In choosing your event space, don’t forget to consider ease of access and parking options for your guests.

Meet everybody and facilitate connections.

As the host of the event, make sure to meet everyone and thank them for attending. Take a genuine interest in their goals and find out more about them and what they’re looking for. As the host of the event, it’s your job to help people connect, so use this information to introduce guests. Your event will be a huge success if people walk away feeling like they’ve accomplished a networking goal and left with a new, meaningful business connection.

Have a team support you.

You can’t manage everyone yourself! Have a few business colleagues who are great connectors and business leaders ready to help manage the crowd. These people will be on the lookout for stragglers and help to get them involved in the conversation.

FOLLOW UP!

With your registration list in hand, reach out to all attendees to find out how they liked the event and if they were successful in developing their connections. If they were unsuccessful, this is a great one-on-one opportunity to find out more and personally introduce them to someone in your network. Be sure to invite them to your next event!!

#ourplacemelbourne #ourplaceisyourplace #melbournemeetingrooms #meetingrooms #eventorganisers #boutiqueeventspace #melbournevenue #morethanjustavenue #melbourneevents #businessbuildingevents

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At Our Place Melbourne, we are passionate about doing everything we can to make your event outrageously successful. Despite only launching in March 2017 we have made a big impact with our high-value offering, our dedication to the community, and our commitment to offering a uniquely personalised event hosting service for all of our clients and their guests. Stay tuned for our next big announcement. It’s always just around the corner. And please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here, or on Facebook. Or email us on info@ourplacemelbourne.com We are only a message away.

 

 

 

 

What Not to Do at a Networking Event

How good are your networking skills? Are you gaining awesome connections at every event, or do you leave with a handful of cards for contacts that never work out?

As you may have guessed, there’s more to the networking hustle than showing up at an event and hitting the bar. Networking has its own skill set, and you could be ruining your chances at making connections without even knowing it.

 

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The following are things NOT TO do in a networking event to maximize your experience

 

 

To help you hone your networking skills, we’ve put together a list of common mistakes to avoid. For best results, we recommend that you do not do or say the following at your next networking event:

 

Can I pick your brain? – People hate this question. It’s vague, one-sided, and needy. Start investing in the relationship and being of service before you ask for anything. Being a giver, not a taker, will encourage others to give too. If you ask to meet up for coffee, be specific about what you’d like to discuss, and triple bonus points if you can make it of benefit to the other person!

 

The Nine-Minute Pitch – Your explanation of what you do should be around thirty seconds long. If you can’t concisely say what you do, you’re going to come off as boring or incompetent. Get to the point, so you can get on with networking. Bonus Points: use your spiel to intrigue your audience so they’ll ask you for more!

 

Ask Dead-End Questions / Give Dead-End Answers – Dead-end Question: “How long have you lived here?” Conversation Starter: “What brought you out here?”

Dead-end Answer: “I’m a writer.” Conversation Starter: “I’m a writer; I love working with creatives on defining their brand.”

Other great Conversation Starters:

  1. “I’d love to hear more about what you do.”
  2. “What are you working on right now?”
  3. “What are your ideal clients like?”
  4. “Where are you from?”

 

Do Zero Homework – Know your audience! Never show up at an event without knowing what type of people will be there and what conversation topics will be well received.

 

Zoom in for Their Business Card And Then Exit – If you’re having superficial, two-minute conversations with people, they won’t remember you when you contact them later. Focus on having a real conversation and creating a connection before you ask someone for their card.

 

Wait for them to Approach You – Great strategy for bridge trolls, bad strategy for networking events. Quit lurking and be proactive! Walk up to a group and introduce yourself. Talk with thirsty networkers in the bar line. Befriend the introvert in the corner who didn’t read this article.

 

Have Too Many Drinks – Free drinks can be nice at a networking event, but nobody wants to chat with somebody who indulges too much. Drink much less than you would at a party to truly set yourself up for making a lasting connection.

 

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