One of the benefits of networking with people face-to-face vs. online is that you can gauge their reactions and get a “read” on them. At the same time, they can do the same with you. You only have the one chance to make that all-important first impression; it’s already made before you even lean in and introduce yourself. If you’re an introvert, feel shy, or don’t like groups of people, business networking can seem like your own personal hell.
This article will share with you the 4 areas of body language and how to master them for effective networking, even if you’re petrified inside!
Here are four of the most important components of body language that you need to pay attention to when you’re networking for business:
Eye Contact in Business Networking
If there is no other body language you focus on, it should be eye contact. The best networkers use their eyes to communicate the feeling that you are the person they are most interested in at that moment. Never let your eyes drift to other people in the room, as if you’re looking for someone better to talk to, or be constantly looking over someone’s shoulder to see if there’s someone you’d rather talk to instead.
Even if you are nervous, look at the person you are talking to. Not in a serial killer, or teenage infatuation can’t take your eyes off of them way but in a normal, I’m interested in what you say kind of way.
Practice having a conversation with a friend, preferably in a room full of people, and ask them for feedback afterward on what your eye contact felt like. Did they feel as if you were not fully engaged? Did they feel like you were “staring them down?” Feedback on eye contact is important, you don’t want to send the wrong message yet you don’t want to appear disinterested.
Your posture when business networking
Did your mother ever tell you to stand up straight? The way you stand can communicate how open you are to being approached, your energy level, your professionalism, and even the way you were brought up.
Make sure you do stand up straight, but not as if you’re on parade. You want to appear open and friendly, not rigid and formal. If you slouch, you may look tired or unenthusiastic. If you’re tired, take a seat, and if your heels are killing you, slip them off under the table.
Find a happy medium where you stand up straight with your shoulders back, far enough away from the other person to allow personal space, and with a sense of energy and purpose.
Arm movements when networking
Waving not drowning? How do you know? Gestures and where you put your hands when you’re not using them are both elements of body language that communicate different things. Waving your arms around while you talk may seem to portray excitement, but it can also be distracting for the other person who won’t know where to look.
Putting your hands in your back pockets may be more casual and comfortable, but it can also look unprofessional. Crossing your arms is also a big no-no in many circles since it communicates a resistance to new ideas.
You may be completely unaware of your common gestures, so ask a friend to pay attention to them during a practice conversation.
People will be looking at your face more than anywhere else, so be careful of your facial expressions. If you frown at what someone is saying, they will immediately assume you disagree or disapprove. Worse, someone may capture that on camera or see it from across the room.
Mona Lisa had it right. Keeping a slight smile on your face is a good habit to practice no matter what situation you’re in. It makes you look warm and friendly – like someone that others would like to meet – and if you are caught on film from across the room, the photo can’t be misinterpreted.
How to improve your body language for business networking
- Go stand in front of a mirror and practice having a conversation with an imaginary person.
- Answer and ask questions you might normally talk about in a networking event.
- As you talk, pay attention to your body language and what you need to work on.
Now you’ve mastered your body language, book onto the next 1230 TWC meeting and see how effective it is.
PS If you find networking difficult, you will love the 1230 TWC meetings. These take place over lunch, are pressure free and filled with smart women like you
When you are running a business, it is important that you always think of ways to keep your business modern and up to date. Running a business in 2022 can be difficult, especially with the effects of the pandemic still lingering, so you must always be aware of what changes may need to be made to your business. So, if you are a business leader and want to modernise your business, here are some steps you can take.
Update The Office Space
One of the first things you can do to modernise your business is to update the office space. If your business has been operating in the same office for quite some time, then it is likely that it is in need of an update. Giving your office a revamp is a simple step that can make a big difference. It would be a good idea to first start with updating the office furniture so that everyone has somewhere comfy to work. Another good idea would be to ask for suggestions from your employees. Your employees are going to be the ones who will be spending most of their week in the office, so it would be a good idea to get their input on what needs changing.
Provide More Training
The next step to consider when modernising the office is providing more training to your staff. Your employees are a crucial part of your business, so you need to make sure that they are properly trained. As the business world continues to develop, more and more skills are needed to get by. This means that you need to provide regular training to your staff so that they can keep up with the modern world. The training doesn’t necessarily have to be complex either. It could be something as simple as teaching them how to find resources online that can make their jobs a bit easier. For example, there are tools that allow you to change file format, which could make it easier to share or use. If you find out that they do need some more intense training, then perhaps set aside a couple of full days so you can all go through it together.
Allow Some Remote Work
Another great step you can take for your business is to allow some remote work. Since the pandemic, remote work has become a permanent place in some business and others have chosen to adopt the hybrid model instead. If your business is solely office-based, you could be missing out on many potential employees. Allowing some remote work means that you are able to hire anyone from across the country, which gives you a lot more choice.
When it comes to running a successful business, one of the most important things is keeping your customers happy. Doing market research is a proven way of modernising your business as you are getting a good insight into what your customers like and dislike about your business. It would be a good idea to ask your customers to complete a survey or write a review once they have used your services, so you can get a good idea of what changes need to be made.
AUTHOR: Isabella Goode
The success of an exhibition is determined by several factors aside from the product or services being displayed. Exhibitors all over the world no doubt have one thing in common, and that is having a perfect and successful exhibition at the end of the day.
When it comes to the success of a display show, the exhibition stand design plays an important role. The exhibition stand layout is often repeatedly overlooked; however, a well-designed layout invites customers to explore your display.
A poorly designed one does the opposite, so a bespoke exhibition stand layout is a must to avoid turning potential customers away from your booth. Here is a list of suggestions for improving your exhibition stand for your next show.
Have a Well-Defined Brand Strategy
What do you want your visitors to see? This should be the backbone of your planning for the exhibition. Your stand should be used effectively to display your brand. The stand layout, theme, colour, and text should complement the brand. A clear brand strategy will help you organise your display and make it easy for attendees to identify your booth.
Offer Something Distinctive
Another way to enhance Your exhibition stand for your show is to intensify the value of your stand. This means giving your target audience something different from what your competitors have. Your stand should be different and eye-catching, and a branded uniform can help.
Wearing a branded uniform projects professionalism and makes your stand and team easy to locate. You could also offer gift bags, giveaways, a coffee cart, or invite a reputable guest speaker to your stand.
Your stand designer also plays a huge role in ensuring that your stand is unique. A professional exhibition stand design isn’t generic or simple. You want your stand to be unique, so you should go for only the best.
Make Use of Interactive Elements On Your Stand
Interactive elements are an excellent way to engage your audience. Now, this doesn’t require much. Simply adding a product demonstration where your attendees can view and ask questions or a competition where your visitors get to win certain prizes will do.
Go For The Right Lighting
Lightning attracts, so you are bound to attract visitors when used correctly at your exhibition stand. Proper lighting can make a lot of difference in your exhibition stand design, so it is worth taking advantage of.
As bright lighting enhances your stand and attracts visitors, while dim or poor lighting deters visitors. Backlighting is one of the current trends for expo stands. This technique involves placing lights behind a fabric panel, signage, or frames to light them up.
Make Use of Technology
Technology, when used correctly, can be an intriguing element in your stand. There are several eye-catching technologies you can use to enhance your stand, like adding a video wall where the company’s stories and other engaging videos are displayed. You can also use virtual reality or augmented reality to engage your audience and enhance your exhibition stand.
Like the products or services on display, your exhibition stand speaks to your target audience. As you can see, it’s not just a wooden structure. Hopefully, you now understand how to improve your exhibition stand in just a few simple steps. Setting up your stand for your next expo would be less tiresome and more unique with these tips.
AUTHOR: Isabella Goode
Despite the massive strides that women have made in business, there is still some way to go until women enjoy the same level of success as men in the same industries. Many of the old, male-dominated ways are still prevalent, but every time a woman succeeds in a formerly male-oriented world, it makes it that much easier for the next generation of women.
There are many challenges that a female business owner can face, along with the standard difficulties of starting a business from scratch. It is vital to believe strongly in your business and prepare properly to have the best shot at succeeding.
Stop Trying To Please Everyone
Many business owners, men and women alike, still struggle with trying to please everyone. One of the first things you will learn as a business owner is that pleasing everyone is almost always impossible. This includes trying to please everyone, from customers to employees to business partners.
You will need to make the hard decisions and stick to your guns. That’s not to say you shouldn’t adjust your approach in the face of new facts or information, but it is important to believe in yourself and your abilities.
Care For Your Mental Health
Owning and operating a business can create a lot of stress in your life. Over time, this can build up and could be detrimental to your mental health if it is not properly managed. It is crucial that you avoid overworking, which can lead to burnout.
You should also take regular breaks and time for yourself to prevent yourself from becoming overworked. If you are concerned about your mental health, it may help to get in touch with a counsellor or therapist who can help you cope with stress in a healthy way.
Outsource Specialised Work
There is a lot of specialised work that goes into operating a successful business. Outsourcing can be an invaluable way to free up your time, give you the best value for money and help you benefit from expert advice. Consider outsourcing work like IT support or administration to help you manage your time more effectively.
You should also find a suitable agency to design your website for you. A professional and attractive website is crucial for any business and hiring the right professional to design it is critical. For some inspiration, take a look at the services from Visionsharp, a website design Manchester agency.
Build Up Your Network Of Professional Women
One of the best ways to thrive in a male-dominated environment is to build up your support network of professional women. Connect with women who have been in your shoes and understand the challenges you face.
You could start by attending conferences and business networking events aimed at women 1230 The Women’s Company. Ensure you mingle and exchange details with as many talented women as possible. You should also keep in contact with the professional women you meet throughout your years in the working world.
Hire The Right Staff
The team you hire to work in your business will make all the difference in helping you manage your business effectively. You should hire the best talent and ensure you provide an attractive salary and benefits. Offering a clear path of progression can be invaluable in helping attract and retain the best employees.
Author: Isabella Goode
It is crucial that businesses find the right storage service for them. This can have a significant impact on their efficiency and day-to-day operations. There are various factors you will need to consider before making this major decision. Today we will look at five of the most important aspects in choosing a storage service.
When you are looking to establish a partnership with a storage provider, it is vital to consider their location. Their base will determine the level of convenience you will have. Prior to selecting a storage service, make sure they are located at a reasonable distance from your customers. If you run an eCommerce business, finding a storage provider in the right location will make a huge difference to your deliveries. If you are just starting out, these best practices may offer some useful guidance. Take the time to research this key aspects as it can help you minimise costs and manage your time better.
Next, you will need to identify your company’s requirements. It is important to understand the features which are offered by your chosen service provider. Consider their size and layout. Whilst every business will have unique requirements, it is still worth conducting this analysis beforehand. It will help you determine whether or not the service is suitable for your business. Look at the pricing plans and ensure you choose a provider that is transparent about operational charges.
It may be beneficial to establish how long your chosen storage provider has been operating for. Their experience in the industry can provide you with an insight into their ability to adapt to technological advancements. Moreover, their level of expertise will be crucial to supporting you with your needs. For example, North West Storage Solutions has a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of storage and distribution. Operating for more than 20 years, they can provide you with reliable storage solutions.
A good storage provider should be able to manage the volatility of businesses. Flexibility is a key consideration you will need to focus on. Regardless of whether this involves an increase or a decrease in your goods, a storage service should be able to accommodate changes. In fact, a provider should have a full understanding of your business needs. This will enable them to offer you the right solutions at the right time. For instance, your business might expand or you may experience seasonal fluctuations. Either way, the right storage provider should be able to provide scalability at all times.
A dedicated support team is essential in any service. When it comes to storage solutions, you will want to have peace of mind that your goods are safe. The employees are the ones who will be handling all stock. This is why your chosen storage provider should have a reliable and knowledgeable workforce. Be sure to check the type of reviews which are being shared regarding the quality of their customer service. You will want to be able to build a strong working relationship with them.
Author: Isabella Goode
Business Networking Lunch-time meetings in Sidcup & Bexley
Business Networking With Like-Minded Businesswomen
1230 TWC Sidcup & Bexley Business Women’s Networking Lunch-time meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.
. You’ll be delighted to know that this is business too!
Lucia is the Founder of Pestana’s HR & Coaching a consultancy that provides personal and business coaching, specialising in Human Resources, Health and Safety and the areas of Learning and Personal Development. From the age of 17 and through radio broadcasting I have learned my passion was to work with people, I wanted to change the World and reach as many people as possible by effectively communicating and understanding them using my passion for psychology. My passion for radio broadcasting evolved to all the areas of the Media where I developed a passion for film, moving image graphics and I ended up graduating with a Ba( hons) in Graphic Design. Fast forward 10 years and I was waitressing, something I absolutely loved doing, however deep down I wanted more. I didn’t know what that more was until I was exposed to HR and developed a great passion for the profession and became a CIPD Associate.
At the 1230 TWC Business Women’s Networking Lunch you can expect great conversation, a speaker on an aspect of business, and a great lunch.
Meeting on the 3rd Tuesday f each month
Can’t make this month’s meeting? Book in for the next one here!
Business Networking Lunch-time meetings in Bromley
Business Networking With Like-Minded Businesswomen
1230 TWC Bromley Business Women's Networking Lunch-time meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Kekik Kitchen offers a new approach to the Turkish restaurant experience, with brilliantly spice infused dishes, with beautiful decor
. You’ll be delighted to know that this is business too!
226 High Street, Bromley, BR1 1PQ
A few steps away from the Cinema
Jan's passion is to connect and support people on their journey, wherever that may be. Her background was in technology, financial sector in the City for many years. She then progressed to selling, connecting with people but always knew that a Plan B was needed (an alternative source of income) and this became very apparent during the pandemic. Jan has spent the last 12 month educating herself on alternative investments, connecting to trusted forums and am growing a diverse investment portfolio through passive income.
Jan has a passion for life, loves fitness and nature, has run a few marathons and walked on fire!
Can't make this month's meeting? Book in for the next one here!
At the 1230 TWC Business Women's Networking Lunch you can expect great conversation, a speaker on an aspect of business, and a great lunch.
Meeting on the 3rd Wednesday f each month
Top Learning Resources for Adults
Studying isn’t just for the university students. Maybe you’re looking for a chance in career paths, need to gain a qualification for a promotion, or simply want to be more knowledgeable or better at your job. Whatever the case, here are our picks for the top learning resources for adults.
Although Khan Academy is branded as a resource for kids, their registry asks for a date of birth as a learner and scrolls all the way back to 1902. So, anyone under 119 can learn. There are adult-friendly and university-level courses on a limited number of subjects to help you out.
With lessons on maths, English literature, languages, and humanities amongst the best, Khan Academy is a helpful resource for those looking to brush up on some forgotten skills or to study for that higher that has suddenly become vital to a qualification.
The Open University
Created to foster distance learning, The Open University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in almost anything you can think of. Gain a Masters degree from the comfort of your own home, or take a module in something you’re interested in. Everything from engineering to mental health is on offer, with nursing and criminology in between.
Go at your own pace with full time or part time options available in all courses and be taught by leading professionals and institutions.
What you earn is up to you, with courses and modules resulting in credits. Earn 120 credits and you’ll get a certificate, 240 and you’ll earn a diploma and 360 for a degree. Modules are worth 30 or 60 credits and are chosen by you.
More for those looking to educate an entire team, WahooLearning is an educational service for businesses, offering e-learning content catered to your business and staff and even the ability to create and sell your own training content.
Create customised e-learning content created for you or your whole team, then post it online for an ongoing profit. Learn subjects such as finance management and learner support from leading experts.
Skillshare is a subscription-based educational service with a range of courses for you to take. Learn online those niche and obscure classes too odd for university. Have a go at digital animation or web development. Build you leadership or marketing skills. Or see what the lifestyle category has to offer if you fancy just learning something new like macrame or self-care.
Enjoy tutors at the top of their game, who you might recognise. Queer Eye’s smiling Jonathan Van Ness gives a self-care class that covers “Releasing Limiting Beliefs” and “The Joy of Discovery”.
Access Skillshare ForTeams to allow your entire team to take on of 35,000 courses on the site, with support and a team plan to keep track of everyone’s progress.
There are also free online classes for you to browse on every category with a subscription of £13 a month, but watch any YouTuber and you’re sure to find a discount code.
YouTube is a free how-guide on everything. You can learn to knit or do yoga or fix a car with YouTube, so its educational resources are abundant. Be careful who you trust though, since anyone can upload whatever misinformation they fancy. Look out for college and university channels and educational channels representing learning businesses.
Some reputable sources of education are channels such as:
- Crash Course
- CGP Grey
- Big Think
If you really want to learn from the certified best of the best, take a look at MasterClass. Another subscription-based platform, MasterClass boasts such names as The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood teaching creative writing, The West Wing creator and Social Network director Aaron Sorkin teaching screenwriting, and Neil deGrasse Tyson teaching Scientific Thinking and Communication. MasterClass is the star-studded school of the future.
Design with Anna Wintour, play tennis with Serena Williams or learn to cook with Gordon Ramsey.
Even if you have no interest in say, singing, it’s hard to not want to hear what Christina Aguilera has to say about the craft then move onto deadmau5’s take for £14 a month.
Universities and colleges are offering open courses available to learn from online. Yale, MIT and Harvard are just some of the American colleges offering online courses, even if it’s not very common from British universities.
Registration is not required so Brits can access a wealth of video, audio and text transcript lessons on everything they have to offer.
Whether it’s how to unclog a sink, dealing with anxiety, or gaining a degree in rocket science, you can find it somewhere on this list. Learn online with the help of knowledgeable tutors and notice yourself turning into someone you can be proud of – with either the confidence, sink or certificate to prove it.
Author: Isabella Goode
Workplace stress is one of the most common forms of stress in employees. As an employer, it is your job to ensure that you help alleviate workplace stress and promote healthy working practices.
There are many ways to do this, and it can take some trial and error. It is also essential to keep your employees in the loop when making adjustments to the workplace, as this can help employees feel heard and valued.
Consider A Company Retreat
A break from work can be good for any employee. Combined with the opportunity to bond with your co-workers, it can be the perfect way to help reduce stress and leave employees feeling happy and relaxed.
Train Employees in Healthy Stress Management
There are many ways to cope with stress in a healthy way. Techniques such as meditation and mindfulness can be invaluable in helping employees reduce the stress in their daily lives. You could look for training and courses that show employees how to use these techniques and apply them in their work and personal lives. You could consider using an online-based training provider or send employees to an in-person training centre.
Keep Expectations Realistic
One of the most common causes of stress at work is having goals and deadlines that are unrealistic. It is important to frequently review your expectation of your team and ensure that you take into account changes in circumstances that may affect performance.
It is also important not to adopt a one size fits all approach to targets. Different employees will have different strengths and weaknesses, so it is crucial to tailor your expectations to each individual employee.
Empower Them to be Financially Healthy
Money worries can be a big contributing factor to workplace stress. It is vital to help your employees manage their finances where you can. An excellent way to do this is by using innovative payroll solutions such as PayCaptain. PayCaptain allows employees greater control over how and where they receive their salary and gives a clear overview of their funds and how best to manage them.
Promote A Healthy Work-Life Balance
It is crucial to ensure your employees maintain a good work-life balance. This means you should avoid situations that will cause employees to work excessive hours and consider how you could implement flexible working.
Flexible working allows employees to schedule their work life in a way that is the most beneficial to them. This could be flexitime, working from home or adjust start and finish times. It can help to give your employees a broad range of options.
Encourage Staff To Take Breaks
It is vital for productivity and wellbeing to ensure staff take regular breaks throughout the day. You should encourage employees to move around during their breaks and to step away from their computer screens.
Allow Employee Autonomy
No one enjoys the feeling of being micro-managed. Often employees work faster, better and experience less stress when they are allowed to organise their work to suit them. You could consider the ways to reduce micro-management and empower staff to have autonomy over their work.
Author: Isabella Goode
Running a business comes with many responsibilities, with one of the main ones is learning how to delegate tasks. Many tasks can be delegated to others within the business but certain tasks require additional, external support. For instance, storing, packing and sending products.
When a business first starts, it might have the time to pack and send items in-house. However, as they begin to grow and the quantities of orders expand, they need additional support – this is when an order fulfilment provider comes in.
The role of an order fulfilment provider is to store in their fulfilment centres the products of their clients. With every order, they will find, pack and send the products out for delivery. There are many benefits to investing in an order fulfilment provider, these are just a few of them.
Excel With Their Support
Finding the right order fulfilment provider can help to alter how your business is run, as well as the service it claims to offer consumers. Businesses such as Zendbox are helping their customers to fulfil their orders and retain the loyal clients they have made over the years.
Through powerful technology, companies that specialise in order fulfilment and eCommerce fulfilment can deliver orders effectively and efficiently, whilst keeping customers happy. When paired with the right provider, the options of what’s possible becomes somewhat limitless.
Lower Shipping Costs
Many order fulfilment providers have a vast number of facilities located across the country and in places overseas. Having this extensive range of facilities establishes a foundation that allows companies to offer lower shipping rates, leading to bulk delivery discounts to take advantage of. The potential savings will depend on the provider selected, so it is worth seeing which ones are available and compare the options.
Improve Customer Service
One of the key ways to run a successful business is having reliable and effective customer support. Using an order fulfilment provider means that your customers will have access to constant support, whether they are enquiring about an exchange, return or refund.
Ecommerce fulfilment also ensures that the risks of errors or wasted products are reduced. Not only does this save the business money, but it also ensures that the clients receive the right product the first time.
Focus On Other Areas
With the chosen fulfilment provider processing orders and ensuring that they go out to clients, business owners can rest assured that this area of the company is handled professionally and efficiently.
As any business owner will know, time is precious, so finding ways to free up time or not have to fix any issues is greatly appreciated. Knowing that the products are being packaged and shipped perfectly fine, they can focus their attention on other areas of the business, looking for ways to grow and expand, potentially gaining new customers for the company.
These are just some of the few benefits that come with outsourcing order fulfilment. If these benefits sound appealing and could be exactly what your business needs to advance to its next stage of growth, reach out to providers to understand what costs are involved. It might take time and it may even seem like an investment, however, the time it could provide to you and the money it could potentially save long term will be worth it.
Author: Isabella Goode
Starting a small business is a challenge in itself, but growth in a crowded market can often prove a daunting task for owners. Here are some tips to help your small company take off.
Create Consistent Branding
Branding is not just graphic design and marketing (although these are important parts of branding). A good brand will provide a framework for all of your businesses’ operations. Your brand should reflect the company’s ethos and should inspire loyalty and an emotive response among your customers.
The important thing about your brand is that it showcases the identity of your business, making it instantly recognisable. Consistently applying branding across your company, from your website to your customer service and product design, is essential for creating a coherent brand. For example, even small steps like custom packaging labels (like those offered by RGS Labels) can make a big difference when promoting your brand.
Offer Stellar Customer Service
Customer and client relations is one of the few areas in which a small company can truly excel compared to its bigger competitors. Suppose you have a smaller customer base than others operating in your niche. In that case, you can afford to dedicate more time to individual clients, ultimately improving their experience and increasing the likelihood they will continue using your business.
Customer service can be a make or break issue for businesses. Around 75% of customers say that they judge a company as a whole based on customer services. For a bigger company, it is easier to cut corners in this department as they will continue to do business regardless. However, every customer is vital for the success of most small businesses, so you should pay great attention to their experience to improve satisfaction.
Listen to Feedback
For many small businesses, growth is a process of trial and error. You will undoubtedly make mistakes while running your company. While this can be disappointing, it is generally an excellent opportunity to learn and improve.
An excellent way to figure out where your business is performing well and where it might be falling short is to encourage reviews and customer feedback. Whether it is positive or negative, responding to feedback is an essential part of improving and growing.
You could incentivise clients to leave reviews by offering discounts or other rewards. There is another upside to getting reviews. If your business is highly reviewed on platforms like Facebook or Google reviews, it will also inspire confidence among new customers, contributing to growth.
Build Slowly but Surely
Overall, growing a small business can be a long and arduous task. The key to standing out from the crowd is focusing on what your business can do well, which sets you apart from your competitors. Creating a consistent and personal experience for customers, from your branding to communications with clients, is essential for small businesses. This will ultimately contribute to organic growth from referrals by happy customers, which is ultimately one of the best forms of publicity.
Author: Isabella Goode