Garage Startup Life Vol. 3: Connections Are Crucial
Working out of the garage you're not going to see many people.You need to get out of the garage and network! • Never be afraid to talk to the person in the hallway.
I've saved thousands of dollars by talking with someone who I literally bumped into in the hallway. One encounter introduced me to a State government subsidized commercial product design program. This program meant I didn't have to hire a staff of engineers. The State already hired them for all of us for a fraction of the cost. • Throw your business card "into the hat" for any attended event.
I toss my business card "into the hat" at every event I attend. One time I got the chance to have my pitch critiqued by Daymond John of ABC's Shark Tank. You never know, at worst you might get a free lunch. • Find people you don't know at an event and talk WITH them.
Don't talk "to" somebody you don't know at a function, talk "with" people you don't know at functions. One person I talked with at an event introduced new technology that caused me to pivot my business. You never know what you might learn. • If you hear about a business that might help your startup advance go "stick your foot in the door". Now I mean actually go and do it.
I tried to catch a potential customer at a series of event but to no avail. Finally just walked into their offices and asked for someone to talk with. Now we are working on putting together a pilot system.
These actions may feel awkward at first. Soon you'll start making connections that will help in the future.
You never know where connections will lead your startup life. If you don't get out and network you're just sitting in the garage, looking at the walls.