Blog Reboot | Networking ‘Meat-Side’

Thanks for dropping by my website!

If you’ve stumbled across my site before, you may notice a few changes.  I have removed some of the pages that weren’t really that useful (such as the coma-inducing ‘about me’ page).  I’m also re-writing some of the pages that I was going to post to make them useful.  So – note to self:  When making a post, make sure it actually has a point 🙂

I’ve also junked my previous two blog posts for similar reasons.  Here’s a condensed summary of their content:   1. Yay, we just finished another project!  2. Hey, isn’t social networking time consuming?  3. Why are there so few game artist jobs in the North of England?  4. Will the larger UK game studios ever reduce overseas outsourcing?

There you go, that’s 10 minutes of waffle compressed into a few seconds 🙂  Much better!

As for today’s post, well – it’s rather a dry subject to some – but I’d like to get all positive about local business networking.  I don’t mean Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook networking – but the sort where you get up off your ass and actually meet local business people.

If I’m honest, I’ve not always seen the benefit of networking events.  I expected them to be rather stuffy, formal things.  Lots of people in grey suits talking about synergies and doing lots of blue sky thinking.  The reality is, the people who attend are just regular folk who so happen to be running their own businesses.  It can actually be good fun.

Getting out there and meeting other business owners can give you a real insight into how you might change your own approach to business.  There is after all, a lot of common ground between all business types.  Sales and marketing techniques are valuable whatever your trade.  People are usually more than happy to tell you about their experiences – things that worked, things that didn’t work.  That first hand information can be invaluable.

Another plus to networking, is you can achieve greater understanding of new business areas.  For example, in the past I always steered away from website development as I thought it was simply too competitive.  Now, having met a whole raft of people who make a good living creating websites, I see it as a stable business to be in with a lot of repeat custom.  It changed my views.

Mixed business networking can also give you valuable insight into how other people perceive your own particular trade.  More often than not, people outside of the games industry perceive it as a thriving business.  Games after all, are ubiquitous these days.  So they are fairly surprised when I tell them things are quite tough out there for indie developers.  Monetizing a game is probably the most difficult part of development.  But, receiving positive feedback, and seeing people engage with what you do is always highly motivating.

So whatever business you are in, I really do recommend making that effort to get out there and talk to other small businesses.  And did I mention the free sandwiches?  The sandwiches alone can make the effort worthwhile.   It isn’t all grey suits and business jargon, there are some genuinely inspiring people out there who can really help push you and your business in the right direction.

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