Why You Want a Networking Game-Plan for WISPAPALOOZA
The “Lone Wolf” mentality may be appealing to some, but as you’ve gotten into building your WISP you’ve realized it’s not practical. There are endless decisions to be made related to the equipment, software and general operations – who better to learn from than colleagues who have been there and are willing to share?
WISP forums, such as the Facebook group, WISP Talk, are invaluable to gather information and discuss all things that are related to a WISP business from true experts. But, you may not want to share the details of expansion plans or business strategies with an open group. After all, your competitors can also be members and you don’t want to tip your hand.
That’s why building a core networking group is a great strategy. In addition to other WISP owners, enlist the help of technology, operations, field, and regulatory experts, as well as a business person who is willing to discuss the ins and outs of growing a WISP business.
“Today, probably even more than ever before, networks are a key form of social capital for achieving goals in both your professional and personal lives.” — Francesca Gino, Harvard Business School Professor
How to Build Your Network at WISPAPALOOZA
Industry conferences are a great place to build your business and network. They provide one of the best tools to pinpoint where to find potential network partners – the program agenda. Review the agenda to identify the subjects you’d like to know more about and the experts who can provide the information. After the session, hang around to talk with the expert.
It’s not always as easy as that; an expert may be swamped by attendees who have a burning issue they want to discuss. You can also strike up a conversation with another owner to see how much he knows about an issue and how much he’s willing to share.
Take advantage of WISPAPALOOZA’s “Speed Dating” session to meet individuals who may be interested in networking with you, and drop by and enjoy free pastries and coffee. You never know who you’ll meet while you’re waiting for the educational sessions to begin.
And, don’t be afraid to talk to vendors. The good ones will know that building a relationship is more important than closing a fast deal. Spend time with the vendors who are willing to share ideas that support your success.
One key tip – go to WISPAPALOOZA with your networking goal in mind. If you want to connect with someone who is an expert at routers – find one. Hang out at router vendors’ booths to see who among your WISP colleagues gets into the deepest conversations. Follow up with the ones that impress you until you find the one who’s willing to share the information you seek about routers. You’re on your way to building a technology think tank.
The fun at WISPAPALOOZA is the discovery – of new ways to do business, see new technology and meeting new pals to discuss the craziness of a WISP business. Enjoy your journey. And, while you’re at it, stop by booth 617 and share your success story.