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How to Network with Other Business Owners in Northwest Florida


As a small business owner, you know that networking is essential for success. By connecting with other business owners, you can share ideas, learn from each other, and gain access to new opportunities.

Here are a few easy ways to connect with other business owners and professionals in Northwest Florida, both in-person and online:

Networking In-Person

  • Women 2 Women Connecting (Navarre Chamber)


  • Pensacola Creative Guild Monthly Meetups @ Intermission "At the Pensacola Creative Guild, our mission is to ignite and nurture the vibrant spirit of creativity within our community. We are dedicated to fostering a dynamic environment where artists, creators, and visionaries of all backgrounds come together to connect, collaborate, and elevate their craft." Learn more about this event


  • Pensacola Network of Black Professionals "Our mission is to be an organization of ​professionals dedicated to the ​improvement of self and surroundings ​— through professional and personal ​development, community engagement ​and service, and local economic ​development." Learn more about this group


  • Pensacola Young Professionals "The mission of the Pensacola Young Professionals is to develop and retain young talent in the Greater Pensacola area and be a catalyst for positive change in our community." Learn more about this group


  • Commerce & Coffee (Navarre Chamber) "The event includes: Networking, Catered Breakfast, Member Showcase, Special


  • Guest introductions, New Member introductions, Guest Speaker Presentation, Door Prize Drawings, 50/50 Raffle" Learn more about this event

Networking Online

  • Join online business groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.

    • Facebook Groups

      • Small Businesses in the 850

      • Navarre Fl Business Women - Share, Trade and Socialize

      • Navarre, FL Businesses- Keep it Local!

      • Navarre & Surrounding Area Small Businesses

    • LinkedIn Groups

      • Pensacola Small Business Alliance

      • CO:LAB Pensacola

  • Attend online webinars and workshops. There are many online webinars and workshops offered by business organizations and other organizations. These events can be a great way to learn new skills and stay up-to-date on the latest trends.


Additional Small Business Resources

In addition to networking, there are many websites where small business owners can gain more skills to help them manage and run their business.


Here are a few of the most popular:

  • SCORE: SCORE is a non-profit organization that offers free business mentoring and advice to small business owners. Learn more

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA is a government agency that offers a variety of resources for small businesses, including loans, grants, and training programs. Learn more

  • Udemy: Udemy is an online learning platform that offers courses on a variety of business topics, including marketing, sales, and accounting. Learn more

  • LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning is a subscription-based learning platform that offers courses on a variety of business topics, including leadership, management, and strategy. Learn more

  • HubSpot Academy: HubSpot Academy is a free online learning platform that offers courses on a variety of marketing topics, including inbound marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. Learn more


Do's and Don'ts of Networking: Navigating the Art of Connection


Networking isn't just about collecting business cards; it's about building genuine connections that benefit everyone involved. Whether you're attending industry events, joining online communities, or striking up conversations at conferences, navigating the networking landscape requires etiquette and finesse. Here are some key do's and don'ts to ensure your networking efforts leave a lasting positive impression:

Do's:

  • Be Prepared: Do your research on the event or group, and have an elevator pitch ready to introduce yourself and your business.

  • Be a Good Listener: Actively listen to others, ask thoughtful questions, and show genuine interest in their work and experiences.

  • Engage in Meaningful Conversations: Go beyond small talk; discuss shared interests, industry trends, or potential collaborations.

  • Offer Value: Share your expertise, insights, or recommendations without expecting anything in return.

  • Follow Up: Connect on LinkedIn, send a thank-you email, or offer to continue the conversation online.

  • Be Authentic: Be yourself, be confident, and let your personality shine through.

Don'ts:

  • Dominate the Conversation: Avoid monopolizing the spotlight; give others space to share their stories.

  • Focus on Selling: Networking isn't a sales pitch; focus on building rapport and genuine connections.

  • Neglect Body Language: Maintain eye contact, smile genuinely, and project positive energy.

  • Badmouth Competitors or Colleagues: Keep negativity out of your conversations; focus on building bridges, not burning them.

  • Forget Business Cards: Always have business cards ready, and offer them with a personal touch.

  • Be Ghostly: After connecting, follow up and nurture the relationship; ghosting leaves a bad impression.

Remember, networking is a marathon, not a sprint. By consistently demonstrating genuine interest, offering value, and building relationships, you'll build a strong network that supports your professional growth and opens doors to exciting opportunities.




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