Use your network

It is often through your network that you find your first customers, but a network can also be used for exchanging ideas, sparring and support.

As a new business owner, it is important that you have a good network, or that you develop one. A good network can be made up of former colleagues, other new entrepreneurs, business partners, competitors, friends etc.

Develop your professional network
You can build up a professional network in several ways. For example, become a member of a so-called 'erfa' group (erfa stands for experience) or start your own network with business owners in your area.

Information about your local 'erfa' groups is available through local business consultants or your local Business Development Centre (Væksthus). Within the central region Denmark that is the Business Development Centre Central Denmark.

Use competitors – spare your friends
Don't be worried about joining networks with competitors. Even though you are perhaps competing for some of the same customers, it is also possible to learn a lot from each other.

Courses and trade shows
You should stay informed of relevant courses, seminars, trade shows etc. within your particular business area. This kind of professional event is an ideal opportunity to expand and nurture your network.

Networking outside working hours
You should learn to think in terms of networking, both at work and in your leisure time. Neighbours and team mates at the local sports club, fellow travellers and party guests are all potential customers and supporters in your network. Therefore it is also important that you are always open to new acquaintances. This way, your professional network will gradually get bigger and bigger.

Avoid overdoing it
When starting your own business, the focus of your life will, inevitably, largely be your business. During periods with a lot of work and uncertainty, you will need the understanding and support of your family and friends. On the other hand, you must appreciate that your friends and family are perhaps not as interested in your business as you are. It is also important to be able to talk about other things.