Vanessa Wood

Did you know that networking in Darlington will unlock a plethora of potential new business connections? Not everyone does.

When I first moved to Darlington, I was surprised by the array of different sectors we have operating here and with so many diverse companies there are lots of opportunities for collaboration. Our businesses do a fantastic job when it comes to trading locally, but networking will enable them to expand their horizons and meet businesses from outside the area.

Business Central and Darlington itself has a great opportunity to extend how it does business with the rest of the region. With all the developments we have going on in the area, our town has already increased its profile. The improved public transport links are contributing to the town’s potential and the rail network will play a major role in attracting more business owners to network here. Developments like this will only help attract more people to networking events here so they can grow their connections and ultimately boost their business with referrals and sales.

I’d love to see our community collaborate more with firms from the wider region, but I’d also love to see people from places like Newcastle, Sunderland and the Tees Valley coming to Darlington to network and embrace the business potential here.

We’re fortunate that our centre is able to partner with a high-profile networking company like The Mussel Club who visit us monthly to host their events here. The events so far have attracted a large number of our tenants, as well as members of our co-working lounge and others from around the region which is great to see. In addition to The Mussel Club events we also host networking sessions led by the North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

At events like these it’s important to use them as an opportunity to gain knowledge – do your preparation by researching who you need to speak to. Don’t try and sell yourself too hard – it’s about creating a relationship – once you have received a person’s trust, they will be confident in referring your business to others. With good, consistent networking, your standing in a local area will grow and your business will too. But be patient. Don’t expect to walk into a networking event and leave with lots of new customers. Walk in there, take a deep breath, smile and let your personality shine; people will remember you if they like you and for that reason they’ll use your services or refer you to one of their own connections.

So why not visit us and see what we have to offer? It’s always a pleasure to welcome new faces to our centre and I look forward to seeing you at one of our events soon!

Choose one you’d like to attend.

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