The challenge many growing small businesses face isn't "know how"—it's "know who." Even with a great product or great expertise, without the right contacts it can be hard to reach your full potential.
Fortunately, there are ways to develop a network without spending months scheduling meetings with potential clients. As part of its continuing support of small businesses, Research In Motion (RIM) is proud to sponsor the U.S. Small Business Administration's popular initiative, Business Matchmaking.
Business Matchmaking brings together small businesses with government and large corporations that have contract opportunities. Through a series of regional networking events and an online portal, Business Matchmaking can help you connect with—and sell products and services to—some of the most important buyers in the United States.
At the regional events, small business owners are matched with procurement representatives and meet them face-to-face in a series of brief appointments. In addition, the regional events offer invaluable educational workshops, training and business counseling sessions run by expert small business advisers.
Online, Business Matchmaking features Virtual Business Matchmaking Workshops, monthly educational “webinars,” and much more—including, in select cases, direct access to buyers from government agencies and major corporations.
One way business matchmaking works is by finding opportunities that were limited to a particular geographical area, say Washington D.C.’s Beltway, taking them online and putting them on the road. It makes opportunities mobile; and mobility, of course, is something RIM can definitely support.
Business Matchmaking is free to all participants and has already been a great success. Since its inception four years ago, it has matched small business sellers with procurement representatives in nearly 40,000 appointments, resulting in $32 million in contracts.
Your Chance to Get Involved
On September 22nd in Philadelphia, RIM, together with ten other outstanding companies, hosted some eight hundred business owners and managers at the Eastern Regional Matchmaking Event.
The day included education, training and networking, and face-to-face procurement meetings with buyers from federal, state and local governments as well as major corporations, including RIM, MasterCard, Fed-Ex, Chevron and Monster.com.
The next event will be the Southeastern Regional in Miami on November 16th. You can still register for the Miami event at www.businessmatchmaking.com
Matchmaking is a Global Phenomena
Business matchmaking isn’t limited to the United States, of course—there are association and government-run programs in Europe, Asia and Australia.
Some offer mentoring and training to help small businesses secure opportunities in particular cities (such as in London, UK: www.tendertowin.com/).
Others stretch across the globe. “Partenariats” are events where representatives from several countries come together. Visit partenariat.org.uk for a list of upcoming events around the globe.
All over the world matchmaking initiatives have been hailed for their stimulating effects on growth and jobs for small businesses.