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How to network and form useful business connections

Mutually beneficial relationships give you access to opportunities that may not have otherwise been accessible

There are many benefits to be found in forming strong and long-lasting connections in the wellness industry.

As you’re starting out, having a strong network might be the foundation upon which your ideas are initially formed. In this sense, the sharing of insights and observations with other people who are interested in and passionate about wellness can contribute greatly to your process of clarifying your product and positioning.

Whilst you might not initially be clear on the type of business you want to launch and grow, this can actually be an even more compelling reason to be reaching out and connecting with other business owners or industry professionals.

In doing so, you’ll begin to learn and understand more about gaps in the market, what works and what doesn’t, and potentially where to go if or when you need help at some stage in the future. Learning from the experiences of other entrepreneurs can be an instrumental tool for preparing yourself for the journey ahead and inspiring the beginning of an exciting new chapter.

Industry contacts

In the same vein, when you do decide on a product or service and begin to take the steps outlined in this course so far, you’ll also want support from a like-minded network of industry contacts. If you’re manufacturing a new brand of athleisure, or trying to produce a healthy snack, you might need to find out from other, more experienced business owners, where to go to find the right production partners, who to speak to about distribution, or when to pitch your product to buyers in the right retail outlets.

The wellness industry, because of its inherent focus on care and wellbeing, is typically a very collaborative and welcoming landscape in which to operate. Where other industries might present as cut-throat and highly competitive, the wellness industry is generally more receptive to support for newcomers, provided you enter the market with the same mentality.

Strategies for connecting

In terms of strategies for connecting with other business owners and generally immersing yourself in industry knowledge and information, start with festivals and large-scale consumer events where brands will be congregating in your industry category.

For example, The Om Yoga Show in London happens each year and is a showcase of all the best yoga brands and a place to congregate and share information and insights about the world of yoga.

Expo West is one of the biggest consumer brand shows for food and drink brands and would be the place to go if you were developing a new food or beverage brand.

Often, consumer festivals and shows have a trade element which will include organised networking opportunities, live speaker stages, and a programme of other activities designed to facilitate connection. Start by researching shows in your sub-category and make a list of the must-attend shows for the year ahead.

As a newcomer still formulating your idea, this might help with clarifying your direction. As an established new brand, you might opt to exhibit your product or service in a formal capacity, which opens the door to others to proactively connect with you, too.

Digital tools

You could also use digital tools like LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media forums to connect with interesting players in the market that you could learn from or offer value to.

Considering ways in which you can create mutually beneficial relationships, rather than focusing solely on what you can take from somebody else’s experience or knowledge, is a far more effective strategy for building your network.

It creates an environment of support and encouragement, and gives you access to opportunities that may not have otherwise been accessible.

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Launching and Growing a Business in Wellness

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