Networking Your Business
As business owners, there is constant effort applied in various forms to seek new business. This is (hopefully) done via a detailed and targeted Marketing plan, which taps into your Target Market and segments to give the most success, but there is one area that costs a lot less and can get you closer to potential clients much easier and quicker. This is by networking.
Networking is ‘creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit’ according to www.Businessdictionary.com. In regards to business and more importantly your business, this means putting yourself in alliances with those of whom you can potentially do business with, or who can refer business to you. This is an extremely powerful method because, as our human instincts work, we would much sooner deal with people we know or trust, and by being part of a network, or referred by one, the level of trust and your integrity in enhanced.
So how do you network? This is often the hardest part mentally, but not in reality. Firstly understand what it is you do in business, then search local business networks in this area on Google as a starting point and I am sure you will find many options. The local business council or Chamber of Commerce is also a good starting point. Talk to people in your field or in business as they will have associations or groups they can recommend, as too will your accountant, lawyer, financial planner, or even your business coach? All these people will be able to point you in the right direction.
Once all your homework is done, the biggest challenge is to actually go! Make a calendar commitment for the events; make it a part of your working week to actually schedule to network yourself and your business. Then attend the events.
There are two different types of people you will come across at a networking event. The first one is one who is blatantly out to promote their business, their product or service and get sales from the group- nothing wrong with this, but some people may find them too ‘in your face’. The second one, is one who attends these events, and focuses more on meeting people, finding out about them and their business and making any relevant suggestions to people they may know who can do business with them. These tend to be more successful longer term as people get to know them and like them, therefore start to refer or give business to them. The question you need to ask yourself is which approach suits and fits your personality, and approach to potential networking.
Networking is powerful and will help your business, make sure it is a part of your marketing strategy.
Of course, as business coaches, we can help direct you to any potential networks that may suit your needs, so feel free to contact us with any queries.
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