Is your small business taking advantage of networking? Networking is an amazing way to grow your business by leaps and bounds. Your business could be high on social media – keeping in touch with your clients and prospects online – but that’s not what we are talking about. Real connections mean much more than virtual ones.
What is networking
Networking means staying connected in a business network with people who belong to similar or related industry, skill or business backgrounds.
The primary reason any business needs networking is to get referrals but another benefit of networking could also be a well-connected group of individuals with excellent skills from different backgrounds. A networking group could consist of individuals from different walks of life. Your network can prove to be a fertile ground to bounce off new ideas and gain more insights.
Connections can make all the difference to your small business. Staying connected with the key players in your industry can open doors of opportunity for your business. If you are wondering how to manage networking to help your small business grow, we have outlined a few key points that you could consider.
Who to connect with
Connecting with everyone is not important, what you should focus on is connecting with the right people who can actually help your business grow. Research, observe and ask for recommendations to make the right kind of contacts.
Keep in touch
Maintain a healthy relationship with members of your network. Keep in touch with them socially even if you do not require help from them or the other-way-around. Use and apply the information that you have gained by making connections for the betterment of your business.
Seeking favours from anyone requires etiquette. You just cannot show up and say ‘do this for me’. If you really expect someone to help, you should know how to ask. Before you ask for something be willing to give. You must earn some brownie points in your network and prove yourself worthy before you ask for help. In this way you make sure are received well in the network.
Stay updated about the trends of your industry, which will help you contribute valuable inputs to your network.
An ideal network is a balanced mix of mentors and like-minded businessmen who are willing to help each other. This group of people should be able to trust and support each other. You must know members of your network well enough to be comfortable in contacting and consulting your network for any business related advice or any other guidance required.
Do not act sly. Promoting your product is good but do not use cheap tactics to push the members of your network into buying your product. If the members of your network sense your underlying intention, they will turn against you.
Stay away from any controversial or sensitive issues in your network, do not comment on anything that you are not sure about, so you do not end up hurting anyone or causing any damage to any relationships.
A well-connected and powerful network will not only get you referrals but also improve your business as well as your interpersonal skills. There is nothing more encouraging and motivating than a group of people who are willing to always help you and your business succeed.
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