We all have friends (well if you have a personality…smile) and we all have family that we call on for help/ support. In addition the same people call on us for help/support. When I am in a bind and need a babysitter, I pick up the phone and call someone. When a friend/ family member’s car breaks down, they pick up the phone and call and ask me to pick them up. That is the way it’s supposed to be, right? We all know that we need help at some point in our lives. In my case it is more like I know I need help at some point in my WEEK or DAY! ha!
We quickly ask our friends and family for things that will benefit us in our personal lives, but quite often we forget to include them on our list of those that can help us with our business. Although your friends nor family may be entrepreneurs or be top executives in a company that can benefit you, they are still able to help you take your business to the next level by doing two very simple things.
1. Telling their network about you: Yes, it is that simple. Just tell someone! If you are anything like me you have provided services/ products to people for as little as F-R-E-E! It is what we sometimes do for those that we care about. After giving away your time and resources asking for a “shot out” on social media or a request for them to hand out 25 business cards should be a simple repayment, right? I am willing to bet that this person asked you for your expertise or your product. If they did they likely will be eager to share your info in exchange. Sharing your info can yield you many more clients/sales and CASH than that one freebie cost you.
2. Check their contacts: I am wiling to bet real money (not monopoly money) that there are people in your contact list in your cell phone or on your email list that can take you and your business to the next level. It may be someone you talk to everyday, but you just have not thought about how they (or someone they know) can help put real money (not monopoly money) in your bank account.
Create a list of your business goals and who you may need to satisfy those goals. Next think about who you know that has the ability or the contacts to get things in motion. For example: your cousin works at IBM. You have been wanting to do corporate training with a company like IBM. Instead of asking your cousin to bring baked beans to the next cookout why not ask her to send a quick email to the HR department?!
You likely have many of the resources that you need right at your fingertips, but you don’t recognize them. I challenge you this week to reflect and then ASK. Ask those in your circle to refer business to you. Ask your family/friends for that perfect intro that can turn your business into a crazy money making machine! Make use of those fabulous connects that are just sitting on. Remember that the key is to ASK. A closed mouth does not get fed.
Networking is what separates today’s businesses from previous century’s businesses. It has become an integral part of every new business venture. The effectiveness of an entrepreneur’s strategy to develop his business depends largely on his ability to establish new relationships with other businessmen and entrepreneurs. It is a continuous process. Almost every new business startup today focuses on creating business links to gain competitive advantage. Let us try to understand more about the key factors which make business networking the cornerstone of every entrepreneur’s success.
Business Networking – A Habit! Successful entrepreneurs realize the fact that business networking is a habit. It is an important part of every entrepreneur’s journey. It is portrayed in the way an entrepreneur presents himself to others, creates a sense of trust and a bond of likeness towards his personality. Often this happens in a very short period of time. Ever wondered how every time you meet successful businessperson, they leave a positive impression on your mind? This type of magnetism is a consequence of developing consistent positive habits. It requires improvement of networking techniques and strategies through regular learning and practice. As with all important skills of life, networking requires continuous conscious effort.
Networking Opportunities- Every new contact in business is a valuable opportunity. However, time spent in establishing relationships with clients largely determines the effectiveness of networking. Treating every new contact as an opportunity produces fruitful long-term results. It is a good practice to treat all individuals as you did when you met them the first time. Overlooking a potential contact just because they have different interests or ideas may not always be the right decision. They may have something valuable or know someone valuable that can transform your business. Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Entrepreneurs and New Businesses- Every new business startup requires a huge investment of time, money and energy. However, that investment is in vain when you fail to find new business or clients. Entrepreneurs who persistently develop their business networking skills have a high likelihood of attracting new businesses. This keeps the business cycle moving. However, it all starts with connecting different people into a business web that functions in a synergistic way.
Netweaving– Netweaving is a new twist to networking. It is a rather simple concept focused on more effectively developing reciprocal business relationships that has far-reaching potential. Netweaving involves you doing more than just meeting people. Netweaving is going into a party or an event and meeting people in order to learn about their personal and business needs. Why? Easy. So that you can figure out what you can do to help them. Providing a person with help or with contacts that can help them advance their position helps them to create a positive impression and memory of you. Now in the instance that you may need to connect with that person further, it will be much easier. Now you have more than a new business card to add to your collection; you have a new relationship. the best part about this concept is that when you help others, good things seem to happen to you.
Netweaving may be more comfortable to others than networking. It is more casual and informal and reduces the pressure that some feel in “working the room”. Major developments in technology and social media have redefined business networking. It is easier today to speak with people across the world and establish relationships with individuals all over the world. You can exchange ideas and interests without meeting each other in person. This has resulted in a dynamic change in business networking. You would be surprised by the relationships that you can build with a simple hashtag or retweet!
Whether you network or netweave, you must become a charismatic entrepreneur that works persistently on forming new contacts. Successful entrepreneurs understand the value of connection and pooling resources. I challenge you to network or netweave for at least 2 weeks in order to see what a difference it can make in your perspective. Who knows… you may make a new friend! 🙂