The Oxford Dictionary defines a network as …
“… a group of people who exchange information, contacts and experience for professional or social purposes …”
Networking is the number one best friend of anyone wanting to grow their business! Simply put, networking can be any and all of the following:
- people talking to each other
- people exchanging ideas
- people exchanging business leads
- people sharing resources
- people interacting with one another
When does it happen?
For many of us networking is something that occurs naturally. In fact every interaction you with have with another person could be construed as networking. Asking a friend, relative or work colleague to recommend a good book, movie, doctor, dentist, real estate agent, restaurant, TV show, computer store, hairdresser, gardener, chiropractor, masseur, furniture store or tax agent is considered networking.
Networking can assist in achieving your business goals in many ways.
Here are five quick tips that can be used for both online and offline businesses to get you on track by refining your networking skills.
- Invest in business cards
A good quality card can leave an indelible impression! Make sure you hand them out, give them to family and friends so they can refer your business to others.
- Organise lunch
Get two or three business friends together and ask each to bring a friend and you have an instant network.
- Phone a minimum of two people per day
Call contacts, customers and potential customers. You might be surprised by what can be generated by just chatting to your contacts.
- Attend networking functions and set a networking budget
Make networking a priority for your business. Allocate some of your marketing dollars for networking.
- Join and get involved in online social networking
Social media is a great way to make new connections, develop word of mouth referrals, engaging and getting to know your customer base.