This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013


Networking is a key element in the success or otherwise of small businesses. Unfortunately it is an aspect that tends to be neglected, mainly through lack of time and a lack of understanding about what this actually is. The reality is that people like to do business with people that they like but in order for a relationship to be established networking has to take place.

Networking is essentially just being sociable. This can be through formal networking events, chance encounters or normal “day to day” social events. A chance meeting on the train could in reality be a conversation with the brother in law of the head of a major corporation. The secret is just to be yourself. You are not really selling anything in these situations except yourself – establishing to the other person, among other things, that you are easy to work worth, friendly, sociable and trustworthy.

The most valuable resource most people have to spend these days is time.

Time is precious. By spending time with someone, you are sending out a clear message that the person you are networking with and the time spent with them is of value.

Successful networking involves follow-up. If you make a commitment to a person for coffee, a follow-up meeting or even just keeping in touch, then keep it. Record what actions you commit to take and follow through. Many empty promises are made today and so by actually keeping one you are making a statement about the type of person you are. Someone who actually means what they say stands out and creates a credibility that enhances business standing.

Social Networking through the media has also taken off in recent years. This is harder to manage effectively. Many rush into this with the idea that quantity and not quality is what matters. It is not just a case of collecting contacts with no focus on how to direct this. Where social networking works in the media, it either means a strong sense of community has been created or the exchange of information in the network is of interest to its members. Any successful social networking strategy must be directed towards achieving these two things.

In summary be yourself and make sure you are seen to value the people you come into contact with.

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