Invest In Your Network
18-Jul-2012 | News-Press Release
Small businesses are often indistinguishable from their owners. They thrive on their owner’s social networks for everything from getting new customers to cost-effective suppliers. It is hard to refute the success of savvy business owners with a powerful personal network. This can include existing customers, referrers, suppliers, financial advisors, industry contacts, and people and organizations who can provide inputs or influence the running of the business. It takes time and a commitment to build a strong network for your business, but the rewards are worth the effort. So how exactly do we invest in our network? We look at some simple tips on building and nurturing your network:
1. Never take anyone in your network for granted
If you’ve had a business relationship with someone for five or 10 years, it’s easy to take that relationship for granted. We need to keep our relationships in our network fresh and never, ever take anyone for granted. Always make that call, ask for a meeting and go out of your way to say thank you.
2. Be present at the right place at the right time
Visibility is very important for businesses in the early stages or in a high-growth mode. Invest time in events – conferences to seminars, gatherings and dinners – that are relevant for your business and make sure that you attend them.
Take on an active membership in a local trade association. Virtually all major markets and industries in India have associations that represent their interests. If your industry does not have an active association, your efforts at reviving it could help propel your personal and business visibility to a new level.
3. Support others in your network whenever the opportunity arises
Often people build a network for what they can get out of it. This is a short term philosophy that most people see through pretty quickly. When you build a network, develop a reputation as a person who contributes, who helps others, who gives back and who treats others with respect.
4. Nurture your online network
Social media is a powerful networking tool and companies who adapt to it reap rewards for their business. There are small firms running their entire businesses via Facebook pages, while others have used a Twitter presence to grow their business and establish their reputation. LinkedIn is another powerful online social network to look for B2B contacts and leads. Invest some time regularly in nurturing an online network presence and you will reap dividends in your business.
5. Articulate your story proactively
A little bit of PR in articulating your business success story at relevant platforms goes a long way in raising your business profile in your market. Networking is a lot easier when the person you’re shaking hands with has already heard about you from his contacts.
Follow these five simple pieces of advice and over time you will build an incredible network you and for your business where you are valued and supported by many people for many years.
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