Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Networking is About Maximizing Opportunities

Any type of business owner needs to invest time and energy into networking.  Networking is simply developing relationships with others.  This process involves getting your name out there and meeting people.  Every contact you make is a potential connection to a new client or new job, so it is important to make a good impression.

Places to capitalize on networking opportunities include:

  • community events
  • churches
  • business openings
  • neighborhood coffee shops
  • gyms.
I think you get the point.  Anything you do and anyplace you go can be a networking opportunity.  So, be prepared. Always have your business cards (as in take them everywhere you go), so that you have a way to pass on your contact information.  You never know when someone is going to want to learn more or follow up with you, so it is important to have your information close at hand. 

Networking is Easy

Networking involves introducing yourself to others.  Let the conversation flow naturally and at its own pace.  There is no need to "oversell" yourself.  People will naturally ask what you do for a living.  Talk about your business with enthusiasm and confidence, and people will be drawn into learning more about your business.  A certain percentage will ask you for your business card. Pretty soon, your business and contact information will spread.  

Include your website, Facebook or Twitter accounts on your business card.  These online sites are excellent opportunities for others to connect with you and get to know your business.  

Two Key Points about Networking:
  • treat every contact as a lead to a potential client or job opportunity
  • always be prepared to present information about your business.
Building your own business is hard work.  It is more than just a 9 to 5 job.  It is your life, your startup money and your future.  Maximize all opportunities for networking because you never know which contacts will pay off at the end of the day.  

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