BUSINESS | SUCCESS
You know you need to do it and if you’re like most business owners (myself included), you don’t do nearly enough of it. But it’s hard enough to make time for everything that’s immediately important to your business – finding the extra time for mixers, meetups and other networking functions can be nearly impossible and the perceived lack of immediate ROI can make them feel like a complete waste of time.
But, while the return is not instantly realized or obvious, the benefits are very real, and your professional network is essential to survive and thrive in business today. As we’ve discussed before, it’s not who you are or even who you know – it’s who knows you that’s important.
How do you grow your network to where it’s a viable asset to your business?
There are a variety of places you can look for networking events, and truthfully they’re everywhere and not difficult to come by. Between LinkedIn groups, your local Chamber of Commerce, and organizations such as Network After Work and Local First, finding groups to join and events to attend is actually pretty easy. But once you’re in the door things get a little more challenging.
The key to networking successfully is to establish connections before you actually need them. This might sound daunting but there’s actually a trick to it that makes it quite easy once you get the hang of it.
I hate to say it like this, but most people go to networking events with self-serving intentions. They’re either individuals seeking employment, or they’re looking to change jobs, or they’re perhaps trying to connect with those that can help them move up in their companies. It’s also likely you will encounter business owners hoping to find new clients for their businesses.
So how do you navigate an sea of people primarily focused on helping themselves? The trick is to be a resource. Here’s a few tips on how to make the most of your networking efforts:
What are your favorite tips for networking? Share them with us below!