Isolation and introspection can be deadly failings for new business people. Involvement and inclusion are the antidotes, with networking the brand name of the cure. With all the demands on your time made by your business, professional and personal life, it is tempting to give a low priority tomeeting newpeople. After all, you will have so many commitments to your new business, and to your colleagues, family and friends, that it will be difficult to set aside extra time to bring even more people into your life.
This thinking would be wrong, however, on two levels. For one, you are constantly being introduced to new people anyway, every day, with no disruption to your schedules. Secondly, by not consistently widening your circle of acquaintances and contacts, you will be severely curtailing your business’s chances of success.
Networking -meeting useful people - will provide your start-up and growing business with numerous benefits: you will not be working alone, but will benefit from the knowledge and experience of others who are also starting or growing their own business.
Knowledge really is power in business. you cannot acquire knowledge without connecting with other people and, from a business point of view, networking provides an organised, structured and powerful way of making those connections.
Te benefits of networking are numerous: network participants, typically, learn better practice from their peers and acquire sales and development opportunities; find a wider choice of suppliers, increase sales opportunities and learn how to cut costs.
Both you and your business will benefit. The process leads to new contacts and new friendships. Through networking, you will no longer be isolated. Networking can be both a reality check for your business, and provide free market research.
If you and your business are going to gain from being the members of a network it is most important that you approach it in the right frame of mind. Experience shows that people who are driven entirely by their own agendas usually get less than they expect.
If you participate to give as much as to receive, you will find that your‘giving’is reflected back. Iit is, therefore, important to be open, to be a node for giving and taking. Nnot listening is bad networking!
Developing good formal networking skills will provide you with the key to keeping ahead of the competition. To make the most of your networking opportunities make sure you develop a very short informal presentation on your business, yourself, your products and services:
There are networks and opportunities to network everywhere. Sports clubs - rugby, GAA, sailing, golf or whatever - provide opportunities for you to meet people with similar interests. Members may be business people, like you, professionals or involved in key trades. The internet provides great networking opportunities both at home and