The smartest way to grow your business is through networking. Networks are powerful tools for change. When effective communication takes place within a network it can spark changes really fast within any setting.
There are a couple of hard and fast rules to implement that will put you in good stead when networking – this is especially good for start-up businesses to get your brand known.
Preparation will prove to be all-powerful:
- It is important to pinpoint those individuals you feel will make a difference and will impact positively on your start-up business. Go for those individuals that are not obvious forerunners – instead choose young trend-setters and early innovators.
Set small, bite-sized challenges:
- Take baby steps – before choosing an event you are about to attend set smallish goals – these could include how many individuals you are going to target to speak to and also how many business cards you intend handing out.
Choose manageable clusters of people to speak to:
- Small gatherings of three or four people are far better than huge crowds – this is the best way to get heard.
- This is an excellent way of making significant connections.
Pitching your worth:
- It is important to tell others who you are what it is that you stand for and how you and your products and services can benefit others.
- Make it short and sweet and to the point – under two minutes should be perfect and longer can prove to be laborious and boring.
Patience is a virtue:
- It takes time to bear the fruits of your hard work – patience is indeed a virtue as is tenacity when it comes to starting-up your own business.
It is important to hone the skills of being a good listener:
- Listen more and talk less – don’t listen out of good manners alone – but be genuinely interested in what the other person has to say.
- Heart-to heart connections will go a long way when it comes to networking.
Following up makes sense:
- Following up is one of the most important steps when it comes to networking.
- Continuing to build relationships with the people you connected with will go a long way and this is when the true networking really begins.
Listed here are five working principles for networking:
- Build your networks with those individuals that you look up to and respect; believe in yourself and what it is that you do.
- You cannot be liked by everyone you network with.
- The most influential people are those that are willing to share with others and not hide it – it is essential to believe in sharing knowledge and information.
- Seeing opportunities where others don’t is vital – think need to think big and in abundance.
- Remember that giving to others will come back to you many times over. Believing in generosity of spirit, time and information makes for good karma.
Working the room cannot be stressed enough. Taking it up a notch or two by adopting a couple of key beliefs will increase your own influence through your networks – remember that networking is a life skill that will take your start-up business places you never dreamed was possible.