If Want to Succeed, Networking and Then What?
One important key to having a strong and sustaining business is your network of business partners and business resources. One thing I have learned is that networking is key to building your business because it helps you develop and build strong relationships with others. Depending on the scope of your business, by networking you can meet someone who has a business similar to yours. In turn, that individual can become a good business partner to assist you with the growth of your business and you can assist them with the growth of their business. Networking is a way for you to get the word out to the world about the products and services your business offers. Also, networking is a good referral system for new clients because any event you go to there is always someone who can benefit from the products and services you offer. Networking is a good tool to use to meet fellow business owners who may want to pool their resources and your resources together to promote each other’s business. Networking is crucial to growing, sustaining, and maintaining your business because you cannot succeed alone in running your business.
Once you make the connection, always follow-up with everyone you collect a business card from. Good to send an email to them stating that “it was a pleasure meeting them at today’s event and look forward to connecting with them in the near future.” My general rule is to send the first initial email after meeting and then wait at least two weeks before sending another email. My golden rule is that I do not send more than three emails to anyone I meet at an event. After the third email and no response from the person, I do not send anymore emails because apparently that person is not interested at this time. But, do not get discouraged or broken-hearted because you never know that person may contact you in the future. At this time, the individual may not need your services or products, but they may need them in the future.
Once you make the connection with someone who may be need in of your products or services, “follow-up, follow-up” is key to building that strong relationship. I cannot tell how many times I have missed out on opportunities because I failed to follow-up, in a timely manner, with someone who was interested in my products or services. I have learned a valuable lesson to always follow-up with individuals and keep your appointments with them. Once you establish that business partnership, you will be surprised how many doors will open for you and see how far you can go with your business? Please ensure that you bring something to the partnership as well because many good business relationships are destroyed this way. Business partnerships should never be one-sided, but two-sided where both parties are getting something out of the relationship.
Networking is a good tool to use to grow your business, but it is important that you know how to use it for the growth and prosperity of your business.
Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC: Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com