Networking is an important part of running a new or any business. Businesses are always in need of receiving advice, funds and exposure. However, many professionals who are launching their first business often go about networking the wrong way. Successful networking involves more than passing out business cards and pitching your business venture to those you have only just met. If you want your networking efforts to be successful, you must instead focus on building a better network of business connections. A lot of genuine effort to help and receive help is a pre-requisite for building a successful business connection. Where you can, you must help and connect with others to build your connections. Looking for immediate gratification through business networking is almost a felony that one should never attempt.
Your network is a part of your business
Successful business owners are in the habit of contacting and connecting with people they don’t immediately need. They are curators of content, who maintain their connections in case they need business contributions or assistance in future. Approach your network as a part of your business by identifying your goals and what you hope to achieve by maintaining your connections.
As a business owner, your time is important, so you must maintain a clear vision of where you will spend your efforts. Select your options with caution to ensure that you are bringing as many advantages to your business as possible. Once you have selected the contacts that you want to build a relationship with, maintain this connection through consistent communication, because this is the foundation of a strong network and relationship.
Reach out to your contacts
The most effective and successful business networking is not about you, or how your contacts will benefit your business. To make your networking successful, you must focus on how you can benefit your contact and trust that at some point, your contact will return your efforts. In a networking situation taking the focus off you is the most powerful network advice I can share with you.
When you reach out to a business contact, it is important for you to make it personal, and tell them why you have reached out to them specifically. For example, tell them that you recognise their expertise and knowledge of a particular topic, and that you believe they can assist you in your business planning. Don’t be shy to give away those who gave you their contacts in the first place.
Do not underestimate the power that networking can have on your business ventures. Remember that the best networks are formed through strong, successful connections, and that they can help you expand your vision and develop an effective business approach. Eventually it’s not about how many people you know – it’s always about how many people know and for good reason!
Amjad Khanche is an Australian business entrepreneur, investor and technology enthusiast. He has over 20 years experience starting and developing multiple business. He shares his experiences from growing up in India to working with clients for 9East Marketing Services, where he mentors businesses to improve growth.