Meeting new people and creating new relationships with them is a part and parcel of life. If you have a business, networking becomes all the more important. So how do you create and maintain networks that are better and work well for you?
1. Take stock of your current network of people
This is the first thing to do. Find out exactly what your network looks like and which people are in it. Do you possess their contact details? How many of them do you have real relationships with that are beyond sending email blasts once a month? Can you pick up the phone and talk to them without feeling the least bit awkward?
If you have a lot of people in your network whom you share an actual relationship with, then you are in a good place. If otherwise, then you should start rethinking your networking strategies. Having thousands of people on your Facebook or LinkedIn profiles without you knowing most of them is not good networking.
2. Make a list of all the people whom you know you have real relationships with
When you do this, you can find out exactly whom you can ask for help or a favour from for your business when you need to. Remember, it is not only about getting help when you need it; it’s also about making sure that you are ready to give the help people in your network may ask of you.
The next step is to grow your network. Growing your network is about building relationships; not just adding them on to your online profiles on different social networking websites. If there are people in your vicinity you have met online and whom you think you share an affinity with, ask them if they want to meet up. This way you can positively grow your network. You never know who may be able to help you!
Networking is about finding people whom you share interests with. Spending time in growing your network puts you and your business in a much better place.
4. Nurture your network
You now have a good network of people. It is time to nurture those relationships to make sure that they are mutually beneficial. Helping people in your network won’t cause you to lose business; it will help you become more successful. Just asking people for help when you need it and never offering any back is just not a good idea.
The thing is, the more you spend time helping others in your network; you will find them more eager to help you.
Being actively involved in your network is important for your business success. Whether it is calling your business acquaintances once in a while or trying to help as much as you can, all of it stacks up and will ultimately help make your own business grow.