Small businesses or new businesses have a very short history to be able to have good contacts and often run with limited budgets. In such a case when they would want to promote themselves and attract business, they to a large extent depend on sources that are not cost-intensive as well as can be easily managed. Business Networking is one such avenue that fits well into this criterion. Being a solution for most small businesses it operates on the model of increasing your network and building relationships.
Networking is a win-win criterion for small businesses where they can associate with people, networks and vendors who share a similar vision as them and help each other in obtaining goals and generating business.
While socially enthusiastic entrepreneurs would grab every opportunity to meet offline and network, online networking is a favourably working networking. The benefit being you can reach out to a global audience and save a lot of time. Yet, the intangible benefits being-
The important thing about networking is being ready to seize the opportunity. Like when a new member in a networking organization asked for a big client ABC, a big referral for him. When he got the referral, he was not prepared to handle the client. It is therefore necessary to do the backward integration and work out if you are prepared for such opportunities, and if not, how are you working towards them?
How far and how many could be a vivid or infinite number when we talk about connections, because I am not merely connected to people in the room, but I am also connected to their connections and network. It is a domino effect that we play in networking. The deal is to make the right impression and the connections will cascade on you will all energy.
At the same time, when you are ready to receive, you also have to be obligated to give back referrals and help people in your network. This is how the circle of networking completes.
Being present is being able to capitalize on your time and money investments in your networking groups. When you are present and thoroughly involved in the journey of networking right, you will be known as a reliable and credible source and will be able to garner business.
Understand the nature of your business and its requirements. This way you will be able to know what kind of people can contribute to your business. You can then find such diverse backgrounds across different networking sources, including social media networking. Prepare diverse groups according to your target audience and promote your work across these mediums for dedicated ad strategic networking.
Do not Underestimate the Potential
Do not underestimate the potential of a networking group or a fellow member. A small-time connection may open big doors for you, such is the power of networking right.
While online networking is different from offline networking, the former requires an adaptive approach and different ways to communicate. On the online networking platforms, you sometimes have to be omnipresent and at the same time ready to capture and convert your biggest referral.
Mr. Pankaj Harwansh, Director, BNI Navi Mumbai