How much effort do you put into networking?

Networking

How much effort do you put into networking?

I want to talk about networking.

Let’s talk about what it actually means shall we? According to Dictionary.com, networking is “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest”, for you and me, it means “getting out there and creating long lasting, fruitful, relationships.”

When you are a small business owner, time is hard to come by so the thought of heading to events merely to  “talk” to people is probably the last thing on your mind.

We need to change our mindset that networking is something we do when we have time, and instead think of it as an investment. What I mean by that is by giving your time and effort to creating connections with the right people you are setting yourself up for potential future benefits.

I will use myself as an example.

A couple of weeks ago, I attending an allied health workshop. I didn’t have anything to sell, nothing to ask in return – I just wanted to go along and meet more people from the industry. I walked away with no cash in hand, no jobs lined up but instead I connected with an individual who wanted me to go along to a future workshop and talk about all things marketing. So there you have it, a simple hour turned into a range of potential business opportunities.

So what is holding you back from networking?

 

Time?

This can’t be a true excuse. If you aren’t managing your time to enhance your own leads and development then it is time to look at the way you are working.

Don’t know where to begin?

Easy, the power of the internet! If you are unsure where to begin why not contact local community business groups (e.g. chamber of commerce, business networking functions) or even go along to your local market or community sport event? Remember, the more people you speak to the better!

Shy?

If you are lacking in a bit of confidence – remember this, most people who are there are doing exactly the same thing! They want to meet you and find out more about what you do and how you can work together in the future! So shake off those bad vibes and go forth and conquer.

I don’t know what I have to offer?

If you are still questioning your business services or what you can provide to clients – then isn’t networking an excellent opportunity to find this out? Talk, ask and most importantly – listen. Strangers can often give you a great indication of how you can promote your health business more successfully.

 

So, what’s holding you back? Time to get networking!

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