BUZZ QUOTE ~ “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
2015 is here and everyone seems to be in planning mode, working out their plan of attack for the next twelve months in business. Fabulous! We all need a plan. But hands up who hasn’t included networking in there?
Business networking is such a cost-effective way to drive growth and profit but often overlooked.
As part of his research for a book on Business Networking, Dr Ivan Misner asked 12,000 people to rate types of networking organisations and the role they played in their success.
He discovered face to face networks rated highly. Casual contact networks like a Chamber of Commerce (51.7%), referral networks (82.8%) and professional associations (33.7%) outdid online networks (27%).
So as you gear up for the year ahead and you’re busy creating your business and marketing plans (and if you shouldn’t, you should be!), include a networking plan. These three plans go hand in hand and one without the other two will slow your business growth down.
Get strategic with networking by doing the following:
- Include networking into your business budget. This will give it kudos and you accountability
- Identify key networking groups that match your target market. Don’t cast the net far and wide and take a scatter gun approach. It won’t will spread you too thin
- Ask your staff to create their own networking plan. Remember networking is not just for the sales team or business owner
- Consider non-business networks too. I was chatting to a landscaper the other day whose business mainly comes from his connections at his son’s school
- Regularly review the quality of the contacts you make at each event. If it’s not worth it, move on and find a networking event or group that is.
This is the perfect time of year to get focused on building a strong network around you. Avoid the accidental, ineffective habits of the past and create plans that connect you with the right people at the right time.
Make networking a strategic habit and an expected behaviour in your business and reap the rewards.
Here’s to a wildly successful 2015!
Julia Palmer :)