Networking Must Be Part of Your Business Plan

In the not so distant past, Networking was unheard of. Chambers of Commerce existed, but the word Networking hadn’t been invented. Now, business coaches and experts who assist a budding entrepreneur in building a business plan recommend that a portion of your time and money be devoted to Networking. Not only do you budget in money for traditional advertising, but you must budget in time and money to promote your business in the first person, up close and personal. While there is still a place for traditional print and direct mail advertising, a big part of your marketing should include Networking.

Everyone needs to buy products and services, and we’d all prefer to buy them from someone we know, like and trust.

So if you are already in business and your business plan does not include Networking, I’d suggest you re-think it, and include at least 2 hours per week to be devoted to Networking, and then a plan to follow up with those you’ve met when you get back to your desk.

Chambers of Commerce are where most people start. Another place to network is in your trade organization. Every trade has one. This is not going to be a source of new business for you, but more of an educational and motivational experience to learn from your peers.

Meet-up groups are great places to network, as well as BNI, eWomenNetwork and many others.

Get ready, get set, go Networking! It’s fun, rewarding, business and life changing.

For more tips on how, when and where to Network, buy Networking for Novices. It’ll be the best$19.95 you’ve ever spent!

When do I start Networking?

The answer is: Now is the time to do networking.

Cutting back on networking in a slower economy is the biggest mistake a business can make! I hear people saying we’re cutting back on networking because of the slow economy. Or, “We need to wait to do networking until the economy turns around to keep our costs down.” I’m shocked when I hear that excuse!

Networking now is the best way to promote you and your business, in a booming economy or a slow economy. In a “slower or sluggish economy,” you should be networking more than ever, reaching out to more of your potential clients more than ever!

Do the arithmetic. If you participate in one event a month it can cost from $25-$50, depending on where you live. What effective marketing strategy can you produce for $50 or less? There really isn’t much else you can do for that amount AND get fantastic results.

Let’s talk about the economy. Do you, a business owner or executive, really not have $25-$50 to spend to meet 8 to 10 new prospective clients? That’s the number of new people you usually will have time to meet in a 2 to 3 hour networking event. If that’s actually the case, then perhaps this is the time to re-examine your marketing strategies and determine where you are getting the most bang for your buck.

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