Every business of all sizes needs to have connections and must be connecting. I am back to this topic because I believe that it is the fundamental building block in the growing of a business. When I am mentoring a new business start-up one of the very first assignments I give is the creation of a list of everyone they know. This is only the tip of the iceberg in the development of an effective network.
At the small business level, I find that many owners try to do everything on their own. For a variety of reasons, they don’t want to call on their connections and ask for help. A lot of excuses exist: “I don’t feel right asking them for help” or “What if they refuse to help?” or” I don’t really know my list well enough to ask for help.”
In his book Dig your well before you’re thirsty, Harvey Mackay came to the following conclusions as to why a well-developed networking system is critical to the success of a business:
- “Talent alone will not save you in today’s economy.
- The traditional advice – more training and education – will not save you.
- The government will not save you.
- No matter how self-reliant, dedicated, loyal, competent, well educated, and well trained you are, you need more than you to save yourself.
- You need a network. You need your network. Every day. A network will help you deal with some of life’s minor annoyances as well as your most challenging problems. Your network can provide role models, advise you, comfort you, provide you with financial assistance, intellectual and social resources, entertainment, and a ride to work in the morning.”
Networking has become an “overused” and “misunderstood” term because most people that think they are networking are marching to their own, ineffective tune.
Networking isn’t about how many people you know; it’s about how many people know you and how they perceive you.
To me, a written networking plan is an integral part of the overall planning process. Such a plan defines the networking process; it identifies who should be in your network and how to connect with them. It focuses on the value of your connections so that your connecting efforts are maximized. Like any other plan, once completed, it can only lead to success if it is implemented and has a built-in accountability factor.
Paying hundreds of dollars to join a networking group or paying thousands of dollars for a two day seminar on networking is, in most cases, a waste of time and money. Neither of these options address your own individual networking needs. That is why we create individual plans for our clients.
It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you!…………….. Jeffrey Gitomer
Nick J. Petra CFP I would like to know you…. Visit us at www.strategicduck.com and subscribe to our unique site at www.onebizcentral.com