Here’s a quick question for you: Who do you network with and why?
I ask this, because there is a direct link between how well connected you are to the right people and your overall business success.
Small business owners usually associate or network exclusively with other small business owners. They tend not to deliberately build relationships with the most influential people in their niche. You need both types of people. It’s important to connect with fellow small business owners, but it’s extremely important to mix with people, who have the skills, influence or funding your business needs, in order to grow successfully.
Knowing the right people for your business
For example, small business owners will speak with the local bank manager about funding, even though the bank manager is a risk-averse, job-for-life, salaried employee. If they spoke with a wealthy entrepreneur and offered a compelling reason to invest, they could not only get the funding they need, even more importantly, they would be able to tap into the wealthy entrepreneur’s priceless treasure chest of business knowledge.
The marketing person who needs to hassle people for business at local networking events, or pester people for referrals at networking groups, is very obviously not the best person to show you how to attract clients. However, that’s the person most small business owners will waste their time and money on, simply because that’s the only marketing person they know.
If you are serious about developing a successful business, you need to deliberately build a network of great people around you. Take the time to identify and then reach out, to people who can help you make quantum improvements to your business. Your circle of contacts should be one of your businesses most valuable assets. Treat it that way and work on developing it.
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