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Business Networking Consulting Kent

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Courier Printing & Publishing Co Ltd
01732 304050
Advertising
Tonbridge

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Ad Focus Distribution
01303 226231
135 Enbrook Valley
Folkestone

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Star Media Services
01732 365003
1 East Street
Tonbridge

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Zest St Ltd
01634 671167
8 Oaks Business Village
Chatham

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Ads4Press
01892 616610
The Control Centre
Tunbridge Wells

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4 Sale
01424 848848
10 Meads Road
Bexhill On Sea

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Green Spot Commercial Services Ltd
020 83044414
660 East Rochester Way
Sidcup

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David Bebbington Media Ltd
01843 601198
21 Rosemary Avenue
Broadstairs

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Trevor Hargreaves
01322 668000
Downs Cottages
Swanley

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Advertising Excellence Ltd
01474 365155
54 Bath Street
Gravesend

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growing your business through networking

As a marketing consultant working mainly with service sector organisations and professionals I often find myself saying to clients – “You should be doing more networking, it really will help grow your business.” Some of them take this on board and really throw themselves into things – normally with great results. But some – well if I’m honest, just don’t seem to get it.

It was only during a sleepless night at a Travelodge (not to be recommended by the way) that I started to mull over why some people really use the power of their network and others fail.  I think there are probably 4 key reasons people fail: thinking too narrowly, taking and not giving, lacking the right tools and neglecting their network.

This inspired me to write this article and suggest that there is a model we can all follow, to grow our businesses, which is based primarily on the power of the network.

A network with strength and breadth
Every business is aware of the need to spread risk, especially in terms of clients that they have or industry sectors that they serve. Certainly the many small motor component makers who have suffered as a result of the Rover collapse would agree.

The same is true of your network – or maybe I should say networks.

The first step is to consider what networks you have – work related (past jobs), clients, suppliers, family and family related, friends, social and sport related, “official networks” e.g. fellow members of the Chamber, trade groups or other networking organisations, the list is endless.

Considering the types of network gives you a structure for thinking about who is in your network.  Make a list of everyone in your network and at this stage at least don’t confine yourself to people who have anything to do with your area of business or in fact any kind of business connection at all.

This exercise alone should generate some new ideas – it may be for products or services that you could offer or target groups that you could communicate with in a particular way – it may help you to realise (as it did for me when I repeated this exercise recently) how your network has already helped to grow your business.

Make sure you really push the boundaries in thinking about your network – have you thought about all the places you used to work or jobs you have done and all of the contacts related?

If this exercise alone doesn’t help you spot significant opportunities to grow your business I’d be very surprised.

It's better to give than receive
Well, almost. Bear with me here. Answer this question for me – what should be your number one priority or objective when you are networking? If you say any of the following:

  • To get a new customer
  • To sell something
  • To collect business cards
  • To tell people about my business  
  • To launch a new product

I think you are wrong, and p...

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