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Networking – A Sure Fire Way to Grow Your Business Belfast

Many small businesses use networking as their only form of marketing. In the professions, especially those that, until recently, were not allowed to market (eg lawyers) networking has built some very successful, big businesses.

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Networking – A Sure Fire Way to Grow Your Business

What is Networking?
I’m sure ‘networking’ is one of those words that means different things to different people so for the purposes of this article I’d like to suggest that networking is something everyone in business does every single day, without even consciously realising they’re doing it.

How many times have you overheard a conversation at a business meeting or chamber lunch that goes something along the lines of: “John, you mentioned the other day that you know someone who can fix’s PCs, well can you give me their number – mine’s crashed again.” Networking is in operation in a number of ways here.

  • The speaker and John obviously have some kind of relationship and regular contact where they discuss business related matters.
  • John has obviously networked with the PC ‘fixer’ and felt confident enough to recommend him.
  • And the speaker is confident enough to accept a recommendation from John.
  • There are a few important points about networking relating to this very simple scenario:
    • Networking happens everyday – it’s what makes the business world go around.
    • Networking isn’t about hard sell.
    • Networking works because of trust and confidence. Networking can only work if you are very clear about what you offer – your proposition – and this can be articulated easily to others – for example – ‘I fix PCs when they crash’.
    Have you thought about how effective networking could make an impact on your business?

    Why Use Networking?
    Simple – it works, it costs next to nothing and once you get used to doing it, it becomes second nature, something you do naturally, with limited effort.

    Many small businesses use networking as their only form of marketing. In the professions, especially those that, until recently, were not allowed to market (eg lawyers) networking has built some very successful, big businesses.

    Who’s in my Network?
    Some readers might be thinking – ‘but who do I network with?’ or even ‘I don’t have a network’.

    Well, lets just take a step back for a moment and think about who’s in everyone’s network:

    • Work colleagues - past and present
      • Bosses peers and subordinates
      • Board members
    • Other business contacts
      • Customers
      • Suppliers
      • Partners
      • Competitors
    • People you meet on training courses, at meetings or who belong to the same professional body or Chamber of Commerce.
    Everyone has a network, some large, some small, some confined to one organisation and others spanning the globe. But as they say size isn’t really important, it’s how you deal with your network that is.

    The Essential Tools of Networking
    In order to network effectively you need a few simple tools. Firstly you need a method of keeping all of your contact details in a format that is readily accessible. Secondly you nee...

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