Small Business Tip No. 1 - Never Stop Networking

Don’t invest in networking only when you’re seeking new employment or new business. Chances are you’ll miss out on opportunities for professional growth. Worthwhile networking must be continuous, it must be expansive, and it should get you out of your current circles. In business, your worth is often tied to the value of your network. So, if you aren’t actively managing and expanding your network, you are limiting the flow of new business opportunities.

Never stop networking – It’s worth it!

Everything comes at a cost, but the gain from proper networking is well worth the investment it requires. It takes time to build strong relationships and manage effective professional networks. Networking isn’t limited to the people you know, and it isn’t just face-to-face. Social media allows us to capitalize on the extended networks that exist within our connections’ networks to increase our professional potential to find colleagues, customers, and opportunities for collaboration.

Make your digital presence work: Online networking is vital to your networking plan. Update your professional profile online in a way that’s a consistent reflection of your brand. Choose topics of interest and relevance to your industry and write about them. Endorse the efforts of those within your growing network as they share, too. Reciprocity is essential, and exchanging “likes” and “shares” online, helps build a wider audience.

Become known as a powerful resource for others: When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them. Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others. Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, “How may I help you?” and no immediate answer comes to mind.

Visit as many business groups as possible: Professional groups can lead to some of the best contacts. Attend regularly, hold volunteer positions, and take the chance to speak on a relevant industry topics. Your good name will become associated with clubs that make positive impacts within their communities. Your name will become known, respected, remembered and shared!

Once you maximize your presence by actively networking across all vital channels, the great expanse of your network will be buzzing with activity, effectively working for you. Never stop networking!