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Your Business Network – Part 3 – What Type of Networking is Right for You?

In this multi part blog, one of our founders, Robert Newman, analyses the best ways to grow your business network with exerts from his book –  ‘Your Business Network – How to build and grow your network’.

This week, we discuss what exactly the correct type of Networking is and which one is right for your business.


“Instead of telling the world what you’re
eating for breakfast, you can use social
networking to do something that’s
Edward Norton

It can be formal groups or informal groups or social network groups. Formal networks are groups of people that come together for networking purposes or because they have a common interest.

There are many formal network groups and each has their own set up, and there own way of working. Groups can meet weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bi‐monthly or at other intervals.

Some require a commitment – either in the form of a joining fee and / or in a minimum requirement for attendance. Some are relaxed (like First Wednesday!) – turn up and talk to
people. Some are structured – there is a format for the event. Some are breakfast meetings, some lunchtime and some early evening/after work.

Some groups will let anyone attend / join, in others they restrict the number of businesses in any one category.

The best way to approach it is to try different groups, and see which you think have the right people in them By the right people, we do not necessarily mean people who you are going to immediately do business with. It is rare that anyone in a service business for example would come away from a network meeting with a piece of business at the first go.

Rather you should look at the type of people at the event – are they decision makers? Do they appear to have good networks themselves? Is it a network where people come and go – which could be good for business that sell ‘products’ or low value ‘service’ items (garages, florists, masseurs, etc). Or is it a network which is stable and established – in which case you can get to know the same people over time (which can work better for ‘service’ businesses or high value items).

Consider which time of day suits you / your business / your personal commitments better, and look for networks that operate at that time.

A typical structured network meeting would be 2 hours long, would start with informal networking followed by breakfast or lunch, where the network leader would facilitate each person to deliver a 2 minute ‘this is me’ speech to the whole room, or facilitate the tables to have those discussions within themselves.

Never dismiss anyone sitting next to you, or at your table, because networking is not about grabbing as many business cards as possible and dismissing those who are not your target audience. It is about building relationships. The person sitting next to you may have a client who is the perfect client for you. Their brother might be the MD of a business you want to speak to. They may have gone to school with the client you have been trying to get into for months.

Networking Skills

Effective networking is the process of developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. It will improve your reputation and your business. You can do many things to ensure that your networking is successful. These things can be broken down into…

  • Preparation
  • Presentation
  • Follow-up


In the next blog, we’ll continue with the topic: Networking Skills.

Your Business Network, Part 2 – Why Network?

In this multi part blog, one of our founders, Robert Newman, analyses the best ways to grow your business network with exerts from his book –  ‘Your Business Network – How to build and grow your network’.

This week, we discuss why it’s critical for your business to network regularly.


“Networking is an essential part of
building wealth.”
Armstrong Williams

We’re all busy. Some people don’t see the value in using precious time to network when it doesn’t seem to result in immediate benefits for them. If that is true for you, it may be time to hone your networking skills.

Nothing is better than networking. Networking is about making connections, the best connections in the shortest amount of time possible. Business networking allows you to make connections with people from different industries and different walks of life. It allows you to share information and experiences.

Businesses and other organizations use networking successfully to get recommendations and referrals, and to build relationships.

People will do business with you or buy products from you because they have come to know, like, and trust you. Networking is probably the best way possible to build and nurture these relationships.

A great feature of networking is that it saves so much time in creating and building these relationships. It gives you a means to share information, find new clients, help others, and get the help that you need all at the same time. And while you’re doing these things, you’re building your reputation and your credibility at the same time.

Easy Access to Information

We all have expertise in different areas. No one knows everything involved in running a business.

Networking allows you to connect with people you know and already trust who can give you the information you need.

Think about how much time this saves you. You don’t have to start from scratch doing the research yourself on the Internet, in the library, etc. You know that if you reach out to someone in your network, that person will know the answer or be able to refer you to someone else who does.

And, remember, this works so well because it’s a two‐way street. Those people will remember you when they need some answers.

Giving Help to Others

We all like to help other people when we can. When you can give help to others, it not only boosts your network, it boosts your self‐esteem. There are things that come easy to you because you’ve done them so often. It is easy for you to share that knowledge with other people so that it helps them at very little cost to you.

Getting Help from Others

The opposite is just as true. It is a natural tendency for someone that you’ve helped to want to help you in return. The more you help others, the more help will be available to you when you need it. For instance, one person may be good at taxes, while another person is good at building websites. Most businessmen want and need some skill in both areas, so it’s a great trade‐off. Sometimes, you want someone else to bounce information off. There will likely be other people in your network who work in your area. They will probably have some experience or know someone who has experience and can help you.

Finding New Customers

We all need business, and that means new customers and clients. But, especially when we’re starting out, we don’t have a lot of money for marketing or advertising.

It’s been said that every one of us knows 250 other people. It’s very likely that out of all the people your network members know, some of them could benefit from your services and products. And, of course, you will do the same for them.

Don’t you feel better when somebody you know recommends someone to you ‐ say, a plumber or a house painter? That feeling is true for everyone. If you are referred by someone, the door to the next client is much more easily opened.

Here’s something that might surprise you ‐ 80% more business is generated by referrals than by cold calls.


In the next blog, we’ll discuss What exactly the correct type of Networking is and which one is right for your business.