Tag Archives: Business

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.

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

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

Your Business Network, Part 1 – An Introduction to Networking

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’.

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Part 1 ‐ Introduction

“It’s all about people. It’s about
networking and being nice to people and
not burning any bridges. Your book is
going to impress, but in the end it is people
that are going to hire you.”
Mike Davidson

These days, a lot of people are much more comfortable networking online then they are face‐to‐face. If you’re one of these people, this blog will help you. Many people, even experienced and successful business people and entrepreneurs, are fearful of face‐to‐face social interactions. This blog will help you to see that networking events are just events and people at these events are just like you.

We will demystify the unknowns of face‐to‐face networking and, for those of you who already network; we will give you some practical strategies that will improve your networking results.

You will see that networking is actually a simple process in
four steps:

1. You go to an event.

2. You meet some people and get to know them.

3. You follow‐up with them and help them out with something.

4. You follow up again and see how things are going.

On their side, it’s very likely that the people you meet will do the same for you. You and your networking contacts share similar interests that brought you to the event in the first place, and each one of you has some business needs you would like some help with. It’s a fair exchange.

Of course, there’s networking, and then there’s networking.

Without a plan, networking can be ineffective and a waste of time. When done correctly, networking is a powerful way to have your needs met and to improve your business.

In this book you’ll learn to take networking from haphazard to targeted and planned by you.

If you’re not convinced yet, think about this:

In this age of information overwhelm, if you avoid networking, you will certainly miss out on all kinds of information and assistance that you don’t have time to investigate but that can seriously impact the success of your business!

Besides, networking is fun. We’ll take a look in more depth in the next blog.