The importance of Networking
Let me explain to you the importance of the networking.
Throughout your life, you’ve likely heard the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” “Networking” is often classified as a vague term, in the sense that you may or may not find true value in it. I can assure you that it is not only a good practice, but essential for the success of your business.
I actually started my career with the intention of going into computers. I somehow got into radio broadcasting and landed a position as a promotion coordinator at the top radio station in Hamilton, making many connections while in promotions. Now, don’t be fooled because it certainly didn’t happen overnight. As luck would have it, I made a few good connections through the sales department. I must say that at first, I was intrigued by how a salesperson could possibly make a living. I learned how they connected with their clients, and how that resulted in generating revenue and meeting their budgets. When I was introduced to some of the radio station’s clients, I was able to build relationships that ended up helping set the foundation for my marketing agency.
When I look back over the past eleven years, I’ve made friends along the way and signed on many clients to my business. As the universe would have it, a few people saw potential in me and with their support, I started up my own marketing agency and they became my first clients.
Seeing as how I had no money at the time, I started up the agency with a $5000 line of credit on my Visa card. Two clients actually wrote me cash advances, that helped kickstart my agency.
Networking is a fairly simple concept. Essentially, all you have to do is introduce yourself to like-minded individuals at functions or corporate events and BOOM, you have just passed networking 101.
Here are some examples of networking opportunities: Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business and extracurricular activities. Believe it or not, all of these memberships have professionals who are often at industry events. You can also network through charitable events including: golf tournaments, dinner/dance galas, and sporting events. I try to make a habit of being active in as many organizations as possible. Mainly, I like to interact with different business associates. It has resulted in positive business for my agency.
It’s no lie that our world is becoming more digital by the day and as much as I’d like to say you don’t need business cards, I won’t because you still need that piece of paper with your picture and contact information. It’s how you associate yourself with your business and show what it is you do. It’s good practice to get out and start meeting like-minded individuals. You could see a significant increase in your business operations, even if the person you’re talking to doesn’t end up doing business with you. You’ll be surprised at how making a great first impression with one person, could open multiple doors for you. It’s real-life Facebook in the sense that you’ll never know how many mutual friends/businesses are out there until you look.
Funny enough, my business is one year older than Facebook and this year we are both celebrating milestones in our networking world. The future and growth of a business depends on the ability to continue to move onwards and upwards for years to come. So get off your chair and get out there and who knows, maybe I’ll see you at the next networking event!