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Modern Business Networking Groups Introduced

Maybe you’ve just started up in business and you’ve heard about modern networking groups and how important they will be to your new business. Maybe you need to expand your business and venture into new areas and feel that networking groups may help. So what is this modern networking all about and how does it differ from the old-fashioned networking where you simply kept in regular touch with your friends, peers and business colleagues?

Here is some good news. There is no fundamental difference. Networking, in both the personal and the business sense, will always be about building solid, quality relationships over time.

Modern business networking groups are basically groups of business people who meet regularly for networking purposes and business growth.

The bad news is that a great many modern business networking groups are actually profit generating businesses in their own right. Attendance of the various groups can be quite expensive for new or expanding businesses. Getting the fundamentals of networking right can, however, more than recoup the outlay in terms of business generated and profits made. As with all aspects of running a business, the onus is on you to measure this Return on Investment (ROI) and act appropriately to ensure that you are where you want to be at all times.

As this article is aimed at business networking, I will talk about using the “Know, Like and Trust” approach and why it is an excellent way to go. It is a proven and repeatable process that will stand you in good stead. As with so much in life, the more time and effort you put into the process, the better the results you will obtain.

Remember that business networking should never be about selling – you should be engaged in quality relationship building. You may of course sell early on if conditions prove ideal but that is not your primary aim. Pushy salespeople will be easily get to the Know stage but rarely any further.

At the Know stage of the process you are aiming to build a network of people who know about you and know about your business. You should commit to being consistent in attending events and make a real effort to keep in regular contact with your developing network group. The members of your network group will then see you much more and therefore get to know you much more. You will be on their collective radar. At this stage you will get to know them as well. You may well know many, if not all, of the network group within quite a short time. You will begin, hopefully, to move into the Like sector.

Reaching the Like stage is not actually about being liked in the sense of “I like Andy, he’s a really great guy”, although being liked in this way is obviously a real bonus. Rather, you will be liked as in accepted as a serious and consistent business person with a good business offering. The members of the networking group who like you would readily consider asking for your advice or input and might even consider referring you if the opportunity arose.

Bear in mind here that you are aiming for quality business relationships. You will not be liked by all members of the group and, in turn, you will not like all of the group members. It is unrealistic to think otherwise. The numbers in your network circle at each stage of know, like and trust process should reduce. It is simply a factor of the time available to spend on maintaining each relationship and the depth of the various relationships. You have to go for quality over quantity if all parties in the deeper relationships are to benefit.



Business Planning Overview

A Brief Overview of Your Business

Your business plan should outline the nature of your business, your business goals and objectives, the overall viability of the business in general, what is the business image, all of the legal aspects that might need to be considered, profit and loss projections and what will your break even point be.

A Specific Target

A good business plan has to have a specific target to aim at. Your target will help keep you on track so you can achieve the success you aim for. It’s also a pretty reliable guide so you can make adjustments along the way, if something is not working well you have to be prepared to handle it immediately.

Financial Resources

A carefully drawn business plan should show how you intend to manage the business, where you want the business to go and how do you plan to get it there. Most businesses do not begin immediately to make money. What financial resources are you planning on drawing upon, to keep your business going until it finally begins to realize a profit?

Tracking Your Plan

A good business plan will enable the business to track its actual program against its projected target. Because the business plan is mapped out in advance it will very seldom be 100% accurate since it cannot predict unexpected changes that occur along the way. Therefore, it is quite important that the business plan is reviewed often, so any adjustments that need to be made can be implemented whenever necessary.

Steering the Course

The main reason why a business plan should be laid out, is to serve as a guide to the course of action the business owner is to steer their business and be enlightened on whether the business performance is on track, or on the projected target or if is has gone off course and needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Every business owner should make sure that they spend some time writing a business plan and use it as a map to guide the business towards the owner’s goals.



Benefits of Business Networking

Networking has been the number one job search strategy and will continue to be so for many reasons. Networking helps people to find support from other professionals. However, some people have a hard time networking because they find it difficult to ask for help. Listed below are 4 ways you can improve your participation in a business networking group even if you are having a hard time asking others for help.

#1 РBe prepared РBefore joining a business networking group or creating your own networking group, you should understand your own goals and understand what you want to achieve in a given frame of time. Some benefits of networking for professionals include getting information regarding business opportunities, careers, increasing visibility in your chosen field and increasing chances of finding your next project.

#2 – Contact the right people – There are many people who join business networking groups and many of these people are willing to share information. If one of your main goals is to gather information then you should determine which people are “in the know” and would provide helpful information. Usually the best way to do so is to find out which people would have knowledge in your chosen industry and talk to them to see whether they would be willing to share some information and contribute to their chosen business networking group.

#3 – Concentrate on quality and not on quantity – Although it may seem like the best way to get more from a business networking group is to concentrate on getting maximum contacts, in reality creating a few quality contacts is better than having multiple contacts that are not based on a good relationship. There are a few exceptions to this rule however in most cases it is better to create a few contacts that are reliable and based on a good relationship and who would refer you to potential clients and business partners.

#4 – Improve your networking skills – There are various online courses that help people understand how to improve their networking skills in an easy and efficient manner. These courses offer valuable information on how to leverage your time and get the most out of any networking event you attend. Whether you are lookifind the best networking groups for you, or you even want to start your own business networking group, you may want to consider one of these courses to help you achieve your goals.




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