Networking is a cost-effective method for expanding any business. A social network is a system of resources, such as information and services, that are shared among individuals or groups having a common interest. Business networking, as the term implies, is the application of social networking principles to benefit a business. Because no business is an island; the primary goal of networking is to develop mutually beneficial business relationships. Once established, these lasting relationships can provide an invaluable reservoir of information, ideas and support that will help you develop and improve your company.
The most obvious benefit of business networking is that it can generate new leads and prospective clients. However, it is important to remember that networking and direct sales are two different things; the goal of networking is not to pitch a product or service to potential consumers, but to develop relationships. Always keep this broader goal of business networking in mind as you follow up on networking opportunities. Be selective, and focus primarily on those forms of networking that foster mutually beneficial relationships.
Selective networking is especially important in the digital age, now that popular new forms of networking such as blogs, websites, listservs and virtual communities provide an abundance of potential business contacts, it has become easier to connect with your network. You may be asking yourself, how can an entrepreneur/ independent business professional capitalize on these new networking opportunities and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships? As a starting point, remember that networking is about quality of communication, not quantity of contacts. A large percentage of business owners feel that, even in the digital age, relationship building must have a face-to-face component; it can be difficult to form quality relationships via cyberspace. Therefore, it is important to supplement online networking with more traditional, face-to-face forms of networking such as conferences, business trips, social events and survey or focus groups. For example, you might arrange to follow-up on line contacts with face-to-face meetings at business events. As with anything, diversification is key; the Internet should serve as one resource among many, not as your only networking strategy.
Clearly, networking involves much more than just a firm handshake and elegantly designed business cards. Networking is about cultivating “social capital”, the invaluable support for business that comes from social relationships. While introducing yourself to other business professionals and striking up a conversation costs nothing, the rewards that come from lasting, mutually beneficial business relationships are priceless.
Make Success Happen,
What is Success?
Today I want to talk about my association with a great author and successful business coach. His is one of my mentors. His name is Ron Finklestein from Fairlawn, Ohio. His book which is one of four he has authored was my book for the month in September, The Nine Principals for Inspired Action. Many hours, days and months have gone into the results that are shared in this article. One of the things I have discovered with talking to small business owners is that many do not understand success or what it takes. They know sales techniques, advertising and strategies which are needed, but your thought process and what you need to understand to make it all work usually falls short of the mark in a lot of cases. Small businesses are struggling right now and there are some specific reasons why. This article also continues to speak about some things I have written in previous articles but ties it all together. Understand and practice these nine principals and great things will happen. Our time is most precious to us and with the business climate today what we do and how we think to get us to our destinies is what we need to reflect on ever so much. So let me share some things that helped me truly make a huge difference and never leave me wondering if I am moving towards success.
What is success?
I gave speech to a group of business owners. At the end of the speech I asked them how they defined success. As I spoke with each owner I received a different answer. Each owner had his own definition of success.
As a business coach, I began to wonder how I could help people achieve success. This was a problem because I could not find a common definition of success that we could all agree on. If we could not agree on what success really means how we can achieve it. I spent some time trying to understand the meaning of success. I read more books than I could count. I watch different videos, I listened to audio programs, I talked to other successful people and still no answers. I was about ready to stop looking then something unusual happened.
One day I asked Ron about it and ironic enough he was cleaning out some old books and came across the Oxford dictionary. He looked up the word success and found it was originally a French word that simply met “to achieve.” There was no value judgment associated with your achievement. If I robbed you I was just as successful as if I helped you plow your fields. This was hollow to me because I did not want others to do things that lacked a moral and ethical foundation. So I looked up the work “Achieve.” It simply met to take action.
I finally had my answer and I experienced a true epiphany. I realized that success was not financial independence, a new car or the dream vacation. True success is simply taking action towards your goal or intelligent self-interest. (We talked about intelligent self interest last month.) The money, the car or the vacation are not success they are the outcomes of being successful, of taking action.
Ron helped me to my satisfaction define the word success in a way that could help me help others.
When we define success as taking action I am sure you are asking yourself how I implement this concept in a way that is effective for me. I asked myself the same question. Here’s what Ron Finklestein found out in interviewing 1000 business owners and asking them what they did to be successful. He saw a total of nine behaviors that were consistently being implemented. People called them different words but Ron was able to distill them down to nine specific behaviors. Ron tested these behaviors in his coaching program to see if he could teach them to any business owner who wanted better results. He was amazed at the results they achieve.
Here are the nine behaviors:
8. Ideas – Most people have too many ideas. This causes inaction. We need to get focused on the one or two ideas that lead us to our intelligent self-interest and execute those ideas with a passion.
most if not all had to learn some valuable lessons. Lessons that lead them to be successful. That’s what failure is really about. It’s our learning lessons. It doesn’t mean quit and try something else. It means that we have eliminated something that wasn’t successful. Sometimes you need to know what doesn’t work in order to find out what does. So I’ll shorten the learning curve for you and eliminate some failure. These nine principals work.
How does this apply to you? Start small. Figure out what your intelligent self-interest is. Don’t worry about being wrong.
So start small and implement one principle a week for nine weeks. You will be amazed and delighted with the new person will become and the results you will achieve. So my book for the month is one that I have referred before and this article is about what I have learned from it. It is one of my prized possessions. So I want it give it to you again.
Ron Finklestein’s Nine Principals for Inspired action. I am certified By Ron to teach the Nine Principals and how to make them work. They work for anyone in any business. I have only one requirement, your full commitment. As we move into the final quarter of the year and think if next year will be different, ask yourself this question, will I sit and wait for the circumstances of the economy, sales, what the government will do, or am I not going to let the circumstances effect me any longer and make the decision to change and overcome the circumstances at hand.
The solutions are there, you just have to be committed, don’t just be involved.
Marketing Will be a key to Your Business Success
Hopefully, you thought about starting a home-based business, have your idea already in the works or have actually started to put pen-to-paper and map out what’s next. You may already have one and just need a little sound advice. Regardless of where you are in the process, there is a list of to do’s and considerations to make sure your learning curve is on track and mistakes are at a minimum. Continue reading “Marketing is a Key to Your Business Success” »
Why It Makes Sense To Have a Home Based Business
Today, people are very conscientious about every dollar coming in and every dollar going out. And you should be too. These are some of the worse economic times any us have seen in our lives.
So it only makes a great deal of sense that we not only have to scrutinize our expenses, but we have to look at almost everything we do differently.
There are primarily two sets of tax laws in this country. One is for employees which most of us know isn’t much with regard to tax deductions.
The other is for business. Small business or home business that is done full or part time.
This is where the difference can be huge for the expenses you make on a regular basis. Continue reading “Why It Makes Sense To Have a Home Based Business” »