Networking – Making it Work

fallnetworkingMuch to do is being made of networking these days.  If you own and run a business, how in the world can you add time into your day for all of the various networking events, opportunities, one on one meetings, and organizations that are all vying for your time, money, and sales?

This is where discussing exactly this network conundrum with other like and kind business owners comes in handy.  Who is in a business that works with the same type of customer you are seeking?  As an example, accountants are usually seeking business owners who do not or should not be doing their own payroll or monthly reconciliations.  Guess what – medical insurance people, business insurance, and print company owners are also looking for the “do it yourself” business owner who should not be utilizing the net for these services.  Do you know any of these professionals?  More importantly do you refer any of these individuals to any of the businesses you currently work with?  If not why not?

This is the same problem with attending large meetings or conferences.  How do you find the professionals you need?  What metrics of measurement do you use to decide if you want to be associated with these other professionals?

There are professional networking organizations that do allow you to become more involved with other local business owners.  Be cautious of the ones that require you to be a referral source for other members based solely on the fact that you attend the same meeting together.  As an example, just because it says professional life coach on the business card does not mean the person actually has any experience in this area.

Let’s turn the mirror around for a minute.  How can anyone know if you are really qualified to do what your business card says about you?  This is where social media can be your new best friend or your worst nightmare:

  1. Are your multiple online profiles in sync with your profession?
  2. Is there a CURRENT picture of you posted for all to see?
  3. Are there any pictures of you posted out in cyberspace that you would not want your mom to see?
  4. Is your company website current?
  5. Is your contact information on your business card current?  (FYI – it does not impress anyone when you have to do a pen and ink change on your business card.)

Another way to be sure you are getting a quality return on your networking investment of time is to attend the quarterly ASBC networking event.  These are always serious networking times for all who attend.  These are not social events.  People are expected to meet new professionals and engage in conversations.  I know of some business owners who only network at ASBC events because of the quality of the people in attendance.

I will look forward to seeing all of you on October 30, 2014, at Red212 for this quarter’s event.

Eventbrite - ASBC Fall Networking Event

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