One quality that is of utmost importance to an entrepreneur is far-sightedness or the ability to look and plan ahead. An entrepreneur who is far-sighted knows the importance of networking. Networking, in the sphere of business, is an age-old method of making connections and contacts by meeting people face to face, or in business meetings or through phone and internet. These connections are not always made with the hope of immediate result; sometimes, they are like safe deposits, or like assets kept secured in a bank vault, which will come in handy at a much later time.
It seems pointless, sometimes silly even, to go about handing business cards over dinner to people who hardly know you. But making connections is not just about adding yourself to someone’s business card collection – it is about making an impression that no one will forget. It is about ensuring that, when the right moment arises, they will remember you first and no one else. It is about securing the most referrals and introductions possible. Word of mouth is one of the strongest forces in business – do not underestimate it. Be sincere when you connect with people and businesses, and your efforts will pay off in the long run. Aim for establishing trust and friendship while you connect with people. Trust takes years to create, but only one moment’s blunder to destroy.
An absolute necessity
No one can go the distance all alone – you will have to form partnerships and allegiances. If you want your vision to turn into reality, you will have to make connections. To take your company’s growth beyond a certain point, you have to rely on solid connections, many of which are formed in the early years when you start. Your connections will dictate the growth potential and stability of your company.
Sometimes it is important to create connections without any fixed agenda in mind. The agenda will show itself in the form of new opportunities when you start making friends in the right places. Business networking will bring you closer to like-minded people and talented professionals who will increase the effectiveness of your operation.
Be responsive and loyal in you interaction with everyone
If you get a referral, act upon it quickly. Don’t breach the trust of people with who you connect well. Be cordial, but assertive, towards every acquaintance that you make – this will influence them when they make crucial decision regarding you.
A friend in need
When times get rough, all that will count is who you have on your side. Someone you have been loyal to, may lend you a helping hand years down the line, when you face a crisis. As mentioned earlier, good connections made years ago are like assets which you can fall back upon all your life. Like a childhood friend who will never let you down.
Network up, down and centre
- Try to establish strong connections with people who are higher in position or more experienced than you. This will enrich you, as well as open new prospects.
- Network downwards to people who are beginners or lower in position than you. This way you can help others and gain respect.
- Extend your connecting attitude to your peers and others in a similar position as you. This will make you known and pave the way for much good fortune later.