I was recently involved in a discussion on Linked In where the question posed was: What are the biggest problems facing small business owners? Follow this link for the full blog post that was written after the discussion: http://masterattractionmarketing.net/2016/05/22/biggest-problems-small-business-owners.
There were, as you may expect many different answers based mostly around peoples own experiences but the main point that came out of the discussion was that people often don’t know where to turn to for help when they need it. I think it demonstrates is a clear need for business owners to engage in networking, especially for independent business owners who work on their own from home.
The Importance of Networking
Networking should not only be seen as a platform to raise awareness of and gain more business for you or your contacts, but it should also be used as a platform to build connections with other business owners who can easily assist you when the going gets tough – as it inevitably does!
From all my networking events, I now know, because I have taken time to get to know them personally, business owners from many different sectors whom I know, will be and have been willing and able to help me in many areas as and when I need their expertise. This list includes Specialist Solicitors (Business, Road Traffic, and Personal), Financial Advisors, Accountants, HR Consultants, Specialist Recruiters, Security (Premises & Personal) Printers, Marketing, Copy Writers & Event Organisers to name just a few. I also know that the people that I have contact with are people whom I trust to be able to do a great job & give honest advice and consequently are also the people I would personally recommend to other contacts.
More than one representative from each business sector or just one?
It is important to remember that although there often seems to be more than enough representation of a particular business sector, e.g. Accountants, Financial Advisers etc., at Networking Events, each of these representatives will bring a slightly different aspect to how they work and specialism in what they focus on. This gives us the power of choice and we will always gravitate to the person who we feel is a good fit for us when we choose who to work with so there is always room for everyone. It is mainly for this reason that I prefer the less formally structured Networking Groups who welcome everyone from whichever business sector they operate in rather than those who have a one-seat blocking policy.
Can you do everything in your business?
Of course, we all know people who try to be all things to themselves in their business, usually because they like to be in control and no doubt we have all seen the effects of such behaviour on them, their businesses and families, when they suffer from total “burn out”. It is tragic to watch someone go through difficult situations, especially when it is so unnecessary, refusing to ask for help and possibly lose everything because they were afraid to be perceived as not being capable of coping.
There is no way that we can be everything to our businesses and we really must embrace that fact and never be afraid to ask for help – if we really want to succeed that is! We, both as individuals and business owners must also understand that if we wont use our contacts when we need help, how could we possibly refer these people to others when they need it?
I do feel it is also very important to remember that although we are business owners, we are also people with families & friends and we must not neglect our responsibilities outside of our business because we are too busy working “in” the business rather than “on “ the business. When we immerse ourselves totally “in” our business and insist on doing everything ourselves, we are in grave danger of losing sight of why we went into business in the first place. The phrases “No man is an Island” and “Can’t see the wood for the Trees” come to mind.
Passion for what we do is all well and good but not when it is to the detriment of living!
So I hope this blog has given you some thought provoking insight and changed to how you perceive the value of Networking, which I suggest is an extremely valuable component part of the Marketing mix for your business.
I look forward to meeting you soon at a Networking Event near you and if you feel that you need to do more but don’t know how to do it well, then please contact me to discuss a suitable, very cost effective training programme which will help you become a highly effective Networker and grow your business. www.pppresentations.co.uk