Small Business Solutions: Never Stop Networking
In business as in job-searching, networking is critical.
Just like the hiring manager who feels more confident bringing aboard someone with whom they already have an established professional relationship, customers like doing business with the companies with whom they feel connected.
So, it’s safe to assume that if you’re starting a business, you already know that unless you’re about to bring to market a truly can’t-miss world’s greatest mousetrap, it’s critical to focus a great deal of energy on building an extensive network of advocates.
But the mistake made by too many small-business owners who experience success is to lose sight of the important role networking played to help them become profitable. Once they’ve tasted success, many small businesses simply refocus their networking efforts toward other support activities.
Or, in many cases, the small businesses that succeeded before the Internet explosion and our current world of social media simply don’t invest the time it takes to understand the plethora of free tools available to them to evolve their networking activities in line with the times.
And today’s version of networking isn’t what it used to be. In addition to the time-tested networking must-dos, such as membership and participation in related business associations, cross-promotions with other businesses, sharing business-related news and promotions via e-newsletters and traditional mail, etc., today’s modern age of networking also requires an entirely fresh approach that embraces the tenets of successful content marketing.
In this highly informative piece courtesy of the Content Marketing Institute, the author provides a helpful checklist for content creators, i.e., the modern networkers, to use when implementing a plan of action. If I were starting a business today I would print the article and refer to it regularly.
None of this is to suggest that today’s small businesses should abandon the networking methods of yore—just the opposite, in fact.
But while there’s no arguing that the golden rules of Networking 101 no longer hold water, it’s important to understand how the businesses that continue to grow their revenue will do so by comprehending and employing the readily available tools and methods of the modern networker.