To paraphrase a wise man, the rich don’t look for work. They build businesses. Above all, they build networks. That is the true source of their success.
However, what is a network? More importantly, how can one exploit if for maximum financial and personal gain? These are very relevant questions. One cannot build something with having a solid base (understanding) of it. The most common definition of network according to Google is ‘a group or system of interconnected people or things’. That makes sense of the word quite well. When people are interconnected, they are tied to each other in some way, whether in business or friendship or family ties. All of these are potent sources of support, in both hard times and good ones. The focus of Wise Owl’s article today will be on how to take full advantage of the first type of network, business networks.
Modern business networks are vast, immensely so. This is a reality of life in the age of the internet, the cutting edge of the Information Age. Information is power. With that in mind, there are three main points to networking in modern times. These could potentially be the key to unlocking the doors of opportunity, such as funding for a clever new business idea. Or it could help unleash advice on how to grow your business further. Whatever the aim you have in mind is, the four main things to do in networking are: 1. Think big 2. Use social media and the Internet to the full 3. Attend as many networking events as possible. I will expand on these below.
- Think Big!
Think big, act big. What do I mean by that? Attitude is everything. It means have the biggest dreams, the grandest aims. Don’t sell yourself short. The most successful people never gave up in life, no matter what obstacles came their way. From Thomas Edison to Colonel Harland Sanders, they ultimately succeeding in a grand manner. People that think big, and strive to fulfil their ambitions (as opposed to simply leaving them be as daydreams) will ultimately attract like-minded people. Men and women with similar dreams and ambitions, who may well have the money and power to make those ambitions come true. If you broadcast your ambition to succeed, whether online or at major networking events you will attract and meet the people you need to help move your business forward.
- Use social media and the internet
This one is almost a no brainer. For many businesses online interactions are now their lifeblood. While that is having a controversial and divisive effect on the high street, especially in the UK, there can be no doubt that networking with prospective investors and business partners online can make all the difference to you in getting you on the next step of the success ladder. LinkedIn is an obvious site, aimed at professionals as it is. It is a great way to reach out to and recruit new people to your business. Instagram and Facebook can lead you to inspirational new ideas and events respectively. Even Twitter, which is arguably more optimised for politics and current affairs debates can be useful as a platform to advertise your business and attract a following from people well placed to help you.
- Attend as many networking events as possible
Again an idea that seems obvious in retrospect, but only if your strategy caters to reaching out to people to grow your ideas, networks and funding. The more events you are at, the more success you will have, the more useful people you will meet. Try to meet a wide variety of people, but focus especially on the sector your business is in. Remember to have a good contact card on you. Not too flashy, ideally it should be something simple. Go in at each event with a smile on your face and approach different groups. The ideal investor, partner or advisor is waiting for you out there.
There it is then. The three main things needed in building a network. Networks hold the key to transforming your business life. Now get started on unleashing their power!