Some small business owners think networking simply takes up too much of their time to bother with and if they don’t see the immediate benefit of visiting, say 2 or 3 networking sessions, it’s easy to get despondent and feel it isn’t very effective. Networking takes time to take full effect, around 12 to 18 months realistically. But personally I have found that it has been one of the major marketing success factors in growing my own marketing consultancy which is a small business too.
My network is key to my business and I value and protect its quality. I don’t simply add every “business card” I meet networking to my database. Only people whose skills I value and will need and also people I feel I trust, respect and want to do business with.
It isn’t a business card collection opportunity that’s for sure! It’s about real people – listening, sharing and giving back – and then you will reap the rewards ten-fold.
Here’s what Stewart Graham of Avalon Solutions on the panel had to say about the benefits of networking…