It is hard to capture the true benefits of networking in a short article.The reality is that some of your network become true friends.They will do most anything to help you just as you would do the same for them. Not all will be your friend, but you will find some type of special connection with each of them.The key is to remember that networking leads to a building of relationships you may wish to have for life.
In a recent article, an author stated that networking was a waste of time because the people he wanted to meet were not at the events. Too many approach networking with a “hand full of GIVE ME” and they wish to provide nothing in return. It is not possible to develop good relations with people that TAKE but are never willing to GIVE.
Networking is a very important part of business and job search. It is essential to entrepreneurs creating startup companies. In networking, it is important to develop the correct tools to remain in contact. Social networking is important if you seek investment in any social IT company. The whole purpose of networking is to establish relationships with people. How you proceed to use the network depends on you and the people in your network. You may wish to obtain referrals, assistance, advice, or just be friends. A good network has the benefit of your not being alone as situations arise.
Networking creates a connection to a broader range of information and people.Developing the ability to refer someone to a contact that can help is just one way to use your network.People respond more often and a friendlier manner after an introduction by a friend.Some of your network member will take your lead and provide help and advice expecting nothing in return. Imagine the power that provides!
When mentoring or assisting others, one of the best things you can do to help others is provide contacts.Young entrepreneurs often do not have relationships with experienced individuals that can help them.Your introductions may make a large difference in an entrepreneur’s life and the development of the startup.Think of it as you are “Paying it forward.”You need not have any expectations of obtaining something in return; you just help the entrepreneurs because you can.
The following are real-life examples of local leaders with experiences in paying it forward networking. Their goal was simply to help, but they received something in return.The reverse benefits were never expected or required, yet they just happened.In fact, this type of reverse activity happens somewhere every day.
- Assist an entrepreneur: A meeting with the entrepreneur and an executive resulted in the entrepreneur’s introduction to a highly experienced coaching group. The executive sent an introductory email and the entrepreneur sent a follow up email. The entrepreneur met with the group and a complete a coaching plan fell into place. The entrepreneur’s startup is advancing rapidly aided by the extended contacts from the new coach. In addition, a potential investment may come from the group. The executive also helped the entrepreneur on a different project.The project resulted in a wider recognition of the executives activities.Calls came in from people in different states requesting to work with the executive.The executive never expected any benefits, they just happened.
- Job search: Networking during a job search resulted in an unemployed person making a contact that identified a business filling a new position. The unadvertised position was a retained search in progress. Networking identified the opening, which was unadvertised. The result was an interview followed by a new job. All this came from a simple 15 min networking call to a person he had never met. Years later, the former candidate received a call from the person that had helped identify the opening.The individual had lost a job and needed help.The two had remained in contact over the years. They discussed the issue and many options.A newly created business with new clients emerged for the unemployed friend.
- Fund raising: An investment banker assisted an entrepreneur in raising capital for a startup. The entrepreneur and the banker remained friends. The entrepreneur passed along business contacts and leads to the banker over the years as their friendship grew. Recently, the entrepreneur met the banker’s child (now an adult) and provided advice and contacts. Not only was there a relationship with the banker, but with the family.
Networks do not occur overnight, they take time and effort. One take away message is in the form of the following question. How many people do you know that will help someone else based on a single phone call from you? That is the power of a great network!
You can follow Taffy Williams on Twitter by @twilli2861 and you can email him with questions at email@example.com or contact him via company contact info in the website. More Startup information is contained in his personal blog.