Networking For Beginners

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by Tom Watson on April 14, 2010

The act of networking needs to play a major role in your new business. Your success (or failure) in networking will greatly determine how well you fare in business. To help you fully understand it’s importance we need to define what networking really is.

Websters Dictionary defines networking as: To make connections among people or groups of a like kind.

To have success at this you need to combine several elements. Think of the elements as ingredients for a recipe (success). You need to combine your knowledge of your industry with some above average social skills and throw in a  little sales ability to top it off. With a little education and practice you can become both proficient and successful at it.

Networking is something that many business people (the less successful ones) don’t bother with. I can fully understand why networking is left off their to do list. The reason is you are not normally networking during working hours. You are working hard at your regular job (or business) between 9-5.

Networking on the other hand is done on your time.

This only leaves before work, at lunch and after hours to network. It cuts directly into your spare time. Most people will avoid something that takes such a chunk of their leisure time. This opens up a door for you to be that person who sacrifices themselves for the greater good.

What does networking do for you?

  1. Networking gets you noticed by the people who count. These people are the decision makers or people who know the decision makers.
  2. Networking will create more prospects for you to cultivate.
  3. Networking allows you to make more contacts. Contacts lead to more contacts which will eventually lead to people who will inquire about your services.
  4. Networking leads to more sales.
  5. Networking can position you as a leader in your industry. People want to do business with a leader.
  6. Networking builds solid relationships with people within the group.  Relationships are vital to success. The more you have the greater your growth.

What concrete steps can I take to become successful at networking?

  1. Develop a 30 second mini commercial about what you do and how it can help others. Remember to always deliver your commercial after the other person. You do this by asking for theirs first (ask what company they represent and what their role is).
  2. Dedicate the time to attend events. You need to cut into your spare time and use it for networking.
  3. Create a schedule of events you plan on attending. The only way to get noticed is to show up and be active.
  4. Go to where your customers and prospects are.

Where should I network?

  1. Join the Chamber of Commerce. The gold standard for networking. Generally a large organization with plenty of people to meet.  You will need to play the game to succeed. Their are many people with their own mini commercials out there and you are a target to them as much as they are to you. Play fair by listening to others. They will never listen to your commercial if you don’t listen first.
  2. Attend the large end of year function or any other major Chamber of Commerce functions. All the big movers and shakers show up for these and are a “must attend” event for you.
  3. Locate other networking groups like BNI (Business Network International), Forty Under Forty, Le Tip International, Business Journal events or any other established group that has at least 20 members.
  4. Civic groups like the Moose, Lions, Kiwanis and Elks. Get noticed by participating in leadership functions.
  5. Volunteer for a charity of any kind. The more people you meet the more others are exposed to you. Remember to give of yourself first and everything else will fall into place.
  6. Go to trade shows and mingle with the guests and exhibitors.

I do believe I gave you enough to keep you busy for a while. Do your homework (your 30 second commercial etc…) and start signing up to attend some networking functions. As Woody Allen once said “90% of success is showing up”.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rose September 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Loved the website. It’s helping me a lot.
Thank you Tom.

2 Tom Watson September 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

You are so welcome Rose! It’s nice to have you.

3 shamirah February 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Im trying to start my own business, if you can assist me any further you can email me. All ideas are appreciated. Thanks

4 Tom Watson February 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Hi Shamirah!

What kind of help do you need?

5 Alejandro Flores March 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

I really need help in my business, my business is a house and commercial cleaning

6 Tom Watson March 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Hi Alejandro!

Ok…you need some tips, and that’s what we do here. For starters, you should sign up for my newsletter. This is a good first step, and you can do so here… http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=uaiom6cab&p=oi&m=1102645239828

Now I highly recommended checking out my podcasts (http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/podcasts-2/). You can learn a lot for free just by tuning in.

Next up is all the articles in the blog, well over 250 all about getting started in the cleaning business. You can check them out here… http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/blog/

If your ready to really get started, you should order the manual (http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/start-your-own-cleaning-business/). The manual walks you through everything step by step. It will be a huge help to you. It tells you exactly how I did everything.

If you decide to order the course, and you don’t understand something in it, all you need to do is call me and I will walk you through it. With that said, if you need to get a particular question answered before ordering, just let me know. You can email (or call me for that matter) and I’ll gladly help in whatever way I can.

7 Elena January 12, 2015 at 10:10 pm

I don’t have any idea on how to start the business. About how much will it cost me to get my name registered and for the insurance. I am still a bit skeptical about opening a business account due to the fact that my credit is not so great.

8 Tom Watson January 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Hi Elena! Well I can’t tell you what to do on that one. I can say that if you do it right, it won’t be all that much money out of pocket (but obviously it will be some). You don’t need credit to start, but you will need some cash for marketing purposes.

As for HOW MUCH for register and insurance… registering is probably real cheap (check your local county office). Mine was like 25 bucks (a long time ago). The insurance is easy to find out, just call a insurance agent and ask what is the most basic insurance cost for a cleaning company. They can tell you in five minutes.

9 kingsley July 12, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Hello
if you have a construction company & want to have a cleaning section. what do you need to do in order to register a cleaning company?

10 Tom Watson July 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Hi Kingsley! I’m not sure about that to be honest. I would ask either your accountant or a lawyer.

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