Build your Business Network and Make Good Friends

Building your business network and making friends is essential for credibility, success and meeting your business targets. It is like a vehicle that will help take you to your target destination and will boost your self-awareness. One of the major source of building networks is by getting involved in networking events. Networking events may be organized for profit making, wooing investors or even by non-profit organisations such as the United Nations affiliated non-profit orgainisation. It is reported that while men attend networking events to build business, women attend networking event for relationship purpose. The critical objective to attend events is to connect with people and build relationships, which is a prerequisite for doing business.

The following tips will help you build your business networks, make friends and have a lasting and successful business relationship.

1. Attending Networking Events: This event could be a seminar, workshop, convention, mastermind or even a fund raising event. The choice of the event you should attend could be heavily dependent on the following factors;

a.       Topics to be discussed or debated
b.      Speakers and Special Guests who would grace the events
c.       Business Opportunities that this may bring to you
d.      Opportunities for a personal relationship or new friendship

     Some people who had interest in agriculture were known to have met their mentors at a health event simply because their prospective mentor happened to be a speaker or special guest at the health event. Sometimes, people you meet at the event may connect you to another business relationship, which could be your investor or business with similar interest or common goal. It is extremely important to follow-up with new contacts via mail or instant messaging

  2. Get and pursue several mentors: Mentors will play a major role in having a successful business network as they will offer you advice and would introduce you to other people either in person or by e-mail. It is often advisable to ensure you regularly report to your mentors weekly, as this will ensure that you have a standard target you need to achieve and act as a control for you to be diligent in achieving your dream or set goals. Some mentors also assist with your initial capital in the growth of your company or business.

3.  Get involved with Social Media Groups: Build your connections through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Following your prospective relationship/network, you wish to initiate and build using Social Media tools will assist you to learn about your prospective networks likes, dislikes their hobbies, values etc. Find out how you can add value to them, when you have done so, they will also want to return the favor. Create groups as well to increase your followership.

 4.      Develop new skills and build existing skills: The following skills are a must have as this will attract the right people or organization towards you:
a.       Leadership skills
b.      Inspirational skills
c.       Strategy Skills
d.      Marketing Skills
e.       Financial Planning skills
f.        Entrepreneurship skills

    5.    Active Involvement in Social Media: Read and make comments or contributions on online blogs, articles, and press release or press statements. This will make people to have interest in you and some may even try to contact you directly.

6.   Open Invitations: Try to make friends with the people you meet whether you think they may help you or not. This goes a long way in referrals. Also, do not hesitate to be someone else network as this may also favour you either in the present or in the distant future. It is also a strategic way for building future potential connections and for testimonials. Begin to see friends as an asset. Begin with identifying with the individual you want to meet, and then begin the process of becoming friends with them. This process takes a lot of energy but it is priceless and worth the efforts.

7.  Reach out to your competitors: Yes, your competitors need to be your friends, not intimately but professionally as they would motivate and challenge you and indirectly help your business. However, ensure that you do not expose your shortcomings as this could make your vulnerable and may be used against you.

8. Get involved in Alumni Groups & relevant Communities: Fortunately, Alumni groups also exist in social media. Try to get involved in their activities and this will improve your visibility and help you become a local name.



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