Do you take time to network in your business?
Despite the startling statistic that most small business owners attribute more than 70% of their business to referrals, most small business owners consistently underestimate the power and profitability available when your network and joint ventures are working to boost your business.
In Referral of a Lifetime, author Tim Templeton frames a powerful plan for cultivating clients and customers in a fable about businesswoman Susie McCumber, who feels increasingly like a failure. Templeton paints a picture of a successful business person as one who cultivates relationships to secure repeat business and profitability collaborates to build their network.
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It’s easy to get caught up in the daily business of running your business and put off the commitment to networking groups – especially for mom entrepreneurs. After all, most networking groups meet either before school or in the early evening when most moms are already juggling family responsibilities. But with a solid networking plan, most business owners are shocked at how easy it is to leverage their network and create joint venture partnerships that easily lead to more sales and easily widen your marketing net.
A strategic alliance is anyone who serves the same target clients as you do, but whose company or service doesn’t overlap with yours.
Once formed, strategic alliances can quickly become your best referral partners and, in many cases, grow exponentially as your services and offers expand.
Where do you find your network and strategic alliances?
For example, if you’re an Accountant you may seek out strategic alliances with an attorney, financial advisor, bookkeeper, banker, and a business coach. If you are a writer, you may look for people in the publishing industry, a copywriter, graphic designer and a PR specialist. There are many associations and networking groups found in most communities and even the smallest towns and cities. Sometimes a quick call to an area Chamber of Commerce or Business Bureau can lead you to a pot of gold filled with excellent strategic alliances that will help you build your business. The key is to look for networking opportunities where your strategic partners are grouped in large numbers easily and inexpensively. If you find local groups, be sure to pay for general membership and try to get involved at a level that makes sense for you. Networking is largely about showing up, so be sure you don’t overcommit – and try to find one that allows you to network monthly on your own time.
Your Sanity Assignment
Create a spreadsheet and begin by listing at least ten potential strategic partners who are in your circle right now. Include their profession and their name. If you don’t have a name for each profession, now you’ll know who to look for at your next networking event.
Please share your advice below!
Take a moment to comment and share your thoughts. What do you suggest toward building your network? How have YOUR strategic alliances helped your business development? Please share your insights and comments below!
If your group could use a Networking presentation, go here to learn about our Speaking Topic: How to Convert Low-Cost Networking Into Big Income.
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