How often do you take the time to strategize on your business? Really have “think tank” moments where you devote time to growing your business and analyzing where you are. We did it in January … and most of us, continued throughout the first few months of the year. However, for the majority of us, it isn’t long afterwards that our own businesses return to their places on the proverbial back burner. As July approaches, and you get back into the “where I am half-way through the year” mode, it’s time to start strategizing again. Time to get into the “build my business better this year” mode. Fortunately, it’s not too late.
It’s time to consider…what have you done right? What have you NOT done right? What can you do better? If you want to end this year ahead of where you were last year, you need to analyze and reassess where you were, where you are now, and where you want to go.
Now that you’ve done the analyzing and reassessing, it’s time to take action steps to move you forward. Even one step a month can help. And to get you started, here is one action step you can take right now to grow your business.
Networking – Networking should be a big part of your business. It can be done online or locally, but it needs to be done. Once you get started it’s so easy to do, too. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, once you join a group, you wouldn’t even consider missing one of their meetings? But getting in the door is another story. That’s why you need to go out of your comfort zone and get yourself out there. Start small, but join at least one networking group. Now, here’s the key. The group has to carry the potential that will lead to your business growth. Joining Weight Watchers (although it can help with your weight) is not going to grow your business. We’ve seen this happen over and over again. People often sign up for networking groups; and although they can be fun, they just aren’t the right groups to help their business. They spend time in these groups, make a few friends here and there, but unfortunately don’t get the results they need, so they eventually give up and feel it just doesn’t work. It does work. You just have to know how to work it right.
First, find the right group for you. One way to do this is to pay attention to the groups others belong to. They often share these on social media communities like Facebook and Twitter. Some groups might have a small membership fee, and that’s okay. If it’s reasonable, has potential, and you can see it will lead to your business goals, then consider it. But do your research first. Oftentimes, a quick Internet search will let you know if it’s a worthwhile investment.
Attend the meetings. Been there, done that. How often have you joined a group, but six months down the road, can’t remember the last time you actually showed up for a meeting? Then you are guilt-ridden when someone posts on Facebook about what a great meeting it was. That’s why it’s important to take the networking challenge and actually show up. And, while you’re there, make sure you engage with others. Don’t sit back in a corner, business cards in hand; hoping someone will make the first move and come up to you. Be assertive, get out there and start conversations. What you will discover is most people are just like you and appreciate that someone else took the first step. Then, after the meeting, take action. Try and schedule time after the event (but before you get back into work) to reflect on how you can get the most out of the connections you made. You will be amazed at how soon this turns into a habit and is no longer considered a challenge or drudgery.
Networking is a time-tested, solid business strategy that works. And the more you work it, the better the results. What we think you will discover more than how successful it is though, is how enjoyable you’ll find it. Start now and see how by year’s end, this habit is one you won’t want to break in the coming years.
Terry L. Green, President of BizEase Support Solutions, and her team of qualified online support specialists, provide seamless online marketing implementation, technology and administrative support solutions to speakers and business coaches worldwide. Visit http://www.bizeasesupport.com to find out how partnering with BizEase can help you grow your business, have more time, and make more money.