Small business answers — NOW!

Networking in the beginning

Question
Where is a good starting point for networking? 
Answer
Networking is about creating and developing opportunities through meeting and "connecting the dots" among the people you know. Research tells us that at least 250 people already are part of your network. Get reacquainted with them. The following 10 categories of people can be the beginning of a great networking success story:

- Customers or Clients. They are the lifeblood of your business.

- Suppliers. Refer your supplier and improve your chances of staying on his/her radar screen.

- Co-Workers and Colleagues. Office buddies are a powerful networking resource. Invite one to lunch or coffee.

- People in your profession. Helping your competition can actually lead to greater opportunities to grow your business.

- Former classmates. Peruse your alumni magazine to pinpoint people to reconnect with.

- Like-Minded People. Your extra-curricular activities have people with common interest, ambitions and similar life experiences.

- Neighbors. Turn a friendly wave into an invaluable conversation.

- Friends. Nurture and cultivate your friends in a positive way - without expectations.

- Family. A great networking resource, how can you be helpful to them in return?

- People you meet by chance. Be kind to unfamiliar people you meet in airports, grocery store lines and waiting rooms. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Nonstop Networking
Related Categories: Creativity, Networking
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