Plan your time for success

As it is the start of the new year there are many people talking about planning and visions and goals.

As you probably know by now, I love to help people to get a great return on investment in their networking – to build relationships so that their business can grow and they can have fun doing it. There is a question that I am often asked that fits in well at this time of year as we are planning our diaries and our projects for the year.

How often or how regularly I suggest or recommend that people go networking or how much time to spend networking?

And the answer really does depend on how much time you have to devote to business development in your business. Are you working part time in your business? Are you working full time in your business? What I would say as a general rule of thumb is this. Find 1 hard contact networking group. By hard contact I mean a group that is specifically dedicated to business and to referrals. Maybe something like a BNI or 4Networking or something that is quite structured.

I would say you can find one of those groups and you can attend probably on a weekly basis, and really get to know the people in that group. In addition to that I would suggest finding two to three more informal and less structured, more soft contact networking groups. Maybe your local business chamber or a women in business type lunch or one of the Meetup groups on the www.meetup.com website. And try to find 2 or 3 may on a monthly or every other type of month basis. Now it is attending those groups regularly that will allow you to make an impression to build lasting relationships with those people and obviously there are visitors coming so you get to meet new people there over time.

And then if there is a group where there is a special guest speaker who you would like to go and hear or a particular topic that has interested you then you can look into that as an overall fit for your business networking plan.

For myself I am a member of a 4Networking group and I take the opportunity to visit other groups. So I go to a 4Networking meeting virtually every week. In addition to that I go to a local small business club which meets once a month and has a guest speaker and lots of chances to chat to people on a little bit more of an informal basis. I am also a member of Women’s Network Australia so I go to their lunches once a month. This all combined gives me chance to meet new people, time to follow up with people and the chance to build on existing relationships.

I hope this helps you to see how much you can do and how much you can benefit.

If you would like to use this article in your own ezine or blog you are welcome but must include the following:

Business Development and Networking Specialist Ruth Thirtle works with Small Business owners all around the world on how to get greater results for their networking and attract the right clients. This article is directly from her blog www.businessnetworker.co and you can access previous blog posts there if you liked this one.

Get her FREE Business Boosting videos at www.business-booster.co

Written by Ruth Thirtle

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