Content provided by a guest contributor.
With Web2.0 as an easy to use platform, the prolific development of online business and social media has resulted in so many business networking opportunities. With so many business networks, local, national, and global, it's hard to choose.
Some are only virtual; some include face to face meetings. Some are free, some requiring a small payment and others a larger payment. It’s mind boggling! But, really, is your “net” working?
Are you making contacts or forming connections? The number of “friends” or business cards you have do not imply a trusting business relationship. Or are you hanging in “Virtual” suspension? Visible to all without anyone actually seeing or listening to you?
Are you meeting the right people for the right reasons? Do you compliment rather than compete? Or is the food or fun factor enough for you?
When I ask if your "net" is working, I ask you to consider:
- Time spent on networking - virtual or face to face?
- Other costs e.g. petrol or bandwidth?
- Membership or meeting fees payable?
Have you ever totalled those three and worked out you "RONI" – return on networking investment?
It’s not how many referrals you get or the Rand value of invoices paid. Rather consider the net profit generated from business networking?
What I’m suggesting is a mini income statement:
Income - Expenses (including time spent) = Net Profit
Perhaps a marketing plan with a segmented and target marketing approach to business networking would yield a better return on time and money spent? Would selecting fewer niched networks be more effective?
The content in this article was provided by Pearl Seigel (MBA) – Communications Specialist, Ghostwriter, and Author of Business & Nonfiction Books. Pearl's expertise lies in training, branding, coaching, communication, e-commerce, entrepreneurship, and strategic marketing.