Networking: What Is It?
In his famous book “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill explains at length the benefits of the Master Mind. OK, so just what is a Master Mind? As Napoleon puts it, the Master Mind is the “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.
The great American industrialists of the early 20th Century had Master Mind groups. Andrew Carnegie was said to have had a group of over 50 men who came together with the definite purpose of manufacturing steel. Henry Ford gathered experts with the sole purpose of building cars.
Today, Master Mind groups exist all over the planet… not just in the Corporate world, but also amongst small business owners as well. In many cases they exist as Business Networks. Every day of the week, you can find these formal networks of business people meeting over breakfast, lunch or dinner. From all walks of life, you will find florists, retailers, artists, internet marketers and handymen mixing with accountants, lawyers, electricians, finance consultants and personal trainers.
So, what can a beauty consultant and a plumber have in common? Probably not much to begin with, but as they get to know each other they begin to realise that they can make some great contacts by networking. For instance, plumbers have wives and they know other women. The beauty consultant sometimes needs her hot water system replaced. What about a florist and a handyman? The handyman needs flowers for special occasions like Mothers Day, birthdays and Valentines Day. The florist needs odd jobs done around her home and shop. Each of them know other businesspeople and they have customers. Business owners will refer business if they know that you do a good job. It makes sense because they are adding value to their customer’s lives at no additional cost.
Creating Your Network
There are 5 easy steps to creating a successful business network.
Step 1: Do a Google search for business networks in your area.
Step 2: Visit 3 or 4 of these events. Make a couple of strong contacts at each event by asking then about themselves and their business and then arrange to meet with them for coffee over the next few days.
Step 3: Resist the temptation to “push” your product or service onto them. They will ask you in good time.
Step 4: When you meet with your new contacts, ask more questions about them and their business. Don’t forget to throw in a few questions about their preferred network event. You can get lots of information here that will help you decide which one to join. Once again, curb the excitement you have for your business. Your goal is to learn all you can about your new friend.
Step 5: Make a decision to join at least one business network as soon as you feel comfortable.
Networking is all about building rapport, trust and welcoming new friends and important colleagues into your life. If you are friendly and you show genuine interest in your new friends, you will have no trouble creating your own little business network. From this group can eventually spring the Master Mind that Napoleon Hill speaks about in his book. The ideas that a group like this can come up with are startling. It’s incredible what happens when like-minded people get together. If you haven’t tried networking yet, why not? Do it now.