In the past, networking used to be “let’s do lunch” or “let’s play golf” or simply getting together for drinks after work. Oh how times have changed. There are so many networking groups. . .so many choices. . .so little time!
Last week I looked at the “cost” of networking for my own company. When I say cost I mean the actual dollars that I spend on networking. Next I looked at time: the amount of time that I spend networking. For a small business owner that equates to a pretty hefty investment as it relates to all of the things we have on our “to-do” lists. Finally I looked at how much of my networking dollars and time spent I can attribute to this year’s sales.
Ask some people and they might advise that you eliminate all of your advertising, marketing and public relations and have you simply network. Effective networking can create great referrals, right? Introductions to others pay dividends because the hope is for a reciprocal introduction, right? You introduce someone, they’ll introduce you, right? Business starts rolling in the very minute after you finish giving your 30 second intro, right?
In my next post I will discuss my own conclusions on whether or not networking has paid off for me and for my company.
For now I pose this question to you: what are your networking findings for you and your business? Has networking and the investment of time and money been financially rewarding?
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Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions and Social Media Staffing Solutions for businesses to build their social media success. He also founded the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN) in the Chicago Area celebrating it’s 3 year anniversary this December.