Guest Blog: Building your business, one connection at a timeSubmitted by Agrawal Associates on March 12th, 2018
March 12, 2018
There’s something empowering about running your own business and having a truly personal investment into your retirement plan. From lifestyle to finances, and everything in between, entrepreneurship is really about taking the bull by the horns.
One of the biggest areas that people often struggle with — especially at the early stages of their business — is committing a significant amount of time to connect with people, in person.
Call it whatever you want: networking, stakeholder relations, government relations, industry relations, or sphere of influence. No matter which statement resonates with you, the root meaning is the same: to establish and maintain professional relationships that support mutual interests and opportunities.
I choose to call them connections.
These connections will either directly or indirectly help you grow your business, and in turn, your nest egg. Whether we’re chatting about a current project or opportunity, or simply connecting in person to build and maintain a relationship, time for networking should be included every week.
Here are three tips for establishing your own personal connections.
1. Be strategic
Communications is always rooted in strategy and developing connections is no different. What’s your goal? Are you just starting out in the industry and looking for guidance? Do you want to build awareness about a new service you’re offering? Are you retiring and setting up a side-business? The answers to these questions will help you determine the right type of people that you need to connect with, whether it be influencers, mentors, or educators.
2. Think long term
Relationship building isn’t about hitting people up for favours at your first meeting. There will also be connections that never become about a game of quid-pro-quo, but rather about general support and guidance. It’s a process similar to the dating game: it takes time and doesn’t always work out. But when a connection solidifies and you establish a strong, professional relationship, it becomes an important part of your growth and development. It doesn’t matter what stage of career you’re at — we can always use a support system.
3. Plan your time
Yes, it takes time to build a business through connections. Look at networking as an investment in yourself, your career, or your business. To avoid losing massive chunks of time, try scheduling all of your connection meetings back-to-back on one afternoon. It eliminates transportation time and reduces the impact on work days throughout the rest of the week.
Building relationships will prove to be a key element to both individual career growth and business development so get started today!