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How to use networking to build your business

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One of the most effective tools that you can use for your business, is networking. The ability to network is far more then just a business buzzword. If you can become an effective networker, then you can help to build your business, in several different ways. All business owners, regardless of size, can use their efforts of networking, to help them find customers, contacts and even investors, that can help grow their business. If you network you are much more likely to stay in touch with what is happening in your industry. In addition, networking with other business owners can show you resources that you may not have been aware of. The major benefit of networking is that it can be done with very little cost, while bringing in a big return. Here is what you need to know about how to use networking to build your business-

• Never leave home without a business card or two-You want to make sure that wherever you go, that you have business cards with you. This means that whether you are heading to a business meeting or going to work out at the gym, you should have business cards in your pocket. You want to make sure that you take advantage of every opportunity that you have to network. You want to be able to pass along a business card, to everyone who may be a business contact, or may know of someone who could be a business contact. There are very few situations that cannot be used for networking. However, you should keep in mind that you will need to be social and friendly, in order to be able to talk to people. If you suddenly bombard people with information about your business, they will be far less inclined to take you seriously or even listen to what you have to say. Be creative and use the time that you spend waiting in line at the bank or the grocery store, to strike up a conversation. You may just be surprised at the networking you are able to do.
• Be in the right places-While you should try and network everywhere you go, there are certain places that will yield a better networking results then others. If you make it a policy to attend conferences and trade shows, you are much more likely to find networking contacts. You can use these opportunities to show your customers, contacts, and your competition, what you can do for them. This is also one of the best ways to find additional resources, for your business. Your chances of networking improve at these events, because the people who attend them are far more likely to be interested in your business.
• Network with people how can be of the most help to you-You need to make sure that you using the bulk of your networking efforts to meet the people who can help you the most. While you should never assume that someone can’t help you, you may have to narrow down the field, to a key list of contacts that you should network with. This is why it is important to be in locations, where these people are most likely to be. Your local business alliance and Chamber of Commerce can both provide exceptional networking opportunities, for growing your business. In addition, you should not overlook the opportunity to network online. There are many valuable resources that can be found online, if you take the time to network with people who can direct you to them. Make sure that you are at the right sites, in order to join the most beneficial forum and discussion groups.

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