When it comes to growing your business, the right relationships can take you places that money can’t. However, many entrepreneurs spend so much time working in the day-to-day operations, that they fail to develop a support network that’s able to provide advice, access to resources, and even funding. Ready to level up in your business? Avoid these networking mistakes.
If you are ready to level up in your business, avoid these networking mistakes:
1. Failing to Build a Diverse Network
Innovation is born out of diversity. While many people focus on building relationships with people who have similar interest, the most successful networks include people with a diverse set of strengths, skills, and perspectives. Make it a monthly habit to building relationships with people outside of your industry.
2. Asking for Too Much Too Soon
Asking someone you just met for help can be a turn-off. Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships, so avoid asking for help until you’ve spent time developing the relationship. Paul C. Brunson said it best, “If your networking strategy is simply about getting what you want, that’s called ‘using’ not ‘networking.’”
3. Not Following Up or Seeking to Serve
“Avoid the temptation to just file a business card you received in ‘never-look-at-it-again-land,’” says Jessica Smith, a business counselor at the Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia. “Put a system in place to follow up with the contacts you meet at a networking event.”
“When you’re speaking with people at an event, make sure you write notes on the back of the business cards, so you can jog their memory in a follow-up email,” Smith says. “It could go something like this: ‘Hi, Jasmine. It was great getting to know more about your interest in international travel, while chatting at Friday’s event. If it would be beneficial to you, I can connect you to my colleague Farrah, who has extensive experience abroad. She may be able to assist you in your visa application.’ Once you go above and beyond to serve someone that way, nothing but positivity can result from that encounter.”