The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Traits for Success: Network
Published on Apr 17, 2012
Read 'Traits for Success: Network' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
By Brooke Miller Hall
“And that's the secret. Timing, hard work and smart partners. Using that formula, I've either founded or funded over 80 companies, and none have gone bankrupt. Most have done very well.”
– Terry Matthew, Welsh/Canadian business magnate
The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute survey of 1,100 small businesses (between 2 and 99 employees) found that strong networking and collaboration are essential for successful entrepreneurs.
Successful networking means building relationships with your own team, your business partners, customers and potential customers/the general public. Your business could suffer if you neglect any one of these groups.
To effectively run your business and make your customers happy, you need to take care of your own house first. Owners must be able to effectively delegate to and collaborate with their managers and employees.
Many small business owners thrive on being self-reliant. However, the most successful know when to ask for help. Building a team of trusted business partners and service vendors helps fill in your knowledge gaps and ensures you’re running a well-rounded, secure operation.
Customers, potential customers and the general public
By showing your customers the best possible, personalized customer service, you’ll do more than improve your bottom line. You’ll keep them coming back and draw in referrals for new customers.
Take networking to the next level by looking beyond your existing customer base. People like to do business with people they already know and respect. Get out into your local community. Build your reputation as an expert in your field. Volunteer. Get active in your trade organization. Give a presentation at the local library.
When thinking about where to focus your networking energy, look at who’s on your business team – and who you’d like to have on your side. In addition to employees and clients, your network could include family members, friends, suppliers, business alliances, employees, sub-contractors, industry and business associations, local government and the community.
You don’t have to go it alone. You and your business will be much stronger with a whole network behind you.
For more information, read our past articles about customer service, employee retention and customer retention.