Article: Maria Marsala


The Small Business Library

January 9, 2001

The Top 10 Networking Tips for Success

Whether you've moved to a new city, just started a business or are at that point of growing your business, building a community with lots of connections is essential for your personal and business evolution. Remember that networking isn't about instant gratification - it's about long term success! Relationships -- business and personal --need time to develop!

Home business owners have an added reason to network. If you don't get out of the house, isolation and the longer term effects of isolation, depression, may set in.

Still not convinced about the rewards of networking? Many associations offer members group rates on health and liability insurance, etc.

  1. Take a class.

    Get out and enjoy yourself. Take classes that have nothing to do with your business -- just for the fun of it. You can always tell the people you meet, when they ask, what type of business you're engaged in later.

  2. Start a group - either social or business.

    Looking to make more women friends? Start a women's group. Want to meet more singles? Start a singles group. Want to walk? Start a walking group, etc. etc. etc.

  3. Teach what you love!

    Design a continuing education type of class. Contact your local colleges, Department of Parks, YMCA, library, non-profit organizations and look for other opportunities in your local newspaper.

  4. Get out there and speak!

    Find a group you enjoy attending, or that your ideal client attends, and volunteer to be a speaker. Attend a networking or speaking class. Read a book or listen to a cassette about networking and presentations. View my recommended networking books list www.coachmaria.com/businessbooks.html

  5. Network in a bowl.

    Find the place your ideal client visits. Buddy with the store owner and place a networking bowl, business cards, etc. in that store. Reciprocate. For more information on networking in a bowl, go to http://www.coachmaria.com/businessarticles.html

  6. Visit a few groups.

    When you find a networking group, you can visit the group a few times before you join. Also, when you find the group's phone number, make phone contact, then ask if the person can meet you at the meeting. This way you'll "know" someone. Some international networking groups are:
    * Business Network International
    * Lead's Clubs
    * Toastmasters

  7. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce.

    Chambers of Commerce are wonderful to join and they usually have a book of members that they'll send you. Besides joining one, they usually know about other local networking groups.
    In the USA: uschamber.org
    Canada: strategis.ic.gc.ca
    All Countries: ICC

  8. National groups.

    Look for groups to network with that are within your own industry and for groups that might not be in your own town -- expand your horizons.
    * National Association for the Self-Employed

  9. Women's organizations.

  10. Websites' "Lists of Associations."

About the Author: Compiled by Maria Marsala, who can be reached at maria@coachmaria.com, or visited on the web at coachmaria.com.

Aloha Spirit will abound at Coaching 2001, a Worldwide Coach Training Conference, being held June 27-30, 2001 on Kona, the Big Island in the Hawaiian Islands. Take a cyber-tour of the resort at http://www.orchidmaunalani.com and learn more about the conference at coaching2001.com