Do you get caught up in daily life? Are there things that you want to do but just don’t get done.
Such is the life of a small business owner. It never seems like there is enough time to get to all of the tasks you desire.
How often do you tell yourself that it will be slower next month or next quarter? And when that time goes by, you tell yourself I will get it done next month. But again, you miss the deadline.
It happens to us all. Yet there are some things that are just too important to let go by.
One crucial task you can’t overlook is the development and nurturing of your personal network.
Networks have always been an important success factor. Today, they are being recognized as that as well as the source of collaborative learning, new ideas, and problem solving.
I suspect I am like you in that I attend networking events, hand out my business cards (the #1 tool you have), and give my short elevator speech.
Where I struggle is with the follow-up, probably like many of you. The event is not where the rich rewards of networking are found. It is in the relationships built afterwards.
Plus over time, I often fail to keep that relationship intact.
It doesn’t take much to keep things going. You probably see your network contact on a regular basis. Take a moment to say hi and have a short exchange. It’s important to see other people but it’s just as important to maintain existing relationships.
And if you don’t see your contact on a regular basis, drop them an email. Or check out their LinkedIn page to see what new things they are involved with and then comment. Or maybe you see or remember some important events they are involved in. Send them a short hand-written note. That technology will never grow old.
And if you want to share some tips and resources they might enjoy, print off a copy of the NDSU Small Business newsletter and give it to your contact or send it their way. Or encourage them to check out the Small Biz Survival website. (Shameless plugs)
So in the next month or two, RECONNECT! The benefits are many.
- About the Author
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.