Your business is a precious asset. Your customers look towards you with curiosity and wonder. They see someone they want to do business with. You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to gain their attention. You’ve invested a lot in this. You have put your heart and soul into your business. Your customers want a relationship, but they also want to know that you are flexible. They want to know that you can handle the load if they need you to. They want to know if you are a reliable player and are in for the long haul. How can you ensure your business has enough support to handle what lies ahead?
Networking is not just about getting extra business
What’s in it for me, can sound like a cynical question. What’s in it for you is a whole range of other companies who can have your back. Make a list of services and businesses that could be of use to you, if you needed help. Reaching out to others is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of a company who is smart.
Building relationships is the wisest thing you can do in business. Don’t look for the immediate advantage. Think about the things you have in common. Don’t just focus laterally. Think about the whole picture and connect horizontally. If you go to the trouble of making contacts in your area or field, you’ll have a range of acquaintances you can call on. There will be help if you get stuck, or when you get more business than you can immediately handle. You are a part of a wider family. And like families, you are all individuals but you are there for each other.
You may have come so far on your own. Great and well done! This is your business after all. However, you’ll admit quietly that there were times when you were baffled and needed advice. IT issues crop up all the time. Instead of reacting to the immediate panic and trying to locate someone to help you, imagine having IT Support there whenever you need it. There is a great advantage in using a professional team. They will have dealt with problems that you haven’t even identified yet. In fact, they may well be able to foresee and prevent the problems in the first place.
You are never too old to receive advice, as reverse mentoring is showing us. You are never too young to give it! Connect up with individuals who can help you learn and grow. Business is a diverse field, but its nuts, bolts and cornflakes are amazingly similar. People love to share advice and pass on experience. Make use of it.
I hope you are not so wise that you think you should ever stop learning. Give your business extra support by getting out there and learning a new skill. Not only will this make you more diverse, but it will also make you a whole lot more interesting too.
Your business will benefit from you acknowledging that you are not alone. You have friends and supporters in your community. Find them, connect with them and you will be stronger for it.
Want to learn more about goals and action planing the ArtSHINE way?