Tag Archive for: business relationships

There are many ways to build your network of connections when you own a small business or work independently (think realtor or financial planner). Only time and experience will show you which ones are most effective for you. Even if you’re shy or unsure of yourself, you need to network to grow your connections and develop the Board of Directors (BOD) that can be critical to your success.

The point of a Network Constellation is to help each other. You’ll provide leads and contacts to them, they return the favor. You find the right people who are willing to invest their time and energy in helping you develop your business, while you do the same for theirs.

Networking Beyond Networking

Networking can happen in any kind of event, whether that’s a business association, a chamber of commerce, or a group of people involved in the same industry. As we learned during the pandemic, networking groups need not be in person. In our Coaching for CEOs program, we have a Zoom call twice per month and several virtual BOD meetings.  

Networking need not happen just at “networking” groups. It can happen anywhere you meet people and have the opportunity to strike up a conversation. It could be after church, at your daughter’s Little League game, or when you chat with someone sitting next to you on a plane. You can start talking about business, the other person may too, and you find you’re a good match.  Most importantly, make sure that those you invite into your networking constellation understand that this is a reciprocal relationship.  

No Networking for the Sake of Networking

You can put together your Constellation through focused networking. It’s nice to meet new people and they may have interesting stories to tell, but your goal is to grow your business. When you network, your goals should be finding someone who may:

  • Directly or indirectly provide you a sale
  • Be a good fit for your BOD
  • Own a business that has a BOD that you might be a good fit for

Many events allow attendees time for “30-second elevator speeches.” They can help you reach those who interest you. Give each event a purpose by setting goals for phone calls you’ll make and meetings you’ll have after the event.

Once you get the ball rolling with BOD members, ask them who they think might be a good match for your business (or you for their business). This word of mouth can be much more effective and efficient than making the rounds of networking meetings and hoping to stumble upon someone, but it will take some time.

Which Stars Fit Your Constellation?

Who are your customers? Who do they do business with? Your stars are those with ongoing, well-developed relationships with people or businesses who are your customers. But it’s not that simple. They must also see the wisdom of being on your BOD and you joining theirs. These relationships can take time to develop and there may be bumps in the road. But if you stay the course, the help you get from your BOD can make growing your business easier and less time-consuming.

Investing the time and energy to create your Constellation should give you a great return on your investment in the future. Are you ready to do it?

Take the Next Step. Contact Coaches for CEOs

Your BOD can fuel your sales machine. They can champion your business while you do the same for theirs. Contact me to learn more about how working with others can grow your business. Fill out my contact form so we can talk about your company and how you can join a Zoom seminar to learn more.