As a small-business professional or entrepreneur, how do you:
- Get advice and help when problems arise
- Gather the information you need for making important business decisions
- Identify your markets and locate potential clients?
Unfortunately, most people get help in times of need from individuals or businesses they don’t know well. Instead of anticipating and planning for needs and emergencies, they are forced to react to every situation. They search the internet or ask friends and associates to help solve problems or recommend solutions, even though these people may not have the necessary expertise, and the sources they recommend may have little relevance to or experience with the business operation that is in need.
As a small-business owner, you don’t have the built-in resources to employ a management team to plan ahead, proactively problem solve, obtain and maintain ready access to vital resources–information, personnel, funding–and make informed decisions quickly in an emergency. What you need is the functional equivalent of a management team and that is exactly what a network is for!
Your network is a systematically and strategically selected group of people on whom you can call as the need arises. It is a diverse, balanced and powerful system of sources–people from all facets of the business world–that will provide referrals, information and support in key areas of your business or profession, over both the short and the long term.
So, if you know someone who doesn’t want to put in the time and effort to establish a network because he thinks his business is just fine without one, do him a huge favor and explain why he needs to think again.