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As you may know already, real, effective networking takes a lot of time and effort and although the least costly of all marketing strategies, it can be costly, especially for businesses that are really struggling and do not have 2 cents to rub together. Coffee meetings and networking events do cost, even though generally minimal.
But after getting off the ground and starting to do well, I have noticed that some businesses are inclined or want to stop or take a break from networking for a while. They tend to do this when:
- Their pipeline is healthy
- They don’t want to grow anymore
- They feel like they have overdosed on networking
- They don’t need or want any more clients
- Their calendar is so full that they cannot fit another client in
- The thought of a new proposal succeeding stresses them out because their capacity is full to the brim
- Special days, events or annual holidays are coming up
- They are so busy looking after their current clients that they do not have time for networking
- They feel like they deserve to enjoy their success and take time out from networking
In reality, you should never stop networking.
When you are an entrepreneur, are self -employed or own your own business, you need to let the public and your potential clients know on a consistent basis about what you do. This is something you never stop doing. The platform or regularity may change, but networking needs to be part of the staple diet of your business to ensure that it keeps growing. If you do not want to grow any bigger, you need to be comfortable knowing that you can replenish clients who decide to leave you for whatever reason, with another and very easily too.
If you do not ….
When you do need more clients to keep the business running at an optimal level, there are none because they have lost touch with who you are and what you do.
Keep keeping forefront in the mind of your clients
Don’t ever get so busy looking after current clients that you do not prepare for what is coming next. A business’s pipeline takes a long time to build and grow, but it can dry up very quickly. If you let your pipeline dry up, it could take anything from 3 to 6 or 9 months or even a year before you start getting new clients again.
Depending on the health and wealth of your business, you may not be able to weather the storm and it could cost you greatly. It could even mean that you may have to close your doors which is devastating for any business especially when you have put your heart and soul into starting it and growing it into a profitable business.
I have seen this happen and it is very sad and can take the entrepreneur a long time to get over the emotional trauma of the ‘failure’ and the death of a dream.
Always keep your foot gently on the networking gas
Yes, it is tempting to relax a bit or more when things are going well, but from witnessing some very sad cases of clients I have worked with who did just that, I strongly recommend you always keep a toe or two or your whole foot on the gas of your networking circles. As with all things in life that you want to succeed at, consistency is key!
Remember this when the going is good. You will not regret it when the tables turn and the good gets tough. This is part and parcel of the roller-coaster ride of owning and growing your own business. You will thank yourself for it!
In Your Support,