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« Momtrepreneurs! Stop Firefighting With These Proactive Business Strategies | Main | You Need a Business Network to Grow and Thrive »

You Need a Business Network to Grow and Thrive

Even when you are working for yourself and usually working alone, you are never operating in a vacuum. In fact, the more people you can draw into your network and stay in touch with on a regular basis, the better. But even if you aren’t ready to hire employees or go into business with someone else, you should be thinking of how you can use a business network to your advantage.

Outsourcing, building contacts and sharing ideas are all great reasons to start building your business network and each comes with its own advantages. Don’t force yourself to be aloof - get to know other people and the businesses they run to establish yourself within the marketplace and continue to learn and grow.

Outsource Peripheral Tasks

Most of us have one or two particular things we want to focus on in business whether that is offering the best service or products to your target market. But business is often made up of many more things that might not be within your speciality. Getting the right business support isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s an intelligent decision based on the most productive allocation of resources and talent.

Outsourcing functions like marketing or IT support might sound daft for a solo business but if you are on the up, both will free up your time to do the more creative jobs your business requires. While you are building up a portfolio of work completed or talking to suppliers, you can rest assured that your website is fully functioning and people are visiting without your input.

Build Strong Contacts

Networking is awful. This is a fact. But making friends? Not so bad.

Networking is often regarded as the best way to make contacts and do business but the reality is that no matter what you call it, networking is just another way of meeting similar people with business ambitions. And the best way to build a network of contacts is to simply make friends.

But before you do anything, think about this: you need to be networking to build your business and take it to new places. Not only is networking about establishing yourself within your own industry, it is also about seeing where you want to go and which other industries you might partner with to get there. Broaden your horizons.

Share Ideas

It is natural to want to protect your ideas - especially if you are working in a crowded marketplace - but not sharing them at all could be the thing that holds you back. The reality is that most people are too lazy to actually steal your idea and carry it through to fruition but they are perfect for getting free feedback.

People love to give their opinions and whether you get positive feedback or negative responses, you will at least have a better understanding of how others view your concept. This is perfect because it means that you can take all of this criticism on board and use it to develop your idea and create something that will fit the market perfectly.

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