Most of us wake up in the morning with a good idea of what we’ll be doing that day. When we get to work, we know what needs to be done, and we go about our business. But is making friends high on your to do list?
My businesses are online-based, which means I spend a lot of time talking to people via email and social media. I have a list of daily activities, including content creation, email marketing and order processing. And one of the daily tasks that I consider to be a key part of my business development strategy is making friends.
Of course, almost any business owner you ask will tell you that networking is one of their highest priorities, but many simply make one contact and move on to the next. Although this is an effective way to expand your contact list, I have found that working on building strong relationships is they key to successfully developing my own business.
Every day, I make the effort to reach out to both new and old contacts, online and off, to build and nurture relationships. Taking the effort to get to know people means that, first and foremost, I can see the ways that I can best help them through my business. It also means that they start to take an interest in what I do. Even if they never choose to work with me, they are often very supportive.
A large number of the friends I have made in the past couple of years are also small business owners, in a number of industries. Not only have we become aware of each others products and services, and continued to support each other, we are also able to work together in many ways and refer customers between us. For me, a huge part of making new friends is continually supporting them in their own business ventures.
Next time you find yourself with a little time to spare, why not take your networking efforts a little further, and make it your intention to really build strong relationships with your connections. Stay in contact; get to know about their interests, what they do in their spare time and the ways that you can help them. Make making friends a priority and see how your business explodes.