Networking is it time well spent or a waste of time?
You only get eighty six thousand, four hundred seconds in each day and once they’ve gone they have gone. When you think about the cost of networking, you need to think about all the costs, not just the £s it costs to attend, but also the time in the meeting, the time driving to the meeting and the time driving home again.
Now you could argue that the time driving to and from the meeting shouldn’t be included in the calculation. If you have a fabulous car set up so you can use that time making calls on your hands free, then it isn’t a cost of the networking meeting, it’s administration or phone call time.
However, if you use the time to think about what you are going to say, who you’d like to meet, strategising about what you hope to get out, then the time getting there is included in the cost.
The same goes travelling home, if you can make calls, then you don’t have to add it to the cost into the networking occasion.
So considering this, I generally go to 2 or 3 networking events a week, so on average I spend forty three thousand, two hundred seconds, yes that’s right (43,200 seconds) a week networking plus the costs of the meetings, which is on average £39 per week.
So is it time well spent, or a waste of money?
For me it is definitely time well spent, why? Well not only does it get me 9 guaranteed meetings each week, it also gets me in front of 50-60 businesses a week and it gives me a reason to leave the home.
Working on your own can be lonely and I find I am much more effective on the days I know I have a networking meeting as I know I will meet some other people. I therefore when arranging follow up meetings from these events, I try to plan them on a day when I don’t have a networking event.
This means that networking gives me more reasons to interact, breaks from the office and more contacts.
It also gives me a reason to pick up the phone to any business I want to get to know to form a relationship, to invite them to a meeting not to sell my services. This means it is a much easier call to make and you are adding benefit to them rather than selling at them.
More than that, Networking gives me the chance to try a new elevator pitch over and over again. It has built my confidence in talking about my business. It has given me an environment that is really supportive that I if there is something I don’t know and I’m not sure what to do, I will know a business I can call or meet and ask that question.
Networking also provides you with suppliers that you trust, like and know. It gives you the confidence that I’m getting the goods and services I want, advice when it isn’t quite right and support if I’m flagging or floundering on a decision.
If it wasn’t for 4Networking my Ebook, which can be requested here, would never have been written. Plus it would still be in the thinking stage.
Why can I say that so confidently?
Well without the 4Sight from Gavin Pirdeux- Williams I wouldn’t have believed I have the content or the ability to write a book. Then second, without Richard Eaton’s advice on the phone, the book would still be sat on my computer as I fought with systems trying to convert it to the right format for apple/android/etc.
Richard made me see sense and helped me realise as a free ebook, pdf if fine. People can read a pdf on all sorts of devices.
Without 4Networking I wouldn’t have met so many businesses or been able to get the word out so far and wide about the fact I’ve written the ebook to help other businesses.
For me, networking is definitely time well spent. It isn’t all about sales but more it’s about the relationships you can build up, not just in your local area but across the UK. It’s about the advice and support you get. It’s about working with others and building a reputation for your company.
As a business who started with no clients – or even if you already have clients when you start your business, I would recommend everyone has a try at networking.
It takes time and the monetary side should come from your marketing budget (it isn’t sales remember) however as with everything in life, what you put in, you get out.
The more you invest the more it will help your business.