You small business owners are an optimistic lot!
No matter how difficult the previous year has been there is always a renewed optimism at the beginning of each year that THIS year will be better, bigger, and more profitable and so on.
You’ve managed to relax, wind down over the Christmas break (if you’re lucky) and now the ideas for your business are rushing in!
Congratulations on getting reinvigorated again-that means you have a fabulous break and are ready to make some changes.
So what did you decide to do?
- Redesign your website?
- Get more involved in Social Media?
- Concentrate on SEO so people can find your website?
- Write more blogs?
- Write that book?
- Put on more workshops?
- Work ON your business instead of IN your business?
As well as the above I can guarantee you that one of the things that many small business owners decide to do is more face to face networking.
But are you a sprinter or a long distance runner?
As someone who has organised events for 15 years for different organisations I will tell you a little secret……
The first event of each year is always well attended for just about any organisation.
Because everyone decides that they will make more of an effort to attend face to face events (seems to be a common resolution).
However; as the year winds on life gets hectic, busy, family issues and coordinating events to attend become a challenge. Many small business people drop out and their attendance becomes a memory. If this is you, I have privately been calling you “the sprinter”- quick out of the gate but no stamina and forward planning as these distracting events in life seem so much more challenging as the year progresses than it does at the beginning of the year. Yes, things pop up to challenge you and make it difficult to attend but you know what?
Usually if you make the effort, there is someone at the meeting you were supposed to meet and you missed out! How can I know?
Let’s just say that for every person that has said they have a problem at home and can’t attend, there is someone at the event with the same problem and looking for someone to share about it or has already worked out a way of handling it.
One day when I am brave enough I will write a blog of the funniest excuses I have been given as to “why I can’t attend this event now”.
Why do I have to be brave? For fear that some of you may recognise yourselves and I will be hunted down for revealing the excuses!
The long distance networkers make the distance over the year. They know they cannot attend everything, so they measure out their time and pick and choose and keep up attendances all year. They have learned how not to burn out. Networking burn out? Yes it does exist – I have seen it plenty of times, especially those small business owners who are hungry to soak up everything on offer. It often takes a couple of years, but it does happen.
So what can you do about it?
Take some time out now and plan your events. If you are a new small business owner you will probably need at least 2 types of regular networking events – one where you find and network where your clients/customers are and another for yourself, to reinvigorate your enthusiasm for your business or learn from other more experienced business owners.
If you have owned your business for a while and know your clients and have a strong client/customer database you probably need a networking event to give you more ideas or find out what is new for small business.
There are several benefits to networking as a small business owner. Overall, networking can help you build your knowledge and skills from others in order to increase to overall performance of your small business. The thing is, many small business owners will face the same issues. With networking, you can talk to someone who may have faced the same challenge or at least get suggestions on solutions.
The extent of the benefit will largely depend on how much you get involved. Remember, it’s a great way to meet other local business owners and share stories!
So don’t be a sprinter in 2012, when you have your ideas book out (collecting and writing down all your new ideas for your business) don’t forget to plan your networking events you plan to attend and I’m sure I will see you at one soon!
May 2012 be everything for your small business that you plan it to be!