The Importance of Business Networking

 

seniors networking

The Importance of Business Networking

You cannot overestimate the importance of business networking. Business Networking is a very valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, attain new clients and tell others about your business. Small businesses, big corporations and non-profits are all getting in on the act. Why, because it provides so many opportunities! There are even networking events for Affiliate marketing!  Madeline Bell, president and CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) says it well. She tells her own children “You will likely get a job through who you know rather than through your education or work experience.”

She goes on to say that networking should always be done with an intention. Maybe your intention could be, “I want to make three new contacts” or I would like to make at least two follow up appointments with the people I meet.” Don’t network  just to collect business cards and be seen. In other words, know the importance of business networking and make the most of your networking experience.

Why should I network? How do I achieve success? Following are some tips so read on.

Referrals

This may be the first thing you think about when considering a networking group. When you join a group of like-minded people you yield high-quality referrals because of the relationships they have with potential clients. When someone gives you a referral make sure to follow up quickly and efficiently. It’s great to be able to contact a brand new prospect and say something like “Hi, this is _______ and I was talking with______ and they said I should contact you.” It opens the door much easier than a cold call! Likewise, be ready to give referrals to others if you have them.

The importance of the follow-up

If you connect with someone and have a meaningful conversation, be sure to follow up. Just a simple email that says you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to the next get-together is great . Be sure you stay in contact with this person because you never know what may develop as a result of your relationship

Enhancing your Profile

The mere fact that you are visible and have taken the time to attend a networking meeting can really boost your status among the group. You build your reputation as a reliable supportive person whose motivations expand beyond your own self-interests to include those of others. You have the opportunity not only to glean important information from others but to impart your knowledge onto them. Become a powerful resource for others. You reap what you sew and by doing this you are the one they are likely to consider first when they need what you offer.

Confidence Buildingold superman

If you’re an introvert like I am, attending networking meetings can be an effective way to “bring you out of your shell.”  Consequently, you find that you have to “push yourself” to talk to people and make connections. The more positive response you get from others, the more comfortable and confident you are. It might help to have an icebreaker as simple as “What brings you here” or “What kind of business are you in.” As you know, people’s favorite subject is generally themselves.

Motivational Tool

Networking and meeting other business owners is a great way to motivate yourself. It is not uncommon to receive praise and words of encouragement from others which helps empower you toward success. As confident as you may be, it is always nice to know that others recognize you for what you do.

Holding an office Within the Network Organization

Here’s a great way to get recognition within your networking group. Many groups have elected officers. For example, the group I belong to has a president, vice president and a treasurer. These people really get the spotlight because they are up front at every meeting. They announce themselves and the projects they are involved in.  Moreover, these positions generally don’t involve a great deal of time commitment and the return is great.

Making Friendsmen laughing

This is a nice perk that comes from networking. It is only natural that if you have commonalities with a person you will become closer to them as a result.

In Conclusion

These are ways to achieve success in networking. Please share some of your experiences and successes with networking with us in our comment section below!

Great business ideas for seniors

Are you thinking about starting a business? Here are some great business ideas for seniors

senior dud with computer

Woman on phone

 

 

 

 

 

So you’re retired. Now what? Maybe between the relaxing, vacations and golfing you have some time on your hands you’d like to spend productively. Do you have any business ideas? Of course, you’ve already thought about that, haven’t you?

It’s time to take an evaluation of your skills and interests. Can you come up with some great business ideas? Then ask yourself – do I need startup capital? How about licenses and permits? Will I need to travel or stay close to home? Do I need further education and training? How much time am I willing to spend on my business?

If you’re stuck coming up with good ideas, perhaps the following will help.


Online Marketing

Opportunities abound for online marketing but watch out for the scams. One way to avoid these is to look online for independent reviews. However, no matter how good something is there will always be someone who doesn’t like it. But, if the good far outweighs the bad review-wise, you may be onto something.

Perhaps the most popular way people make money online is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a very simple process.  You are paid a commission for selling a company’s product or service (see my post entitled “Does affiliate marketing make money – let’s find out”). Wealthy Affiliate is the number one choice among bloggers and other online experts to get your training in this field. Check it out

Book Author

Have you thought all your life about writing a novel? Maybe writing about something you have a passion for. There are physical books and then there is the e-book which is an electronic version of a book which is read online.

Life Coaching

Life Coaching addresses the specific personal projects, relationships, conditions and transitions of your client. As a coach you discover obstacles or challenges and help your client unlock their potential and eliminate blocks. You then help your client choose a course of positive action going foward.

Consultant

This seems to be the way a lot of people go who have expertise in a particular field. As a consultant, you have the opportunity to leverage your experience, knowledge and connections into a business where you set your own hours.

Retirees with finance and litigation experience are highly sought after. Since you are an independent contractor and not an employee, many companies will pay you high fees because they don’t have to pay benefits.

Convert Your Home to a Bed and Breakfast

From first-hand experience I can tell you that if you own a nice place with good food and nice services, you can charge a lot. People are often seeking something different from the standard hotel and they are willing to pay for it. If you own your home, you already have the most important start-up asset. If you like to cook and entertain as well then this could be right up your alley!

Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

This appears to be a solid area for growth. Nearly two-thirds of US households have a pet (if you live in a different country from the US, you will likely find high numbers of pet owners as well). It is estimated the US contains 73 million dogs, 90 million cats, 16 million birds and a variety of other animals (did anyone say, Capybara?).

People pamper their pets and are willing to fork out the dough to a great sitter or walker when they are out-of-town. If you like animals why not check it out and put it on your list of business ideas?

Wedding/Event Emcee

Yep, you heard me correctly! I actually did this for a while but as an employee. However, I know people who do it as a business. A wedding/event emcee entertainingly moves the event along by announcing guests, coordinating various ceremonies and playing music.  You will need a knack for entertaining and an upbeat attitude.

This business takes some upfront investment and you will need a portable sound system capable of storing a lot of music as well as a lighting set up. Expect to pay a few thousand bucks for all this. However, people are also willing to pay a premium for a good emcee so you can recoup your investment after a few “shows.”

Start a Franchise

Many of the largest companies have franchise opportunities. Jimmy Johns, Papa Murphy’s, Subway, Pro Image Sports, Lawn Doctor and Novus Glass are just a few. For these you will need a bundle of cash for start-up ranging anywhere from $20,000 US to $100,00 US or more.

In-Home Senior Care

I have been in the senior newspaper business for almost 25 years.  And I am currently part of several senior industry networking groups. I can tell you that one of the fastest growing businesses right now is in-home senior care.

Many people of the baby-boomer generation are getting into this business. As our population grows older, so do the opportunities here. You need lots of compassion and patience for this as well as a love for working with older people. Furthermore you must deal with the various physical and mental difficulties that come with age.

Genealogical Researcher

You’ve seen all the commercials on television and probably know that genealogy is a hot topic right now and one of the popular business ideas. Kimberly Powell, past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the author of “The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd Edition” suggests “Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers and Librarians as essential reading material if you’d like to get into this business. She also recommends joining the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Translator

The global marketplace is expanding and reaching across borders which is consequently causing a growing need for this service. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the hiring in this area is expected to grow 18% from 2016 to 2026 – faster than other industries.

According to collegegrad.com demand will remain strong for translators of French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hindi.

Data Entry

This can be a relatively steady source of income and you can do it from your home office. Generally, a company pays you for the number of entries you make. These opportunities seem to abound on the internet but like everything, make sure they are legitimate.

Senior Moving Services

Here’s another one that I see as a growth business. As much as we don’t like to recognize it, we have an aging population here in the US and all over the world. After raising a family, many older people who lived in their homes for years find these homes are becoming a burden because of their size and upkeep.

The great thing is that many older people own their homes outright so they can see lots of cash when they are sold. That’s where a senior mover comes in. In this business you will handle the organizing and planning of the move. This means you’ll handle the packing of household items, help the homeowner decide about items to sell and coordinate with the movers, You may even stage their home for prospective buyers. If the homeowners are moving to a retirement community, you will be armed with information and suggestions about communities that match their needs.

 Conclusion

I hope these business ideas have given you food for thought. We’d love to know your experiences so please leave your comments below.