For How Long Should One Network a Week?
Networking is a passion of the Newton Abbot Chamber of Commerce, just see our events page to see all the opportunities that we’ve got for you to meet like-minded business and to develop those all-important relationships.
The real question is that how long should you spend networking a week? Maybe, in some respects, we should be asking the question on how important do you feel networking is to your business?
Time is precious and we all want to maximise productivity, not wasting any opportunities that can translate into results.
A survey was taken by BNI founder Ivan Misner on networking and how important it was to the 12000 business owners that were surveyed. He found that those who spent on average 6 1/2 hours a week on networking saw around half of their business come from that activity. Alternatively, those who spent two hours or less a week didn’t see much fruit from their efforts.
One of the key factors to seeing results from networking is attitude. The old addage ‘reaping what you sow’ is apt here; those who were putting more time and effort into networking saw better and stronger business connections than those who didn’t prioritise it. It seemed that feeling alone came from whether the individual considered networking to be important to their business or not, the thought that if you reasoned that something is pointless then you won’t put a lot of time and effort into it.
It doesn’t stop there either.
As regular visitors to the website or our networking events will know, relationships are key to building strong and mutuallly benefitial business associations. Those who attempted to have strict business-only connection with people saw considerably less network-driven business coming their way than people who invested into relationships. Going one step further, those who spent time developing the relationships before approaching from a buiness point of view saw even more fruit from that correspondence. If was found that connections built upon trust and goodwill shouldn’t be a low priority by any means if you’re trying to build your business growth from networking.
This is another reason why trying to get to as many of the Newton Abbot Chmaber of Commerce breakfasts, lunches and suppers as you can, using these events to build connections and get more referrals from people who aren’t just business associates, but people you actually know who you can trust and who trust you. Bypassing the relationship building process will see a considerable difference to whether you see networking as successful to you or not.
Ivan Misner also suggests that as 6 1/2 hours was the average that successful networkers spend a week on the endevour then maybe to be more than average you should spending more time than that! He indicates that between eight to ten hours might see even more results and that networking could be a stronger source for your business.
So if you want to see networking becoming a strong source of business for you:
- Invest into relationships
- Spend time doing it