How to make the network an asset business ? Sandra The Great sharing his experience as an entrepreneur. Episode 4: the art and the way to participate in the networks.
"How much time do you spend in the networks, we can you see you around... ?" And yet I do not have the gift of ubiquity... No ! I spend about 20% of my time to networking, the more often on the moments off (breakfast, lunch, evenings) and to me this is worth approximately 35-40% of business and energy !
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Networking : this magic word is put in all the sauces. It is an art, a strategy, a tactic, an effective way to develop soft skills (emotion, behavior, everything that is related to the skills) and hard skills (trades, skills, everything that is related to the know-how).Your support is essential. Subscribe for $ 1 support Us
once said this, how ? How to choose the right networks ? Be comfortable in these universes? Is it innate, or did you learn it ? Must we always talk about his job, his business ? The exercise isn't it a bit superficial ? How do you quantify the return on investment ? Isn't it sometimes a waste of time ?
The passion network
Here's how I came up with the taste, even the passion of the networks.
I have worked eleven years as employee at Coca-Cola, in a comfortable environment, I was framed, formed, challengée, managed, therefore, to the very end surrounded.
When I created my company, CanalCE, the next day I found myself alone : alone to decide, to learn, to find my direction, to hire my first employees, I had a lot of questions and I did not know who to ask because I was in my cutter head of the company which was supposed to have a skill to 360° on all subjects !
Then a friend told me : "You should join networks to talk to your peers, to have a basis of comparison, to reassure you, to better understand this new world of entrepreneurship."
This was one of the best tips I was ever given. I immediately was attracted to it because I love to exchange, share, transmit. But most importantly, I need it !
get Out of his comfort zone
so I started "networking" at the very beginning of my life as an entrepreneur, and if the first circles, clubs, associations have been difficult to find, and select, the others followed naturally. I even had the choice and the leisure to select, as a woman business leader, at the head of a growing company. A few years later I can say that I take great pleasure in joining the useful to the pleasant.
This has not always been easy, because at the beginning we test the universe, we try to meet the caring individuals who can help us, more that we will not do so in a first time. But the wheel turns and very quickly, in a second time , it was I who assisted with my means, with my first contacts... I gave up, I exchanged good plans and the virtuous circle of sharing is applied : for network, one of the essential qualities is generosity and I always recommend to give the first !
of Course, this is not easy. Get out of your comfort zone is the first event that awaits us when we join a network. The first few times, you do not know anyone and nobody knows you, it then takes her courage in both hands and... is trying to break the ice. My stuff ? Comment on the conference which has just taken place, ask his neighbor if this is the first time that he's coming to propose to his neighbour to exchange with him, as he or she is single, or just wonder aloud about the place and the buffet, asking his neighbor if he shares your opinion ! At the end of the evening, we will be three people that will be revisited the next time, then three... and so on, which allows you to build its first circle and feel good. To arrive at this result, he must be faithful and regular in one or two networks in order to review each other and create a real relationship.
The key of networking : participate
The second criterion for this to work, it is to participate in the circles aligned with our aspirations, our passions, our skills, our ambitions. For example, Growthco for business leaders, 100 000 entrepreneurs to share his passion for entrepreneurship with young people, the FEVAD for the trades of the distance selling and the internet, or International Women's Network (IWF) for the female solidarity and the debates on the equality man/woman.
Finally, you should know the answer to a few requests point : accept to be part of the jury of prize or trophy (for example, the price EY entrepreneur of the year), to testify in a round-table discussion or a trade show (such as the salon des Entrepreneurs ), participate in an event that corresponds to our universe, professional (Favori's of the FEVAD) or to our course (for my part, the alumni IAE and the Coca-Cola club).
These circles are in addition to those that you are around regularly and you'll build useful contacts, but also sales, by meeting new partners, or suppliers. You gain notoriety for your company as for yourself, but you can also take advantage of these moments to improve your skills, inspire you, recharge you, you motivate and take du pleasure !
Optimize the effectiveness of the networking requires a rigorous organization, after and in between events networks, to ensure a good follow-up : arrange the cards collected (pockets or tool digital such as camcard, for example), send out a few invitations to LinkedIn, write emails, cross-connection, to thank the organizers and if we meet the right person at the right time, and offer him an appointment in order to continue the relationship !
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I will not be honest if I don avouais not that women have more difficulties to integrate in their agenda, these moments of networking, since managing a family, a spouse, a social life, logistics house, allowing for cocktail evenings or a breakfast early in the morning is the responsibility of an organization to any event. Hence the importance of considering the networking as a valid part of his job and of his representative role, but especially to measure the impact to continue to devote valuable time.
Read our complete file"The courage to say, is an asset in business" Entrepreneurs, if they stop to say : "I'm not doing this for the money," "fear, an ally for the entrepreneur"
How many times I win with my network in my new business Yapuka ? Even in that changed universe - committees business education - it represents a accelerator that we made to go three times faster in the development of our business !