Its who you know!
If I had a pound each time I have heard this little gem I would be a millionaire. But it is just so true in any business growth scenario. I'm constantly asked if I know a good accountant, lawyer, web designer etc.
Fortunately I do, and so I can save people time and effort, and minimise the risk of finding a 'not so good' accountant, lawyer, and web designer. I know a lot of really good people and I'm always happy to share my network contacts when coaching businesses on the basis that I'm helping two people at once!
Many business owners are so focused on running the business that their networks have become neglected. Seemingly the "extra" effort to re-engage with their networks can be too much trouble. Linked-In and Google + are great resources helping you to "know' or get to know the right people that can help you.
In a couple of recent business coaching sessions, I suggested to 2 of my clients, who are having trouble finding the right contacts that mapping out their own personal network may provide the answer. All you need is a pen, paper and a glass of something plus half an hour of your time. I love mind mapping but lists work just as well.
Start by putting down everyone you know; family, friends, neighbours, current and ex-colleagues, suppliers, club members, local businesses, and even ex-spouses and your children's friends parents!
Then, put down what they do and who they might know.
One client found the right person living just two doors away from home – his wife's riding club friend who happened to run a very successful distribution business – and my client didn't know!
The second client was at a family occasion; and met up with a cousin he hadn't seen for ages only to find out that he was in an influential position at the company that my client had been trying to work with. Needless to say, introductions followed.
My stepdaughter had been struggling to secure an interview for a one year placement in her university gap year. After a quick chat, I was able to put her in touch with three people. She approached them, secured an interview and on her own merit, two job offers followed. All she needed was a way in.
Think carefully about who is in your network, you'll be surprised. On the next wet Sunday afternoon or evening why not try mapping your non-LinkedIn network - I bet you there will be someone there who can help you!
When have you been successful finding a solution within your own personal network?
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