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The ROI of Business Networking Part Two

Did you catch part one of this series on the ROI of Networking? If not, check it out here.

Business networking can be lucrative. It’s one way to meet new people and build relationships. The goal is to allow those relationships to pay off in one way or another.

If you connect and they become clients, the ROI can be pretty good. Other times, they become great referral sources. The pay off can come down the line so staying top of mind has value.

Conventional networking has huge benefits. Of course, there are other ways to meet people if you are more comfortable with a one-on-one scenario. (But can you imagine how long it would take to build your business just going to parties or striking up conversations in the waiting room at the doctor’s office?)

Still, there is more than one way to network. You don’t have to confine yourself to the traditional definition.

For instance, ask your friends and business associates to introduce you to their friends and family. By the way, this type of networking can be a shoe-in for new clients because it comes with a personal endorsement from the person who introduces or refers you. That carries a ton of weight.

If you’re open to exploring a few ideas about business networking, let’s do that now. You might already know a few networking groups. These organizations bring businesspeople together for the purpose of referring business to each other. Just imagine how this can expand your existing leads list.

Let’s say there are 20 members in a group and everybody knows about 100 people. Affiliation through membership can increase each member’s personal network to 2,000 people. That’s 20 times more people.

Worth getting out from behind your desk?

If you like the idea of group networking, groups are distinguished by several factors. Age, profession, or shared interests are a few. You could join a group of professionals in related fields.

For example, let’s consider the following industries:

  • Tax Preparers
  • Tax Attorneys
  • Bookkeepers
  • Trust Attorneys
  • Financial Planners

All seek similar clientele. Networking group members can easily cross-refer business. How would this work for you?

If you prefer, you could look for a networking group whose members represent areas of business dissimilar from your own:

  • Plumbers
  • Florists
  • Realtors
  • Caterers

None of these are related industries, but they all know people who need tax services—including themselves.

If you choose this type of group, you might benefit from a category protected networking group. These groups only allow one representative from each industry. The benefit is that there would be no other tax professionals to compete for business.

Are you a go-getter? Start your own group.

Choose a few professionals you trust and would be comfortable referring to and you’re all set. You can set a maximum number of members if you like, but remember the larger the group, the more potential referrals!

No matter where you network, there will always be opportunities to meet new people.

What are your interests?

Do you like to read?

Do you play poker?

Networking doesn’t necessarily need to be business-focused. Check out special interest groups. Connect with people who enjoy what you enjoy and explore together.

It’s easy to get into a rut, especially if you live a busy life. Networking may seem like a chore, but it’s an important part of your future success.

Make the time to cultivate and nurture relationships. Leverage networking and it will help expand your circle, providing opportunities to connect with people you may never have met otherwise!

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