Whether you are in business, starting a business, or looking for employment, you need a network.
If you are in business, you need a network that will tell you what competitors have emerged from the woodwork and what they are offering to the market, so that you can adjust if necessary and retain your market share. You need to know what the economy is doing, especially if what you do is discretionary. What are the implications if it is a downturn or good news? How will I react? Your main network is you existing customers or clients. Your constant communication with them over their wants and needs will guide your decisions. Other networks include your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI groups, Community Futures, Service Clubs, and other volunteer opportunities.
For those contemplating starting a business, networking is essential to collect data on number of potential clients, competition, shopping preferences, and actual, potential customer information. What are the demographics? How many potential clients are there in the geographic area? Who are the competitors? What will the competition likely do when I start my business? What is the economic forecast for your geographic market? Your networks might include your local Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, Local Library, Municipal or Regional District Office, Provincial or Federal offices for small business information and regulations.
If you are unemployed and searching for employment, your first stop is your local WorkBC Employment Centre. There you will find assistance with all of your job search needs. You may qualify for some of the programs such as training, wage subsidy, or self-employment. If networking is not your strong suit, assistance is available. Building the network with your targeted employers is essential in finding a position in your desired field. Networking is not just a one-time connection but building a relationship with the individual or organization and maintaining it. Your network could include volunteering, which with some organizations puts you in front of employers in the local community.
Your network makes the difference in achieving your goals. Target it, build it, and maintain it. No-one arrives at success alone!
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