Networking is simply the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions, which has a common interest. Business networking, which is our consideration here, is the sharing of business ideas or information with the sole aim of creating relationships that will enhance the businesses of the parties involved, or help them find a job. For the unemployed or those looking for viable alternatives, networking is used especially for finding out jobs not advertised. If you learn to network effectively, you’ll get inside information on jobs and careers, and build contacts that can help you find work.
As an entrepreneur looking for a blooming business, or an individual who just wants to start a business, when you interact with other businesspersons, do these
- Firstly, identify and pursue a niche that is either underserved or an emerging trend; that is, identify a need in any place or area of business. A business that will succeed is one that meets the needs of people. This guarantees the demand for whatever solution you proffer. Identifying the needs of prospective clients or customers is easier through networking.
- Secondly, once you recognize a need, look at the need objectively from all angles, and see how you can serve it. Go all out to get enough information or education concerning the need and how to meet it. Do a thorough research, which should include a survey of the availability of customers, turnover and profit margin. Find out the age range, educational background, economic status, culture, biases, purchasing power and behaviour (are they credit purchasers or bulk purchasers) of your would-be customers. This will help you design a suitable service or product for the right customers.
- Moreover, you should get to know who your competitors would be. Determine their likely mode of operation, what hold they may have on the market, and how you can penetrate the market and carve your own niche. You can do this by offering something extra that your competitors won’t offer, or add a little creativity to your product or service and the packaging and delivery of the product or service. Think of how to make your product or service better, cheaper, at a higher quality and at an affordable price.
- Fortunately, the use of internet will make your research easy. So go on the internet to find the product or service of that will meet the need of the people or community you want to reach. You can also read business magazines, trade journals, newspapers and business related books, as well as talk to experts or friends who are thriving in the same business as yours to give you a viable solution.
The aforementioned tips on starting a viable business are bound to work when followed accordingly. Another question is, How to Thrive in a Viable Business? This question will be answered in our next article.