The other day I attended a couple of networking meetings, and met a lot of self-employed, multi-level and small business people. It was a delightful time as we shared our ideas and the need to grow our individual business. However, the thought occurred to me, most of us in those meetings sold products or services which nobody needed. Whether it was Mary-Kay, Health and Beauty products, a lawn service, an electrical company, a chimney cleaner or a bookstore, we all offered something that the community could live without if it had to. Now, at first brush, that sounds a little harsh. We all want our product or service to be purchased and used on an ongoing basis.
In essence, there are three types of needs. There are the essential needs; food, water, clothing, and housing. If you’re a builder, a realtor a grocery owner, a well-digger, or are in the mercantile business, you probably don’t need to network. Your advertisements will bring in enough customers for you to be successful.
Then there are the eventual needs such as doctors, councilors, plumbers and roofers, and the list goes on. If you own a house, a car or have a family, you will eventually need one or more of the afore mentioned services. And if you own a small business which provides those services, advertising alone won’t get you enough customers to be successful. You need to connect with other small businessmen in order to survive in this day and age.
One fisherman with one fishing rod will catch one fish at a time. One fisherman with a small net will catch several fish at a time. But if a group of fishermen with a large net working together will catch a multitude of fish.
Then there are the casual needs. The other day, my wife showed me her fingernails and “mentioned” the need to pay a visit to her nail-lady. To us in middle-class America in the twenty-first century, this is a necessity. It’s not the same a needing a brain surgeon or a mechanic to replace your engine, but hey, a broken nail is a broken nail. Life would be pretty dull if all we did was eat, sleep and work.
King Saul, when he got depressed had David play his harp, thus the need for music.
King Ahasuerus, when he couldn’t sleep called for the history books to be brought and read, thus the need for authors and bookstores.
When Jesus needed a ride into Jerusalem, he sent his disciples to an inn (a privately owned restaurant) and borrowed a mule, and thus the need for car dealerships. I know it’s a stretch, but grant me a little room for imagination.
Apothecaries played a large part in ancient societies applying oils and creams to their queenly hosts and so we have the early proprietors of Mary-Kay, Young Living Essential Oils and a host of health and fitness providers.
The point is if you don’t provide one of the essentials of life, chances are most people can live without our product or service. Networking is one way to find people who need us on a secondary level. It’s a word of mouth connectivity network in which; so in so knows so in so and refers them to you as a potential customer.
That’s the value of networking. So join a network. Get to know the other members personally, use them professionally, refer them regularly, and grow your business financially. To cyber network with me connect at these sites …