Why it's important for you to make connections when you run a business.

It's ok to fly solo on your adventure, don't get me wrong. It is however, imperative that you get yourself out to a world of opportunities. The old saying goes ' If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' - this is an upstanding moto within the Business industry. Of course you will come across the odd bunch that may take advantage of you, just be aware and ready.

Here are our top 5 tips on how to get yourself out there and why.

1. Think outside your industry

This is important. It's very easy to think that you will find like minded people and mutual relationships within your industry network. It's the wrong frame of mind. They are your competitors and generally won't be looking to use your services or recommend them. They are great for tips, ideas and motivation. Not for business. Look for networking groups that have a variety of industries that attend. You are the best brand ambassador you will ever have so get yourself out there and show prospective clients just how passionate you are.

2. Be Unconventional

Look around you and take opportunities as you see them. You may be out at a restaurant and you are introduced to a friends friend and start talking only to find out that both industries align nicely. Bring up your business, start talking and making connections to people outside of networking groups. Your personal life is full of opportunities - you just need to be aware and ready.

3. Don't be hasty

It's one thing to see an opportunity and act on it, it's another thing to become too needy or frankly, annoying. Don't take an opportunity for granted. Respect it, care for it and show it love. You would not rush into anything you care for, respect or anyone you love. So don't rush into an opportunity and don't become too overwhelming to your prospective client. Take your time and know when to pounce. Patience is key, confidence is a winner. Combine them both and you have a recipe to success. 

4. Social Media Network

This is a very important part of the world now and even more important when it comes to networking. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are full of prospective clients, customers and business opportunities. You need to learn the ropes of the power of social media or you need to pay someone to do it for you. Either way - it needs to be done and has to be done well. If you use this tool properly, your business will benefit greatly. 

5. Follow up

This is the most important part of all. You need to follow up on your new networking clients, your social media platforms, prospect clients and anything else you have started. Timely follow up is important to maintaining a good raptor. Aim to practice a 24hr follow up with clients/customers/opportunities. 

So now that you are armed with 5 tips of better networking. Why not look around for some events this weekend that may be of interest to you and your business.