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Plan your Business Networking Journey

As a business owner, although we work off a financial year calendar for most things, we choose the start off the year to map out our goals and foot steps we are going to take for the year ahead. For some this may include marketing plans, customer relationship goals, expanding ideas or simply, ways to be better than last year.

When asked the question to business owners, what marketing strategies and plans do you put in place? the common answers are generally, where we are going to advertise, who we are going to target, what is the message we are going to promote, what is our business really about.

Although these things are great and important, very rarely do business’s think about their business networking strategies and how this should be incorporated into your business marketing plan. Whether you revise and plan your marketing yearly, monthly or even quarterly, be sure to include your vision and plan around how your going to build better connections for your business growth. Networking will be your number one best asset to achieve this.

Ok, let’s be honest, not everyone likes networking. It can be nerve wracking to get out their and put yourself in the spotlight. But let’s face it, if you cant confidently promote you and your business, what confidence will your potential customer have in your product or service?

Below i’m going to share my tips around planning your networking journey. Feel free to include these when planning for the year ahead. You might also like my free networking planner that i will attach below for you. My 2020 gift to you.

  1. Think of networking as advertising, only it’s more about your personal brand rather than just your business. Remember, people buy people. They will trust you if they know you, like you and feel a connection on some level.
  2. Make Networking a part of running your business. Plan the events you want to attend and carve out the time in your calendar just like you would a client meeting.
  3. Don’t be afraid to spend the money on networking if its the right fit for you and your business. Spending money on networking can be more effective than spending it on advertising. It’s more personal and targeted. Consider these costs in your budget.
  4. Research and gain feedback from the networking events and opportunities that are available. There are many kinds, both regular occurring or one off events that you can benefit from. You can read a common list of different events you may find here. Remember not all will suit you, it’s important to understand that the more you feel comfortable the more success and excitement you will feel when attending.
  5. Expectations – know what you want to achieve and the kinds of people you want to network with and why, and think about what you have to offer. This helps to prioritize events to attend, making your networking more effective.
  6. Just because its business, does not mean you cant be yourself. Networking is not really about you, it’s about them, so keep in mind that making sales or gaining clients will not be instant. Networking is about building relationships.
  7. Networking events do not always have to be about making sales and building client data bases. If your purpose for attending some events is simply to just feel supported and gain feedback and guidance around running your business, this is OK. Networking has many benefits, particularly if your a sole employer or have minimal staff. Which means having a support network or tribe around you who are on the same journey can make the stressful times easier. If this is what you want out of your networking journey, be sure to include this in your plan.
  8. Don’t be afraid to network with your competitors. Find out where they are and what they are attending and make some connections. Often you will gain more support from the people who know what your up against. Working together can be beneficial for both parties when the opportunity arises.
  9. Don’t forget that networking also extends to social media, including Linkd In and Facebook. Face to face introductions are always the best but in the days of social media it’s important to look at all our opportunities that are available to us including social media groups that may offer support.
  10. Review and follow up strategies need to be included in your plan. How are you going to collect information, stay in contact and continue the relationship? Consider a CRM system or manual system to keep on track of where you have been and what you have achieved at each event.

OK, i could go on but these are the most important things to think about to get you started. It’s not rocket science, it’s just thinking a little differently, making the cogs move in a new way to change the outcome.

So, here is the challenge. As we start to approach the final weeks of the first month of a new year, let’s start today. Plan your networking journey, use the planner attached here if you want to or just write it down in one of those old things they use to call notebooks. It doesn’t have to be perfect you just have to start.

Networking will be the most cost effective marketing strategy you will adopt for your business. Find the right ones, step outside of your comfort zone and you will be well on your way to building those better business connections.

See you all next month

Renee – getting the cogs moving to make you matter.

Latest News

Thank you, a message from Renee

 

Hello fellow business owner and supporter of CRG Creative Networking.

Wow, can you believe we are already at candy canes and Santa clause?

This year has been a monumental year for not only Me personally, but both of our business’s CRG Creative Networking and CRG Plumbing & Maintenance.

This will be our first ever year where we have decided to have a holiday 🤭 i know right… for those who know us well this has been long overdue. As you would know, when owning your own business holidays can sometimes be non existent. You might be physically there but your always in business mode. Well not anymore for us … give us a pat on the back next time you see us 😉

2020 is shaping up to be our biggest yet for CRG Creative Networking and i cant wait to share it with you.
With lots of personal achievements planned, exciting projects coming to fruition, more workshops and session plans being launched and the continued growth of our networking directory we are sure to hit some amazing goals together.

All this would not be possible without our support network and beautiful business community.

Thank you for trusting in my ability to offer you support and encouragement.

Thank you for following me on this journey and motivating me to keep achieving and giving even when there a times when juggling is tough.

Most importantly thank you for being you. You are all awesome and i am in constant awe of your achievements and constant support for each other. This is why networking is the most important marketing tool you can have, You get to meet, support and be supported by the most amazing tribe ever.

Lastly, congratulations. Let’s give ourselves a big thumbs up, go and have that chocolate, champagne or what ever it is that you can indulge in. We made it through another F**Ki*G YEAR in business. Lets do it all again in 2020.

I wish you and your family the most magical Christmas and a successful new year.

Lots of love – Renee xx

Latest News

Media Release – Renee Garcia from CRG Creative Networking selected as a finalist for National Awards

*** MEDIA RELEASE ***

Thursday 1st August 2019

 Renee Garcia from CRG Creative Networking selected as a finalist for National Awards

 reneegarcia-crgcreativenetworkingausmumpreneurfinalist2019

Renee Garcia of CRG Creative Networking has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 AusMumpreneur Awards in the Big Idea – New Business Category.

The AusMumpreneur Awards presented by AusMumpreneur and The Women’s Business School celebrate and recognize Australian Mums in business achieving outstanding success in areas such as business excellence, product development, customer service and digital innovation. The awards are designed to recognize the growing number of women who successfully balance motherhood and business in a way that suits their life and family.

Renee is a wife and mum of two boys, running CRG Plumbing & Maintenance with her husband and after realizing that she was more than just a plumber’s wife and feeling the need to do more she created and launched CRG Creative Networking.

Offering many things to help both large and sole trader business’s build better business connections by getting their cogs moving and thinking about the best strategies and processes that they can learn and implement to grow their business through genuine customer relationships.

Acknowledging that the networking scene can be overwhelming Renee wanted to create a service that all business owners and their employees can utilize that will help them to;

  1. Understand Networking benefits for their business
  2. How to approach the networking scene, where the right place for them is and where the best groups or meetings were taking place
  3. How they can present themselves and their business in the best way, to the right people with the best outcome
  4. Strategies on building strong connections and following up.
  5. Processors on developing a mutual beneficial relationship for long term success for both business owners and employees.

This is implemented through

1 on 1 consulting and Mentoring, Group Educational Workshops, Team Building sessions, Closed members only Facebook support group and website that is currently in progress to develop a directory for all networking groups, guest speakers and business support groups within the South West Sydney region with the potential to expand when the time is right.

“Being selected as a finalist means so much to me because What I thought was just going to be a small side business to help us promote our family business and get to network with other like-minded people, ended up turning into so much more than just a networking group. It has taken me on a journey of self-discovery and self-worth and allowed me to meet and connect with the most amazing people

I feel my story is like many, however the difference is I have taken that risk, I have made that decision to carve my own identity once again after marriage and kids and I have committed myself to being an inspiring and motivating mentor to others who may feel like they are not worthy or not confident to be who they want to be, or approach those who may be intimidating or who might also feel like they are just the plumbers wife. I am making a difference and I’m getting the cogs moving for others so they know that they too matter and can be a successful AusMumpreneur too”

Business is not always easy and CRG Creative Networking has overcome challenges but has also seen great success. Initially when Renee launched the business it was a weekly face to face Networking group, built from the ground up and increased weekly attendance then in May this year after taking the risk and acknowledging a gap in the market and a need to change the business model to a Business Resource Hub for all things Networking and Customer Relationships support that can be utilized by more people in more areas around Sydney with no restrictions which resulted in stopping the weekly meetings and is now slowly becoming the go to source for all things relating to networking and customer relationship building.

It can be challenging to run a successful business whilst raising a family and Renee gives this advice for others thinking about starting their own enterprise. “Things don’t come easy, you have to work at it, challenge yourself, be prepared to make change along the way and understand that you have to be resilient in everything you do”

Read more about the awards at www.ausmumpreneur.com. The winners of the 2019 AusMumpreneur Awards will be announced at a glamorous Awards dinner at White Night Receptions in Melbourne on Friday 6 September.

For more information on the AusMumpreneur Awards visit: www.ausmumpreneur.com or contact Peace Mitchell on 0431 615 107 or awards@ausmumpreneur.com

For an interview with Renee Garcia contact her direct on 0427 885 711, www.crgcreativenetworking.com.au or renee@crgcreativenetworking.com.au