Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Network is The Business

Who you know!
Professional networking is a well known corporate best practice. It is a proven concept where 'who you know' helps you in your current corporate environment and obviously when you explore opportunities beyond your cube walls. Most job openings are staffed by references and networking versus resumes flowing from internet sites.

The same concept – albeit hugely magnified is a key success component when you get into a small business environment. At least that had been my experience so far.

Bottomline – there are people in every walk of life who specialize or are the best in their line of work. Networking gets you connected with these folks. And if you are connected with the best – your chances of success increase dramatically.

Here is an example. I was working with my residential realtor for the last six months trying to line up a rental property. Great realtor but his area of expertise is residential properties whereas I am looking for investment properties. That is a mismatch and beyond limited success, also increases my risk since I am on my own. I need to evaluate all prospects, find funding, find investors, find attorneys and figure my way around.

I recently met a realtor who specializes in investment properties. He knows where the best investment properties are, he knows the investors, he knows the tricks of the trade and understands how the game is played. If I work with this realtor - my risk profile decreases substantially since I am partnering with an expert in the field.

You might have a great idea but execution of any idea requires competencies that far exceed your capabilities. Therein lies the key to success – leveraging other peoples competencies by making them part of your team. You get great advice, top-notch information, reduce your risk and increase your chances for success - what is not to like about this situation!

Reach out, ask, explore and connect with the right people. The network is the key to success.

(Photo courtesy Flickr/luc legay)

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