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Business Enterprise Session 4

The importance of Networking

Workshop Aim
The aim of this session is to explore and reflect upon how you can build and develop relationships and networks, through networking, to assist in personal and career development

By the end of this session, you will.
Understand what is meant by a network, and networking relationships Be able to develop a network map highlighting your key stakeholders, relationships and networks Identify different types of practical tools and strategies relevant to your context which can be used to effectively manage relationships and networks with internal and external stakeholders

Common Questions and Expectations

Why is networking important? What do you miss-out by not doing it? Are there different ways of doing it? How do you target or focus your networking activity? Understanding of what it means? How to avoid a false front in networking? How to get people involved?

What does it mean to you??


The terms network and networking are often used interchangeably to refer to the same thing: But are they the same?

Whats it all about?

A network is a label that can be applied to describe a group or system that works together or is interconnected
Different types of network (e.g. industrial districts, clusters, supply chains, support networks, transport)

Networks (Contd.)
Two key characteristics of a network people and interactions A network is made up of relationships Relationships exist within social systems (informal) and structures (formal) Small Businesses NEED networks Think about Garbeau all sales to date have been through word of mouth Jessica McLean

Networking is a process of building and maintaining relationships with people who can help you to achieve your goals

Networking is a two-way process:

The seeking out and interacting with others in order to establish a relationship to achieve common goals The active process of developing and managing productive relationships

Networking (Contd.)
It is the use of networking, as opposed to the existence of a network, which is important
(Taking every opportunity to talk about YOU and YOUR business Garbeau and the sales in Mallorca!) Networking is a means to an end, not an end in itself

Six Degrees of Separation

Just a few highly connected nodes tie together networks Stanley Milgram - social psychologist - parcel challenge

People are connected to one another within six degrees or steps

Often identify link from you to your task in less than 6 steps

From you to your task people count You

Family Friends Associates Friends of friends Unknown to You


Six degrees of separation

Value in people
Each person knows between 40 - 400 people It is estimated that the average person knows approx 250 people

Each of those people knows approx 250 people (The strength of the weak tie)
Therefore, for each new person you meet you gain access to a potential pool of 62,500 people separated from you in just two degrees!

So why do it?

The Importance of Networks and Networking

Networking assists personal and continuing professional development

Evidence of a relationship between networking and different aspects of business and organisational development success (e.g. innovation) Network development is seen as a tool to assist in business development and regenerating economies

Personal gain
Academic Research Business

I want a job
Job openings Work experience Positioning Information

I want to start a business

Training and recruitment New products Markets Industry developments Customers Competitors Suppliers Service providers Finance

Research in the United States highlights that:

70% of all jobs are found through networking A referral generates 80% more results than a cold call (surprised?)

The Power of Networking

Networking is a critical resource because ALL of us are dependent on others within our internal and external environment for resources

What do you miss out from not engaging with networking

Status and recognition in terms of career/business development Spin-off student placements and projects Case studies for teaching Opportunities to transfer knowledge to external stakeholders (e.g. development agencies, small and large businesses) Potential future collaborators to support research/activities Financial rewards If you manage your network, it will generate information and resources for you

Key benefits associated with networking

It enhances awareness of your task environment e.g. keeping up to date with any changes and new developments (customer relationships) It provides important sources of information and other resources at a low cost (critical in business) access opportunities (essential in business) extend existing and find new ones

It can provide a learning community for routine tasks and strategic actions It provides opportunities for extending your skills and competencies and those of others A vehicle for promoting you and your organisation/business i.e. a cost effective marketing tool small businesses NEED networking! It can provide friendship and personal support

Mapping a network

Use social network analysis to map a network and make sense of relationships Key questions: Who is in the network? What happens in that network? How do you use the network? What is the health of the network?
Visit to find out more about social network analysis

Mapping a Network

Its the same in BUSINESS How to do it

Why are you doing this?

Why? Where? When? What?

Your Mission?
Desired impressions Who do you want to meet? Why? How are they useful? How are you useful to them? This is IMPORTANT!

Three secrets
1. Greet new acquaintances with an openness to learn more about that person, a willingness to help, and to offer to stay in touch. Find mutual benefits Sell yourself! - elevator pitch

2. 3.

Elevator Pitch!
Class Work:
Take FIVE minutes to make some notes about how you would introduce yourself at a networking sessionincluding one INTERESTING fact about yourself. In later sessions you will be asked to develop an elevator pitch about your business

Offer solutions or connections Be distinctive, try not to blend in Be fully present Ask thought provoking questions Reinforce your key words Contribute to the group conversation


People: Handle with Care!

Never moan or complain Be careful, are these people very important? Avoid faux pas! Never criticise others, avoid any conversations where people are criticising others. You could get tarred with that brush!

Eight ways to Impress

Become genuinely interested in other people. Arise an eager want Use the persons name Be a good listener. Talk in terms of the other person's interests. Be yourself Be Sincere!!! .

Win people to your way of thinking:

Begin in a friendly way. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say, "You're wrong." How can you help?

Let the other person talk VERY IMPORTANT! Discuss ideas Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view Dramatize your ideas Throw down a challenge

Class Exercise!!

Speed Networking

Gaining an advantage
Arrive Early Check the Name Tags/ delegate lists Prepare /study attendee list Use the network folder Write on your business cards Be Charming to Your Hosts Send thanks Keep your promises (& vice versa)

Networking involves sharing your experience through dialogue and interaction with other partners as well as learning from theirs A networks strength in any particular area or service depends on how actively its partners exchange information with each other and reciprocate. For example, if you receive advice from a network partner, be prepared to offer your own help in the future

Peter Hirst, Graduate Newcastle University Throughout my life, Ive benefited from constant networking opportunities. Informal settings are just as valuable as formal ones. I met my first employer through one of these!

A network includes all those people with whom you have a relationship and who can help you achieve your goals Your network will change according to what particular goal you wish to achieve In addition your network will change over time as the people come and go Networking energises your network and allows you to achieve what you want to achieve Successful networking requires a considerable input of time and effort You may not get immediate rewards but over time you will succeed

Not just about attending conferences and top-down/false events Effective networking is fit for purpose Know what? Know how? Know who? Who knows you know? Learning by doing Exchanging experiences Building self-efficacy Keep in touch!

Any Questions?

Guest Speaker

Entrepreneurs Forum
Colum Smith