Desmond Networking

5 Tips On Networking with People You Don’t Know … Yet

During my travels I have had the privilege of traveling the world at a very early age, thanks to my parents who continue to repeat that cycle today as 2 sixty-something year olds; the cycle never ends. Traveling is networking. Five key factors on networking with people you don’t know 1) Invite everyone to the party, 2) Disciple, 3) Stay on top of technology, 4) Become a pleasure to be around & 5) Be remembered

1) Invite everyone to the party

Mama says don’t talk to strangers? Well, set that aside (with discretion) and learn to speak up when you need an answer to one of the thousand questions going on in your head. A crucial aspect of networking is, understanding that everyone around can be utilized in some way to help you with whatever you are doing. Often we overlook those who can help us the most because we have it all figured out. Engage with those who are experts in their field.

Ex) Need to know the easiest way to get around an unfamiliar city? Ask a cab/bus driver.

2) Discipline

Be obedient to their culture and open your mind. No, not everyone enjoys American Football so it is wise to know that most places have their own unique style and preference. The country was in great shape before you arrived and most likely will continue to grow gracefully when you are gone.

3) Stay on top of technology

Smartphones. I also hate the annoying text message sound and vibration but it’s an investment that will get you through any situation, especially in a foreign country. Google Maps, Translator, Bus Times, Tube Map, the list of FREE apps goes on and on.

4) Being pleasurable

People usually gravitate to those who are likable, easy-going, and chill. In a unfamiliar place, it is easy to become frustrated because you are outside of your comfort zone. Adaptability is essential because it shows that you are NOT stiff and those around you will take note that you are making the necessary adjustment. Everything seems a lot easier to do once you possess positive energy – everyone loves it and are willing to help in any way they can.

5) Be remembered

When you walk into a room, you should ALWAYS maneuver with your shoulders back, head up, and ready to engage in some conversation while maintaining eye contact with the person in front of you. It is typical to ask for business cards so don’t become lost in the bunch. Offer to send a “Great to meet you today/tonight” email (from your smartphone) so when they return home they can take the time to reply and follow up with you. Before you know it, you’re invited to play golf in The Bahamas!

Finally, being yourself is the most interesting characteristic about you – try it! If exercised wisely, the above 5 points should have you in great shape on your next trip to see the sights!

 

Peter D. Maynard II

Peter D. Maynard II

The University of Law Student - aka DJ MayDay
Fajr

5 Tip’s for Surviving Your Start-Up’s First Year

1. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

When you try to do too many different things at one time you may find that you are doing none of them well. As a start up business owner, often we get excited and want to seize every opportunity thrown our way. Often time’s we reach a point were we have to make tough decisions and have to sacrifice the things we enjoy most to succeed in our ventures.  For example: When I first started Island Physique, I quickly saw how much energy and time it would take to build a solid foundation for my business to flourish. One of my favourite creative outlets is writing and recording music. In order for me to create music at the professional level which I desired, I understood it would take a huge investment of time and energy, and therefore, I had to make a serious to decision to put the music aside in order to fully focus on my business. I made this sacrifice for the sake of mastering my passion for fitness and entrepreneurship…..will I create music in the future? Of course! But in these early stages of my business I’ve chosen to direct the majority of my energy into seeing my business off the ground.

2. Keep Cost Down

Look at all of your expenses and seize every opportunity to save. Your first year will be a year of hard work and sacrifice. Everything and anything that you are able to do yourself, do it! I regularly advertise on Facebook for FREE and have been successful in gaining new clients this way. I often post flyers in grocery stores, coffee shops, take-out restaurants and places where I know my target market frequently visit.

3. Communicate with your customers and others with careers in the same industry

Doing market research as a start up can help you to avoid many mistakes. Network with others in the same field to learn about their experiences. Talk to your customers and ask them for feedback on the service you are providing and ways that you can improve their experience.

4. Keep Track

One of the most difficult duties I’ve found in my start up is sticking to a budget and keeping track of money coming in and money going out. My advise is to create a strict discipline of keeping a budget for your business expenses and also a running Cash Flow Statement so that you can track your business’s financial growth or decline. This will aid you in making more realistic financial decisions and projections.

5. Location

It’s important to know your customers and the ones that you want to attract. Place yourself in a convenient location where your ideal customers frequently travel so that it increases the likelihood of them choosing your services.

Fajr Bashir

Fajr Bashir

Contributor

Fajr Bashir is Owner & Certified Personal Trainer at Island Physique. Island Physique specializes in personal and group fitness training, including bootcamps and comprehensive fitness programs to assist individuals in achieving optimum health and weight-loss results.