5 key elements for Networking Preparation

n order to prepare for the most effective networking for your salon, you must ensure the following:

·       Get your business cards up to standard

What do your business cards look like?

Clear, economical, concise communication is important . You need to ensure all your social media links are represented as well as the usual contacts.

Some business cards have offers on them so the person you are giving it to is enticed to use it by visiting your website/social media etc.  This is an option.

·       Plan who you want to target

Create a thorough list of all the surrounding businesses, associations, schools, chamber of commerce etc.

Look into your local council to check what is happening within your community.

Once you have done the list of local businesses, look into all other opportunities like Linkedin, trade shows, networking events within your area.

This list will allow you to spend your time networking efficiently.

·       Look at how you can target them

It’s all about talking to the right person, the decision maker.

Once you have this list, what is the best way to get a contact detail? An email is often useless at the initial point of contact.

Visiting the premises or phone calls are a lot more direct way to get results. People respond to people.

An email is perfect to follow up from a meeting not for an introduction.

·       Write as many ideas as possible

Each of these businesses can generate an idea. Start with your end result in mind. How could you benefit from this relationship?

Think outside the box and each business has the potential to bring you something different. You may be surprised once you start talking with them - they may come up with something you hadn't thought of.

·       Dedicate at least 2 days a month of pure networking

If you do not dedicate time out, it will not happen.

Take time to think and act upon your ideas.

It is also a good idea to encourage your team to become networkers. They are in constant contact with customers, therefore the ideal people to create that partnership. Remind your staff your business is open to ideas - they may come up with some great ones. They don't have the power to make the decisions as far as partnerships are concerned  but they can get you the contacts.