Ann Marie Puig, an expert business owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Costa Rica, shares important tips on how to properly network for business growth.
Online PR News – 21-May-2019 – San Jose, Costa Rica – Business owners only once in a while make sufficient opportunity to network and some believe that networking is, generally speaking, a waste of time. However, creating mutually beneficial relationships needs to be a priority for any business owner. It needs to be seen not as an expense, but an investment in the company's future. Solid business connections can prompt new clients, improved administration abilities and the revelation of new thoughts. Ann Marie Puig, a successful business owner and philanthropist from Costa Rica, offers some tips on how to improve networking skills to help increase the number of contacts in a business owner's circle.
When an entrepreneur dreams up a business, it starts with a plan. This is the same for handling networking activity. Explains Puig, "Plan on attending events and reunions, and make sure you show up with a specific goal - for example, to walk away with three follow-up meetings or five new contacts."
Toward the start of the year, when dealing with their field-tested strategy, entrepreneurs ought to likewise review their networking strategies and determine who they want to meet regularly, who they would like to do business within the current year, etc. At the end of the year, an evaluation of those goals will determine if they were reached and if they are helping to grow the business.
Entrepreneurs may not know where to turn for events in their industry. However, there are always common sources to get started - chambers of commerce and other business-related organizations are a perfect step forward. These can not only point to the appropriate networking events and trade shows, but their own events can prove to be sources of valuable contacts.
Many people have a sense of hesitation or anxiety when they attend their first event. Asserts Puig, "The first time, many people will feel like their walking into the abyss, a place they don't know and where they aren't known. Keep in mind one thing - most people attending these events are either in the same position now or were previously and will be empathetic."
Always make sure to have business cards on hand and prepare a short introductory speech that will succinctly let people know about you and the business, but don't push a hard sell. Don't spend too much time with people you already know - remember, this is a networking event. Keep track of the goals you had previously set and make sure you're fulfilling the mission or missions.
There's nothing wrong with having casual connections in a networking database, but it is much more beneficial to have a short list of stronger contacts. It's important to remember that networking is an investment, so put time and effort into building new relationships with influencers and connectors that can help you and don't ever take them for granted.
Adds Puig, "Social media is a vital component of the networking process. Be active on Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, to help expand the list, but don't let the ease with which connections can be made on social media fool you - live interaction is always going to be important. Find a striking balance between the two."
A successful network goes beyond just those in one's own industry. It also includes movers and shakers from other industries, individuals that can bring a fresh point of view to the table. Don't become too complacent or comfortable, and continue to work to make the business successful.
About Ann Marie Puig
Ann Marie Puig has been a distinguished Consultant, Assistant Controller, Accounting Manager, Director of Accounting and Finance and Chief Financial Officer for almost 20 years. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and has a reputation for accurate, clear and concise record management in month-end closings, accruals, reconciliations, AP, AR and JE, as well as superior human resource skills. She is extremely knowledgeable in current technology, eCommerce and a variety of Industries.