What Do Networking and Profit Have in Common?


What Do Networking and Profit Have in Common?

Do you think of networking and will do everything possible to avoid it?

Is that how you feel about your numbers too? You’ll do anything to avoid looking at them? Now I don’t avoid looking at my numbers, but I used to avoid networking events like the plague.

But more recently, I’ve changed my tune and whilst there’s still an element of dread when I walk into a room full of strangers, it isn’t as bad or scary as it used to be. “What’s different?”, I hear you ask.

There are a few reasons for the change, but the crux of it is that I’ve changed my attitude in a few different ways:

1. I know I have value to offer to other people, whether it’s my expertise, or whether it’s encouraging and supporting them in their endeavours.

My life experience is so much more than just my expertise as The Cash Flow Queen helping business owners to understand their numbers and cash flow. Sometimes the value we offer has no monetary reward.

One of the women I met at a networking event last night is wanting to start a business in the finance area, but she’s not sure exactly what and was wanting to know more about how I got to where I am now as she’s interested in doing something similar. I love inspiring others and helping them make the right decision about what they want to do.

2. It’s not about pushing business cards onto people; it’s about having a chat and seeing how you may be able to help or not.

At the same event last night I met one gentleman who is starting a new business and potentially may need my assistance. Whether we do or we don’t, I’m fine with that. What was great was to hear his story of how he’d come to be at the point of starting this new business. We didn’t even swap business cards, but we have connected on LinkedIn.

3. Everyone there is just another human being, no matter how big their business or how successful they are, or whether they’re just starting out.

We all can learn from each other and connect as equals. What I’ve found working with business owners, is that whilst many like me will do everything to avoid networking events, many also will do anything to avoid looking at their numbers, their cash flow and their profit.

I believe there are three reasons people avoid looking at the numbers and how this also applies to networking:

1. They don’t understand what the numbers mean.

Having a basic understanding of the financial reports and your numbers is vital to ensuring the long-term viability of your business. It’s the same if you are at a networking event just pushing business cards into people’s hands without identifying whether they have any interest in your products and services.

2. They don’t see that there’s any value in the numbers.

Think of the numbers and your cash flow as the blood in your veins. Without the blood flowing around your body, the different organs will cease to function.

The same is for business if you don’t value the cash flow that is flowing in and out and through the different components of your business, it won’t be long before something starts to break down. It’s like being at a networking event handing out business cards to people without first seeking to understand what their needs are.

3. They don’t know how to interpret the numbers and make decisions based on them.

It’s only when you have a deeper knowledge of just how the numbers flow that you have the information to consider options and alternative courses of action that may lead to better results. A networking event is no different; it’s only when you’ve taken the time to really get to know the other person that you will be able to identify how you may be able to assist them.

Next time you are at a networking event think about taking the time to look at your numbers and similarly, next time you’re looking at your numbers, consider attending a networking event.

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