Networking is a vital part of marketing and it’s low cost too!

People who say they are too busy to network are missing out.

It’s easy to get trapped behind a desk but that is how you can miss opportunities. Networking is an opportunity to increase your contacts.

If you're trying to build a list of people to market to, the contacts you make are pure gold. Going to networking events means that:

* You can compare notes with other business owners. Running your own business can be a bit isolating and it’s quite comforting to find out you’re not the only one facing challenges.

* It's a great way to learn about other groups and events, new skills, knowledge about Legislation, new suppliers, new products and so on.

* You will develop valuable relationships for your business, not only prospective clients but also allies and advisors.

* You can let people know you exist and tell them what you do, so make sure you prepare what you’re going to say beforehand.

The most important part of Networking doesn't actually happen at the event - it's what you do afterwards that really counts. Make sure you follow up! It doesn't take long to drop a quick 'nice to meet you' email. Decide who you’d like to get to know better and arrange to have coffee or lunch with them. Find reasons to stay in touch.

Enjoy your networking!