I was delighted to attend a Christmas Drinks Reception at the House of Commons recently as a shortlisted business, hosted by West London Business, the business leadership forum for the world’s most connected place. Sponsored by Fujitsu and Dr Rupa Huq, the event was attended many of the companies shortlisted for the West London Business Awards. The event also included a panel discussion, Christmas carols and a good healthy dose of networking.
2k Tiger will be launching a new Academy in the new year, and I am researching topics for the Academy courses around how to build your connections network. With this in progress, conversations I had with several of the guests brought the following four points to mind:
- Great ideas can come from anyone. A finalist in the Kidpreneur category of the Business Awards was Precisa Getsevich. She founded her business, Healthy Kind, a natural and organic line of antiperspirant for sensitive skin, at the age of eight. That’s right, eight years old. I will be interested to see her progress and how the story unfolds.
- Look for the bigger opportunities – not everything is equal. Find projects that have scaleability and explore these with contacts you are making. Your ideal client will be one that has a number of projects or connections you could get involved with, both in the short term and medium or longer term.
- Discuss ideas with people. I spent some time talking to other guests about the future of the energy sector, sustainability, and projects that are going to take 10, 15 or 20 years to develop. To do this successfully, we may need to spend part of our week, say an hour or two at least, reading about wider industry topics. This investment will pay dividends.
- Keep things positive. When you’re meeting new contacts, unless it’s for entertainment purposes only, focus on things that are positive and educate or inspire. If you have a negative opinion on something, save it for a more private occasion with friends or trusted colleagues. Using words such as ‘not’, ‘isn’t’, ‘wasn’t’, ‘doesn’t’ will risk losing the interest of those you’re trying to network with. An optimistic person attracts positive energies. If you can highlight the good in any situation or see the funny side of things, you are likely to be more popular and more pleasant to be with.
We are fortunate to have business networks like West London Business whose key role is to connect companies in a region with one another. Any single contact you meet at one of these events could impact your future in a positive way, or perhaps you will be able to do something for them that changes their lives. Keep making connections hosted by groups like West London, and you will grow your business.