The 29% Solution: A business plan sure, but a networking plan?

Week One – Set Networking Goals – working through The 29% Solution in 2014

Do you have a business plan? A marketing plan? Worthy questions that kick off Week One of the book ‘The 29% Solution’ and run the risk of diverting you from establishing a plan for networking. If you don’t have the former then you really shouldn’t be here!

However, let’s assume you have a business plan and surely networking should be part of your marketing plan too? Perhaps if you can see how networking would contribute it will inspire you to have a marketing plan! Or perhaps a PR and Social Media Strategy too!

The book challenges you to set SMART goals (guest blogger and author Neil Goudge talked about SMART goals in his guest post on achieving resolutions) and clearly if you set goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timed

It suggests SMART goals like ‘Becoming a member of the ABC (BNI Bourne in Thatcham anyone?) Chapter by June 30 or ‘I will achieve a 30% increase in my annual referral business from networking in (named networking group) by December 31st.’

It also asks really pertinent questions that I suspect few networkers, this one included in the past, ever ask themselves.

For example:

  • How much business do you want to get from word-of-mouth referrals and by when?
  • How many networking functions will you attend each month?
  • Who do you want to meet this year? 

Remember it would be easy to add a figure and date and create a SMART goal, but nothing is going to happen unless you make it! So what do you need to do to achieve such a goal?

A point to remember and I suspect will become more obvious as I blog about The 29% Solution each week, is that if you are a member of a BNI Chapter you will find that you score higher and will more readily achieve many of the outcomes… makes you think eh?!

Now my networking goals are slightly different due to my exciting capacity as a Director Consultant with BNI Berkshire as I want to make the cake bigger rather than just my slice – which is a delicious way of explaining the BNI ethos of Givers Gain. My slice will get bigger naturally!

Those SMART networking goals at January 2014 (and I will undoubtedly add more during the year):

  • Improve my overall networking competence by December 31st 2014

I will do this by completing ‘The 29% Solution’s’ 52 weekly strategies and blogging about them here will cement the learning and make me accountable.

Attend the monthly BNI Director Training offered by BNI Berkshire.

Continue being mentored by Julian Lewis, one of the Executive Directors of BNI Berkshire

  • I will raise my own networking profile among the members of the various chapters in BNI Berkshire throughout 2014.

I will do this by delivering at least one education slot at all the established chapters throughout Berkshire by June 30.

By being part of the team delivering training for members of the newly elected BNI Leadership Teams in March and September 2014

By demonstrating my expertise in the ‘How Givers can Gain on LinkedIn and BNI Connect training courses which I run for BNI Berkshire.

Through sharing blogs like this one on appropriate social media channels.

  • Help at least 50 new business professionals and tradespeople discover the power of BNI and successfully apply to join a chapter in BNI Berkshire by 31 December 2014.

I will do this through inviting visitors to BNI Bourne in Thatcham, one of the chapters I am responsible for. 

I will do this by being an effective Director Consultant when meeting with visitors who are interested in applying to join BNI. 

I will do this by inviting my social media audience to join me when I am visiting chapters throughout BNI Berkshire to deliver the education slot.

I will do this through the successful launch in BNI Streatley, which will be held on Tuesdays at The Swan Hotel in Streatley.

SMART goals I think!

Keep up to date with my progress through 52 weekly strategies of The 29% Solution here!

What are your networking goals? Why not share them here and become accountable? And do get in touch if you would like more business and want to know how networking with BNI can deliver it.

Next week: Block Out Time to Network