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3 Reasons Why Networking Should Be A Part Of Your Marketing Plan

One of the first things that business owners cut from their budget when times get tough is marketing. Oftentimes, a business can be spending as much as 40% of their budget or more just on marketing alone. This huge number looms large as the business owner looks at the other bills they have to pay. This leads many to slash it or remove it altogether. The question then becomes, if you are not marketing, how will you get new clients to pay the other bills? This is why getting rid of marketing makes no sense at all. Business owners should instead look at more cost effective ways to generate the business they are looking for.

One technique that is tried and true is networking. Going to networking events to seek new clients and business relationships is a fantastic and proactive way to keep your marketing alive even in a down economy. Let’s look at 3 reasons why networking should be an important part of every marketing plan:

1. It is inexpensive-In most cases, networking is probably one of the most inexpensive marketing tactics you can use to grow your business. All you need is a few business cards and perhaps a small entry fee to the event. Most networking events cost less than $30 to attend and feature 75-100 people or more. Those 75-100 people collectively know thousands upon thousands of people that you can bring into your network as well if you handle yourself properly. Compare this with a $2500 yellow pages ad. If someone is looking for what you do, and your ad stands out from all the other ones in there, they may choose to call…even then, there is not guarantee you will get the business. Networking is cheap, but effective.

2. You have control-With a normal advertising/marketing program, the control is pretty much in the hands of the person you pay to do the work. They decide how the campaign plays out and ultimately, if you will get results or not. This can be a scary thing when it is YOUR money they are playing with. Networking puts the control in YOUR hands. How many events you want to attend, how many people you want to meet, what you say to them, all of that and more is in YOUR control.

3. You can see results almost immediately-Another reason networking should be a part of your marketing plan is that you can see results very quickly, even if YOU are the one taking action. For instance, if you made a great contact at a networking event, you might choose to call them the very next day and set an appointment. You never could have done that had you not attended the networking event. With traditional marketing campaigns, you have to wait for potential clients to contact you; that wait can seem endless especially if you need clients NOW.

As you can see, networking provides some pretty valuable benefits over and above traditional marketing plans. For these reasons and many more, you should definitely include networking as one of your most valuable tools in your overall marketing strategy.
About Author Stephen Labuda :

Stephen Labuda is an entrepreneur who built his business through networking. You can connect with him through the Boston Networking Group website (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>).

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Article Added on Friday, January 29, 2010
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