Business networking is increasingly recognised as an effective and efficient way of developing your business. By meeting up with other business people and developing relationships with them you can start to tap into their networks, expand your contacts and increase the amount of business you gain from personal recommendation.
The last few years have seen the growth of Christian business networking organisations but why would you want to restrict your networking to business people of a single faith when this could potentially restrict your network of contacts? Here are some of the reasons why.
Whether you are a Christian or not, choosing a networking organisation or group to join or event to attend should require some careful thought if you are actually going to benefit from your activities. If you are going to make the most of your precious time and money you should ask yourself what you are aiming to achieve and how will each of the networking opportunities out there help you.
But you might want to consider more than your business objectives – what personal and spiritual factors are important to you and do you really want to do business at any cost?
Some questions you might want to consider are:
· What is your mission in life – is it enough for you to earn an income or are you seeking to fulfil a higher purpose? You may have entered business only to find you are not finding the fulfilment you originally expected and seek something ‘more’ in life.
· Does your business allow you to operate to your core values, in other words are you doing business with the people you want to do business with and are you operating in a way that is in line with who you are as a person?
· Do you know, like and trust those people around you and would you feel comfortable recommending their products or services to others?
To answer yes to these questions it is important to network and forge relationships with like-minded individuals and, if you are a Christian, Christian business networking forums can provide an ideal way of making these connections.
Part and parcel of networking is ‘connecting’ with others. If there is a natural connection from the outset through sharing a set of common Christian values then relationships can be built up more rapidly.
Most business people will agree that if they are to recommend other’s services they have to know, like and trust them. If you already have some common understanding of someone else’s beliefs and values then already you have a platform on which trust can be built.
In today’s world many people see conflicts between commercialization and their own personal beliefs and for many joining a Christian Business networking organization provides a framework and ideas for integration both business and spiritual objectives.
Many Christian business networking organisations have a mission to achieve more than just bringing together fellow Christians – they have a higher Christian purpose and are involved in charitable projects and other relevant activities worldwide. For many business people belonging to such an organization can serve as a great source of inspiration which in turn helps many fulfil more than just financial objectives.
One question you might have is how can you be sure that you are sharing a network with other genuine Christians. Of course there are no guarantees and there may always be people who are scrupulous enough to exploit such a network however some organizations market themselves through Christian media and some require members to sign up to statement of faith.
And if you do only network with fellow Christians are you seriously limiting your own market? Well if course it depends on your product or service but for many businesses their potential total market is huge. Many businesses suffer from trying to target too broad a market so by focusing on a more tightly defined market such as the Christian Community can actually make great business sense.
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