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Networking 101 – Be Proactive

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Now I know that being a small business owner means that you are all over the place.  You’re the salesman, the administration manager, the operations manager, the HR manager and even, amongst other things, the tea lady on occasion!

Believe me, I really get it when you tell me that you are so busy doing all that needs to be done, in your business – what with trying to hold your head above water, and trying to make good on the promises that you have made to your clients, that there just is no time (or inclination for that matter) to go beyond what you are already doing to be proactive.

Some would say that “as a micro business owner you don’t actually want or need to be proactive, you want to be reactive”!  It seems that “being proactive requires far more work than being reactive and it is therefore both impossible and completely unnecessary to do anything more than meticulously deliver on your promises.”

Well maybe, but then I wonder what excuse you will give to the tax man when he comes a-calling and you are not properly registered, or the Department of Labour, when you have not submitted what needs to be done?  I can assure you neither could give a damn whether you want to be proactive or reactive.

How about new clients – would you rather be proactive or reactive when you are looking for new clients?  I tell you what, why don’t you just sit and look at the telephone and hope that it will ring and then you can snatch it up and answer it – well that’s being reactive isn’t it?

Or you could go out and network, build up a data base, build relationships with the people you connect with at the meetings, whether they need your services or not, and then when they refer you to someone in their data base, who has a huge amount of work for you, you can smile about exactly how proactive you were.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly think that the extra effort and work is worthwhile in the end, especially when I look at my bank balance.

What about you?  Are you ‘reactive’ or ‘proactive’?  Which one works best for you?