I get the scenarios where knowing the right people will lead to direct access to certain market/resources/know-how. But let's take a founder of TECH startup who doesn't have an expansive network to begin with, should he/she spend any portion of his time networking? Or should he focus on the business.
Networking Is just as important as running the business. I think a balance should be created and effectively managed among the two. But to answer your question. He/She should spend more time running the business, because in the long run, your work will be all that would be left to speak for you...
Always spend some time either making new RELEVANT connections or building relationships with the connections one has. But also make sure you know what kind of connections you want to make. The best use of networking is not for finding customers directly, but for building relationships with those people that can get you where you need to go. That could be investors, it could be related industries that themselves service the same customers you are trying to service ( and which you might be able to partner with in the future), people experienced in the space you're in that could be a good source of advice, etc.
With networking, make sure you understand your own goals, and think long term. Doing networking correctly and building real relationships takes time so always think about what kind of relationships you might need in the future. You're making investments that will mature over time if you treat these connections properly.
Also, I put together a simple code of conduct for engaging with these contacts best. You can check it out here: http:// networkerscode.com
Like most things, the answer is "It depends." There are multiple forms of networking, and can be broken down into categories starting with in-person (like Meetups, Conferences and Trade Shows, entertainment venues, Chamber of Commerce Meetings), real-time online (like Skype), asymmetric online (such as this or Facebook, WeChat, LinkedIn, email), and other forms of communications (like phone). But before you allocate time for networking, ask the big questions of what you hope to get out of it? Then you can analyze if it is worth your time or money.
Networking can promote yourself and your business. So, knowing the place, demographics, and potential of an activity will help you target the best activities for your goal. Just remember there are trade-offs. For example, I had to pass up what appeared to me to be a good meeting with a crowd of investors, my top priority, because I needed instead to be at my Engineering Team's weekly meeting due to even more important factors.
I hope that helps.
CEO, Telepresence Robotics Corporation
We build the Robots. You build the App.™
If he did not network, how would he increase on his client base? Personal refferer experience remain the most potent marketing tool.
I think working with the network is an integral part of modern business, especially in a start-up. You carry can make your startup recognizable without direct infusion into networking
do is work properly
As a third-generation salesman, having trained under the wolves of the medical device industry for nearly a decade, I believe networking is HUGE.
As a somewhat newly minted entrepreneur.. the ability to call on my network for assistance has been crucial for the ability to adapt to today's changing times.
Its also important to be able to grow your network in areas where you need assistance. Being able to develop this area has been crucial for me in getting accomplishing even the most basic of tasks.
If you're not fully vested in being the ultimate networker, you're definitely better off in that CTO role. You'll still be able to have the ultimate say as the "Commander in Chief" if you so choose. Just surround yourself with a BOD of trusted advisors: friends and family with a good business sense, mentors, etc.
Its hard at first, but once you have the ability to talk to anybody about anything... networking becomes your best friend in helping you accomplish your goals!
Did I hear business? And the business is solution service oriented? Then if his solution approach and package is potent enough, there isn't any other business outside networking. Your potential clients are raised from such.... Probably through direct contact/social media optimisation. I believe networking is the necessary nutrient on which every business draw staminal from.....
Networking is one of the best things I have learnt while working in Canada (I come from France).
Think about it, the world is full of bilion of people, and all those businesses are handled by them. These people are your ressources in terms of opportunities and knowledge learning, and trust me if you ask help from one guy, he will probably know the friend of a friend of a friend, etc who may have a solution for you.
It's funny how we are a becoming more of a digital society, but we forget how human interaction and networking face to face is the must.
I think you should not hesitate to go to events, tech communities and meet people. It's often by doing this that you will find that one connection you made in the 20 total you made one night that can have a great impact for your business. Networking is full of surprises. Go for it.