According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in June 2014 there were just over 2.1million businesses trading in Australia. 61% had no employees. So almost 1.3million people working for themselves had nobody sitting across the aisle, no IT department around the corner and no human hum in the workplace.
As social animals, we do well in communal groups. We exchange ideas, make friends, share stories, celebrate, reminisce, help, offer emotional support and natter. All this goes to forming the relationships that enable us to prosper and forms a healthy backbone for how we conduct our lives. You see, it’s those relationships that keep us on the straight and narrow. They reinforce our group-oriented beneficial behaviours and slap us on the wrist if we stray too far outside the accepted norms.
Working alone from office or home brings with it a whole array of personal challenges. First of all – who’s gunna see you in those spankin’ heels? Oh that’s right, you’re not wearing heels because you’re working alone. Oh dear. Well that ought to be top of your list of reasons for getting out of the office and working on some relationships – it’s a chance to wear heels!
So strap on some shoes, lippy up and get your game face on. Then get out there and form some new relationships and reinvigorate some old ones. Help them out, offer some suggestions, pass a referral and listen to their stories. That’s how you build the rapport that turns your circle of associates into your sales force because they will then happily recommend you to their networks.
Being a business island can be a lonely and unprofitable existence. So if you can’t afford to pay for a team of Business Development Officers and your website alone hasn’t resulted in customers beating a path to your door then perhaps networking may be of value to you. And remember, we were all uncomfortable the first time we did it. So wear some heels that will break the ice.
From those in Heels
Lisa & Jo