Submitted by: John H. Lee, VP of Marketing & Sales, RKC InfoTech

Business networking can be an exact science depending on an individual’s perspective. Because there are so many uses, one person may have their own complete sequence of procedures that is different from all others. Furthermore, no two people do things exactly the same.

However, to reach certain goals in business using networking does require somewhat of a structured system. In other words, there are activities that should be viewed as productive and progressive, opposed to counterproductive or detrimental.

Your critical business goals should always be the foundation that you base your prominent networking activities upon. Therefore, when I suggest an emphasis on the below activities, it will vary due to your objectives. That being said, below are generally productive activities to help you succeed in business networking:

1. Attending Business Networking Functions

This may seem like an obvious bit of advice, but you must ask yourself if you are doing this on a regular basis. There are so many events available in so many places, yet they are missed by many people who have time challenges. When you consider that we are all just one person away from a big break or positive business changing experience, attending these events becomes more relevant.

2. Visiting Your Contacts

Looking at your past successes, consider just how much good relationships had to do with them. Great business relationships are built many times in a close, personal proximity.

Any opportunity to visit a colleague or contact within your network should be honored. This positive activity could be acknowledged later in time as productive and necessary.

3. Organizing and Categorizing Your Network

A lot of networking and meeting new contacts can lead to clutter. The clutter of which I speak is piles of business cards or online social network colleagues without proper categorization.

Yes, it is great to have a large and powerful network, but if you don’t have a system to prioritize those who are the most important, those who are up-and-coming, and those who are undecided, you are not maximizing what you have.

4. Drafting a Virtual Future Network

As you keep your communications and ties strong, you must always be looking into the future. You should know, as you progress in your career, who the people are who could potentially help to move you further down the road. It’s a good idea, quarterly at least, to envision what your future network could look like. Of course, envisioning this will help to give you a solid and traceable path for business networking.

John H. Lee is the VP of Marketing & Sales at RKC InfoTech, a Full-Service IT Company specializing in Custom Software Applications, located in Bensalem Pa.  RKCInfoTech.com. Contact John: 215-609-4186 ext. 1020 jlee@rkcinfotech.com.