Common misconceptions about business networking
By Asen Nedyalkov

In today’s fast changing economy, growing your business network is an essential marketing and business development strategy, regardless if you’re small, just starting or an already established large corporation. Put in simple terms, business networking is the leveraging of your business and personal contacts with the intention of establishing mutually beneficial connection and also generating new business. Hopefully on a regular basis.

Strategic partnerships – make the most of your business networking

Card AD was founded back in 2007 in the beautiful city of Varna, Bulgaria. It is a financial and e-money institution, licensed by the Bulgarian National Bank under the Bulgarian Payment Services and Payment Systems Act and EU e-money institutions directive. The company is a principal member of Visa and Mastercard and an authorized member of AMEX, UnionPay, JCB and a number of domestic payment schemes. iCard AD is specialised in developing products that perfectly match today’s dynamic lifestyle. Operating all across the European Economic Area (EEA) it offers payment solutions especially suitable for retail customers and businesses working internationally.

Yavor Petrov CEO, iCard AD

They facilitate relationships and give more freedom to clients with a variety of services such as instant money transfers, international bank transfers at competitive prices, individual IBANs in multiple currencies, diversity of card products – debit, credit, prepaid, giftcards, modern, intuitive online payments platforms and mobile apps and much more. iCard’s most prominent and trendy product brands is iCard Digital Wallet – an easy to use, secure and fun mobile wallet for Android and iOS.

iCard digital wallet is the latest and fastest growing addition to the iCard products family. It is a powerful application for mobile NFC payments that comes with a free IBAN, free virtual cards set and no installation or monthly service fees. iCard enables its users to pay contactless (Tap&Pay) directly with their smartphones, send and receive e-GiftCards, digitise all barcoded loyalty cards, pay utility bills, top up phone minutes and much more, all from their phone.

1. Its sole purpose is to drive new sales
Of course, making yourself visible and collecting new contacts and referrals is a must for your networking activities. While driving more clients is the ultimate goal of any business activity, networking could add a lot of other perks to that. For example, you could find a solution to a problem you are currently dealing with in your organisation. You could use business networking to stay current with the latest developments in your target markets or to simply exchange know-how with established industry leaders.

Tip: Don’t limit yourself to meeting people in your own or related industries only. Sometimes the best fresh insights and inspiration may come from people who seemingly have nothing to do with your business.

2. All you need to do is show up at a bunch of networking events
Certainly going to events is a great way to expand your network, but you need to have a solid strategy behind it. Simply shaking hands with new people and exchanging business cards won’t do much. Neither will your sporadic appearance here and there. Business networking needs to be focused, consistent and part of your overall strategy. Be proactive, make a plan, set goals and do something every week towards them. Carefully choose and research the people you want to meet beforehand. Don’t waste time and energy with the wrong people. Don’t limit yourself to offline activities. LinkedIn and other business oriented social networks are a great way to establish powerful and long lasting connections.

Tip: Ask for recommendations. This is probably the most natural and easy way to gather new contacts. It also helps make a stronger connection from the beginning.