Networking can Cripple Your Business

Networking can help you build your business,  relationships and connections  BUT the power of a network , should never be underestimated and can just as easily damage your business and reputation.

We have a routine in our house.  We head out early for a long walk and often reward ourselves with a big breakfast.  Last Saturday was no exception, and this time we combined a few jobs on the way to our smashed avo! 

It was our Saturday morning experience that had me thinking how your customer experience is entwined with your  business  and can either expand  or cripple it.  Let me  tell you what happened.

We have been doing some work around our home and are thinking of having some furniture reupholstered so we set out on our walk  enroute to a nearby business which  I had visited before and since then had been referred  by an Interior Design consultant and one of YTM’s regular attendees.

When we entered the first shop, it appeared that no one was about.  We  wandered around the shop looking at samples and examples of furniture that had been recovered.   A few minutes went past.  Having been a mystery shopper in a past life, I knew that it was a strike against a business,  if you were not greeted or acknowledged by the staff within the first 30 seconds.  I  tried calling  out a couple of times, and coughed as you do… no response. Finally, I walked to the back of the store and finally connected with the owner who was focussed on the job at hand.  

I felt I was an interruption but he did bother to spend time ith me answering my questions and offering suggestions and samples,  clarified the necessary steps to get the work done and indicated the cost involved, which was over $3500.00.  

The referral to the business came from someone we know, like and trust, so most likely we will not even look for another quote. However, so easily we could have turned around and walked out because of the initial encounter with the business.

As the morning was getting on, I really did need a coffee, so we headed for a café not too far away. We had been  to the café once before and had not been overly satisfied, but everyone deserves a second chance, right?   When we arrived, we found it was busy but could see at least four empty tables and a long bench with stools, begging for clients.  You cannot reserve a table  at this café. 

We walked towards some seats, but were asked by a staff member to please wait.  We huddled against  the counter to wait.  And wait.   We were asked did we want takeaway and we answered that we were waiting to be seated.  We waited. And waited.  Finally my husband counted  to ten and we left.  There was a surprised and even bemused expression on the faces of two staff standing  behind the counter , who made no attempt to draw us back.  Needless to say, we won’t go  back!  The reason for my story is that how easy would it have been toseat us, give us a menu and some water, explain they were busy and there could be a wait.   Instead, we will not go back and I will mention this occurrence to others which could influence their choice of café  in the future.

I am sharing this story because I wish I could have told you how fabulous the café staff and experience was, and the name of the café.  I am keeping it’s name anonymous  in this case, but would your customers  be so kind if their experience with your business did not live upto their expectations?

Customer service and appreciation is critical to any business and the staffs attitude will certainly impact on the growth of the business.


We pride ourselves that at our Networking events we go out of our way to help people feel welcome and comfortable from the moment they arrive, right through the event.  We introduce them to others, and “match” them for appropriate conversations. We know how networking can terrify some people, but YTM is more like an intimate group of friends spending time together to talk about their businesses and challenges.  We know many relationships and opportunities have been established.



 YTM provides monthly events which always include insights and opportunity to  talk  with others. For more details click here  . We hope to see you soon.


Kerryn PowellComment