Business Networking Predictions for 2010

Jan 11, 2010, 05:07 ET from Entrepreneur Press

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- 2009 is over (a relief to most) and many are looking ahead to what they want 2010 to bring their business. Knowing that networking is essential to this year's business plans, Dr. Ivan Misner,, founder and chairman of Business Networking International (BNI), and co-author of Networking Like A Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections with David Alexander and Brian Hilliard, offers the following business networking forecasts/tips for 2010:

    -- This will be a better year.
       "The economy IS going to improve. Look for opportunities. Focus on what
       you do best. You will have a better year, but you need to focus on
       solutions and get out of the quagmire of problems," says Misner. "While
       this isn't a 'networking' issue, it is important- have faith."

    -- Online social networks will continue to grow in prominence.
       No crystal ball needed for this one. However, consider this: digital
       schmoozing may continue to grow, but so will the frustration over how
       to convert that technology into viable business opportunities. This is
       an emerging field, and much of it will be established over the next few

    -- Companies, small and large, need to create a social media strategy.
       What's your plan? Don't have one? Big mistake in 2010. You need to
       start working on one now. Don't know where to start? Do a little
       research. There are some really good experts out there who can help you
       in this area. Find one that can help your business create a strong,
       cutting-edge social media strategy.

    -- Victims of downsizing will become active in networking groups (both
       face-to-face and online).
       Misner explains, "Many people have been laid off. My experience in
       running BNI is that within a few months of an increase in unemployment
       rates, there is almost always an influx of new members into networking
       organizations. I am confident that there will be such an influx in

    -- We will begin to see more of integration between face-to-face and
       online networking opportunities.
       Online networks will do things to promote face-to-face opportunities,
       and face-to-face networks will begin to integrate online networking
       more effectively into their programs.

    -- We will see the slow death of the "one-way" website.
       More and more, companies will create websites that operate in two
       directions. They will not only provide information to their customers
       but will also seek feedback from their customers. Blogs, interactive
       newsletters, social network sites, consumer feedback groups, etc. will
       continue to grow in importance for companies.

    -- Face-to-face networks will continue to grow.
       Misner asserts, "This is true, IF they stay true to a fundamental
       mission of helping people grow their businesses. Nothing beats
       networking in person."

    -- Companies that succeed in 2010 will remain agile and will focus on
       Technology is a tool. Relationships are king when it comes to
       networking. Companies who are creative in using tools to enhance the
       relationship building process will be the leaders in a company
       networking program.

Ivan Misner, Ph.D.,, is the founder and chairman of BNI, the world's largest business networking organization, He has written eleven books including three New York Times bestsellers. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, CNBC. He is the co-author of Networking like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connection, available at all fine bookstores and online booksellers, with authors David Alexander and Brian Hilliard.

Networking like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections

January 2010 - Entrepreneur Press - $21.95

ISBN 13: 9781599183565 - ISBN 10: 1599183560

SOURCE Entrepreneur Press