Giving, receiving, and socializing. To me that describes the holiday season; but interestingly, it also describes networking. For me, the holiday time is a time to slow down, reconnect, and add a bit of jingle to my mingling skills!

Last week, we had our Christmas party. It was a fun filled night consisting of food, bowling and laughter! Events like this give the team a chance to bond and reminisce on the company’s successes and accomplishments.

Will you attend any Christmas parties this holiday season? By making networking your job, you take the responsibility for making others feel comfortable. Others will appreciate your generosity and you will make a positive impression going into the New Year.

Even if your company is experiencing a seasonal slowdown during the holiday, it doesn’t mean you’re dealing with a light workload as a business leader. Being an entrepreneur, you need to be constantly out there networking and trying to build your company’s client base. The end of the year is no different – in fact, the holidays often bring additional networking opportunities for the business leader savvy enough to take advantage of them.

People Are Spending Money
One reason why the holidays are a great time of the year to network is the fact that people are already spending money. Even if they’re not in the market for what you have to offer right now, their seasonally liberal spending policy is likely to make them more receptive of what you have to say. This makes it easier for holiday networking to have a big impact on your business down the road.

Use the Holidays as an Excuse to Revive Contact
The holidays are the perfect time to revive any old business contacts you haven’t talked with lately. Even if you haven’t spoken in months, there’s no better reason for you to give them a call than to wish them a happy holidays. Not only will this help break the ice for your initial conversation, but it will also leave you fresh in their minds after the holidays have passed.

Fill Your Schedule with Holiday Events
Right around the holidays is one of the busiest times of the year for business get-togethers and social gatherings. Between holiday parties, industry events, and charity functions, there are plenty of great opportunities for you to network with a wide range of people important to your company.

This is especially true if your business deals primarily with other businesses. That’s because by the time the holiday season rolls around, corporate decision makers are already planning out the year to come. Getting your foot in the door now is the perfect way to stay relevant when it’s time for decisions to be made.

Mix Business with Pleasure
There will be a lot of opportunities for networking throughout the holiday season, but don’t let everything be about business. Sometimes you need to remember to step back and let yourself have a little bit of festive fun. While holiday parties make for great places to network, breaking into a ten-minute sales pitch will scare everyone off in short order. Make connections, but be sure not to focus only on business during holiday or charity events.

Remember to Stay Connected
With so many ways to network during the holiday season, it’s easy for us to feel like we’ve accomplished a lot. But the holidays are busy for everyone, and brief conversations often get buried under all of the other things we’re dealing with this time of the year. For that reason, it’s important that you remember to stay connected after the holidays have passed.

When January rolls around, take the time to reach out to everyone that you networked with over during the holidays. This can help keep you relevant and fresh in their minds, without being overly demanding or annoying.

The holiday season is a great time to network for your business, but attending holiday parties and calling up old contacts is just the beginning. To get the most out of the networking you do during the last few weeks of December, make it a point to follow up after the first, and continue to build up your new relationships all throughout the coming year.

Business Tip:
Make it your job to meet people. Set a goal of how many people you will meet and stick to it. This gives your networking a sense of purpose and direction.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey Fieber & her team of business solutions experts help business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. We believe in the power of hiring the right people, and we help our clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.