Irish businesses need to invest in social capital

Business networking is more important now than it ever was, with networking groups from chambers of commerce to business associations, continuing to emerge throughout Ireland as local companies realise the power of referral in generating new business.

However, much of this networking is approached from the wrong angle according to Colin Horan, head of the Referral Institute Dublin South, who says the majority of business people see networking as an opportunity for face-to-face cold calling and are too interested in pushing for small bits of quick business.

“Business people everywhere need to see the bigger picture and focus on developing long term, mutually beneficial relationships if they want to see real growth.”

He said business leaders and owners need to refocus their efforts on investing in social capital and take the time to develop long term, profitable relationships.


"Much like financial capital, social capital requires you to invest time and effort into the people who can refer business to you if you wish to draw down it at a later stage," he said.

"Serious changes"
This sentiment is echoed by economist Dr Constantin Gurdgiev: "The Irish economy had been running on steroids of spending and credit bubbles for some 11 years prior to the crisis of 2008. We need serious changes in policies and business strategies to re-focus our resources on growth driven by high value-added activities, entrepreneurship and human capital."

The Referral Institute Dublin South will host a referral marketing event this Wednesday to provide people with insights into how to maximise their social capital, network with a clear vision and achieve greater business success.

The event is at the Referral Institute Training Centre on Fitzwilliam Square.