Does your line of work call for you to network and create new connections with other people in your field all the time? If it does, you’ve probably put together a long list of business contacts at this point.
These business contacts can work wonders for your career. The stronger that your business network is, the better off you’ll be when it comes to doing your job.
But to enjoy the business benefits that come along with having all these contacts, you’ll need to learn how to keep them all in good order. Your contacts aren’t going to do you much good if you struggle to locate them when you need them.
Here is a complete guide on how to keep your business contacts organized at all times.
Choose the Right System for Organizing Your Business Contacts
There are so many different systems that you can use for organizing your business contacts. For example, you can:
- Buy a Rolodex to house your contacts
- Create a spreadsheet to store your contacts
- Utilize an app on your phone to keep track of your contacts
It’ll be up to you to choose the system that is going to work best for you. If you would like to take a more old-school approach to organize your business contacts, a Rolodex might be your best bet. But if you prefer to use technology at every turn, an app on your phone might be the right option.
Decide How You’ll Go About Organizing Your Business Contacts
Once you know which system you’re going to use to organize your business contacts, you should give some thought to how you’ll go about organizing them. Ideally, you want to organize them in a way that will make the most sense to you.
More often than not, people will organize their business contacts by putting them into alphabetical order. But you might also want to take things a step further than that by breaking your contacts down into specific categories.
Some of these categories might include:
If you choose to organize your business contacts in this way, the categories that you come up with should be specific to your industry. It’ll make it simple to find someone in your network when you need them.
Take the Right Approach to Gathering Business Contacts
After you figure out how you’re going to organize your business contacts using your preferred system, you should use this information to gather contact information in the right way. You’ll need to make it a point to get the right info from people so that you can input them into your system.
For instance, if your plan is to organize all your contacts alphabetically, you’ll need to do more than just ask someone for their email address when you meet them. Sticking this email address into a spreadsheet on your computer or an app on your phone might make it impossible to find it later on.
Instead, you’ll want to ask a business contact for their full name, their title, and their contact info so that you can put all of this into your spreadsheet or app. The more info they’re able to provide you with, the easier it’ll be to keep your business contacts straight.
Organize Your Business Contacts as Soon as You Get Them
Far too often, people will gather the info that we just talked about, stick it into their pockets, and then forget about it for days, weeks, or even months on end. As a result, they’ll end up with a bunch of business cards or even just scraps of paper that aren’t organized at all.
You should shy away from doing this if your goal is to keep your business contacts organized. You should try to sit down at least once every few days to put any contacts that you’ve collected into your Rolodex, spreadsheet, app, etc. It’ll ensure that you don’t have any business contacts that slip between the cracks.
Go Through Your Business Contacts and Update Them Accordingly
Some of your business contacts will stay in their current positions for years and sometimes even decades to come. But many of them are also going to get promoted, change jobs, etc. in the coming years.
With this in mind, you’ll need to get yourself into the habit of updating your contacts accordingly. Whenever someone in your network alerts you to a change in their employment status, you should go into your contacts and update their entry.
You should also flip through your business contacts from time to time and go through each one to see if you need to make any updates to them.
Create Backups for Your Business Contacts to Avoid Losing Them
Losing all of your business contacts can be absolutely devastating for your career. It’s why you need to create backups for your contacts if you can.
It’s going to be difficult to do this if you’re still organizing your business contacts with a Rolodex. This might be reason enough to step into the 21st century by organizing your contacts with a spreadsheet or app.
But even if you’re using, say, an app on your phone to organize your contacts, you’ll still need to be proactive about backing your phone up to avoid losing them. Read this article called “How to Backup iPhone to Mac” to see how easy it is to do it.
Keeping Your Business Contacts Organized Is Very Important
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business owner, an entry-level worker at a Fortune 500 company, or someone else in the business world. You need to employ the right networking strategies to create a strong business network for yourself.
You also need to make it your mission to keep your business contacts as organized as you can. Use each of the tips found here to get the job done.
Browse through our other blog articles to get more tips that will help you to succeed in the business world.