Due Diligence When Networking and Dealing with Business Owners

The term Due Diligence means an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract.

In personal relationships, we do our own informal due diligence. As the relationship develops, our trust also grows, we then tend to confide more in the other person and then the relationship deepens. If for some reason, there is a question in our mind about that person, we naturally tend to spend less time with and confide less in that person. Over time we may ‘drift away’ and the relationship does not develop.

When we are networking and intending to do business with other business owners, we need to do due diligence before entering into a business arrangement, a joint venture or an affiliate program.

Often, we get either a ‘good feeling’ or an ‘I’m not so sure feeling’ about a person or what the businessperson is proposing. If you get a ‘not so good feeling’ or a ‘gut feeling’, it usually means that we should ask more questions or do some more research before entering into a business deal or arrangement with them.

How can we do Due Diligence on a business or business owner:

  • ‘Google’ the person or business

We are very fortunate today to be able to search any person, business or event (in fact nearly anything) to see what other people are saying, what and who they may be associated with and any legal issues that may be surrounding this person. If you see anything that makes you feel uneasy, ask more questions and do more research.

  • See what that person is saying in Social Media groups

You may find that the person posts and shares about issues, opinions and views that you may not agree with. Is this the person you want to be associated with?

  • See what others are saying about that person in Social media groups

You will be able to ‘get a feel’ about the person. Often this could be that you do really want to work with this person because they have nice things said about them and others are generally complimenting them about different aspects of life. Of course, the opposite also applies, and not so good things may be being said.

  • Ask others in BforB or other network groups if they have done business with that person

Others in the network should respect your questions and tell you the truth about someone else. It is unlikely that if you are asking someone about another person, that they would lie to you. They may not wish to give you all the details but at least they should warn you to ‘be careful.’

Word of mouth and asking when you are face to face with someone is the best way to understand how the other person feels about someone as you can also ‘read their body language.

  • Put on a ‘Google alert’ on that person or the business for a short time– see what is being said about them. Usually it is what they are saying or promoting but something may come up that you should know about.
    If you are still concerned then call several of the people who have done testimonials and ask some questions.

If you are in a business community like the BforB community, when other members refer business and give verbal testimonials and appreciations for business that has occurred, this helps us to see who is doing business with who. We can also develop trust even with business owners who we have not done business with, just by hearing others talk about them in a positive way.

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