Small business is all about networking, building relationships and business development. Building a successful business takes time and energy, so it’s good to have a network of associates to keep you going.
There are numerous benefits to business networking.
Raise your profile
Being visible and get noticed! When you regularly attend business and social events, people will begin to recognize you and you will expand your sphere of influence.. You will build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering assistance, support and advice to those in your network.
You are also more likely to get more leads and referrals as you will be top of mind. Opportunities will arise which could include referrals, offers of partnerships, requests for your service or products, speaking and writing opportunities, business or asset sales.
You may meet future business partners, suppliers, customers and friends. But, you’re not just gaining exposure to the people in the room, you are building connections with their network as well. If someone they know has a need that matches your business,you will likely get a referral. And remember it’s a reciprocal arrangement – if someone in your network matches a business you encounter at an event, don’t hesitate to share their details. It will only strengthen your relationship.
Networking is great for sharing ideas and knowledge. Whether it’s asking for feedback or discussing your point of view, it will help you expand your knowledge and gain new perspectives and fresh insights. It is also likely that within a group there will be those who have already been where you are today. You can call on your network for assistance, support and advice.
By talking to people you don’t know, it will help increase your confidence. This is an important attribute as a business owner, because your business growth is dependent on talking to people and making connections.
Stay current with what’s happening in your industry or the local area.