Networking is a foundational activity for most businesses, and if done properly provides not only new clients for your company but long-term relationships with other members of the business community. If you’re not networking, then you are missing out on a valuable tool to build your business and your brand.
Here are nine reasons why you should be networking for your business.
- Increased business – This is the most obvious reason why people network in their business. When you get other business leads through networking, you can believe that they are going to be high-quality leads. These leads can be turned into clients.
- Networking opens doors – Partnerships, joint ventures, speaking engagements, increased sales, and client leads are just a few of the new opportunities that you may find through networking. All of these are activities and opportunities that only come through building your authority and credibility and that is exactly what networking will help you do.
- Stick with the opportunities that align best with your business and its goals, though, otherwise, you’ll find yourself chasing rainbows instead and not really growing your business after all.
- Expand your business contacts – this is something that people in network marketing or direct sales understand very well: it is not just the person standing in front of you – it is all the people that they know as well. When you connect others at business events, you open yourself and your business up to so many different resources. Your network of potential referrals expands exponentially with every new person you meet.
- Finding advisors – Business owners are often very open with other business owners, about what works and what doesn’t in their marketing efforts. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice and help in areas that are not your area of expertise. However, don’t expect permanent free help to take the place of paid services simply because you belong to the same networking group. Be realistic, and respect your Advisor’s time and limitations, and return the favour when possible.
- Building your brand – When you network and get your face and your name out there in the industry, you are biding trust, authority and credibility in you. and your brand. Eventually, your goal is to become a recognized authority in your field with brand recognition that may even reach beyond your initial local market.
- Stay positive – You want to surround yourself with positive people. Having a network of like-minded, supportive, and positive people has a tendency to rub off on you. It can only help you grow and thrive as a business owner.
- A confidence builder – Networking can be more than a little intimidating at first, but you will be amazed at how quickly your confidence will grow after a few meetings. You will begin to know a few people, so you are no longer walking into a room full of strangers, and people will approach you with a smile and a “how are you?” instead of “who are you?”. The bottom line is that the end result is well worth the few moments of discomfort you might have in the beginning.
- Helping others – Remember, you’re not the only one networking when you meet a new person. This means that you could be that expert on that one thing that no one else is, and you’ll take pride in knowing you helped grow your industry. It also means that the person walking up to you (now an old pro at this networking thing) might be as scared as you were a few weeks ago. So stick out that hand and pump up that smile, and welcome them to the group.
Networking is important for any business. It’s how a guy who does overhead doors meets his attorney and it’s how they formed a now going on 7-year relationship doing business (and networking!) together:
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