Business Networking is a really valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, attain new clients and tell others about your business. Networking should form a clear part of your marketing mix. To follow are six reasons and benefits of business networking that will help both you and your business through 2018 and beyond
Reason 1 – Generation of referrals / Increased business
This is probably the most obvious benefit and the reason most business owners and their employees decide to participate in networking activities and join networking groups.
More importantly, is that the referrals that you get through networking are normally high quality and most of the time are even pre-qualified for you. Making it easy for you to then follow up on these referrals/leads and have a strong chance of turning them into clients
Reason 2 – Opportunities
With a motivated group of business owners comes an abundance of opportunities! There are always lots of opportunities that come from networking and in fact this is where the benefits of business networking are immense and can never be under estimated.
Opportunities within networking groups are really endless, like joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, speaking and writing opportunities, business or asset sales and social media
Just make sure you are jumping on board with the right opportunities and don’t go jumping into every opportunity that comes your way. The opportunities that you get involved in should align with your business goals/vision, otherwise you might find that you are spinning your wheels chasing after opportunity after opportunity and getting nowhere.
Reason 3 – Connections
As the saying goes “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. This is so true in the business arena. If you want a really successful business, then you need to have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them. This is where good networking connections come into their own.
Networking provides you with a great source of connections, and really opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to or find.
It’s not just about who you are networking with directly either – that person will already have a network you can tap into as well. So ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know – you’ve nothing to lose here.
Reason 4 – Advice
Having like-minded business owners to talk to also gives you the opportunity to get advice from them on all sorts of things related to your business or even your personal life and obtaining that important work-life balance.
Networking is a great way to tap into advice and expertise that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get hold of. Just make sure you are getting solid advice from the right person – someone that actually knows about what you need to know and is not just giving you their opinion on something that they have no or very little experience in.
Reason 5 – Raising your profile
Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking. Make sure you regularly attend business and social events that will help to get your face known. You can then help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering useful information or tips to people who need it.
You are also more likely to get more leads and referrals as you will be the one that pops into their head when they need what you offer.
The use of banners, printed collateral, business cards and a well set up social media profile will all pay dividends for networking practice.
Reason 6 – Regular networking and increased confidence
By regularly networking, and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, you will get increased confidence the more you do this. This is really important as a business owner, because your business growth is very dependent on talking to people and making connections.
Networking is great for people that aren’t confident as it really pushes them to grow and learn how to make conversations and lasting connections with people they don’t know.
Paragon Business Neighbour Network Event
Paragon have been based in Reddish for many years. We realised that we didn’t really know who was actually on our door step and who our local business neighbours were. So, we set up the Paragon Business Neighbour network in order to bring Reddish business owner/managers together in a free, inclusive and open environment.
Since coming together in the form of a board room environment, through the help of the local police, we have supported each other by communicating any crime activity in the area to ensure our businesses are protected. Referrals have taken place to point people in the right direction and introduce new business. As you already know a qualified referral can carry such a high value for the recipient and the referee. The PBNN event was launched in the Spring of 2017 and the next meeting will take place early in 2018.
Our aim is to help you get the most of what is available for you and your company from within a well-established network of quality, local businesses. Business networking can benefit your business in so many ways. Give it a try and reap the rewards for yourself.
For more information about the PBNN and other networking groups near you please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org