It is very essential to any business to get their presence out there whether in person or online. Joining networking groups and being active on social media will help people find you, get to know you, and build a reliable relationship with you that can improve your company.
Business Networking is just like computer networking where computers are linked together to have connections whereas, business persons connect to form mutually beneficial relationships. Business networking is considered a marketing method where a mutually beneficial relationship is established with other business people and potential clients or customers. Networking gives you a pool of experts that range from competitors to clients, where they meet and get to know each other allows you to offer something; hopefully in exchange for their services, advice, knowledge, or contacts.
Developing relationships as a business owner and offering assistance to others does more than give you potential clients or generate referrals. Networking assists you in identifying opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures, or new areas of expansion for your business. Networking is beneficial for one’s business to build connections for the future, increase brand awareness, establish expertise, draw referrals, and produce a return on investment. There are four types of business networking:
- Online/Social Media Networks
- Online and social media networks are simple and quick to get into for the business persons. No need to go anywhere, dress up…just present yourself online. They also require regular investment (daily, weekly, monthly) in updating your online profiles and engaging with those you meet virtually.
- Professional/ Trade Associations
- Trade associations can provide great opportunities to expand your career vertically and horizontally. Additionally, these networks can help you maintain key contacts with potential clients and target markets.
- Community Service Clubs
- This networking isn’t for a referral. Their activities are more community-oriented. By doing this, it forms lasting relationships that expand and deepen your personal and business networks.
- Casual Contact Networks
- This involves meeting business persons informally. This group usually holds monthly meetings and frequent discussions together by getting to know one another.
Networking has its challenges. Some companies complained that it takes too much time, it’s not predictable (nothing comes from the connection), it’s hard to find the people you are looking for, and finding places is difficult. Networking takes careful understanding and to a great point, connections are prescribed by the job, industry, or business. Those making an achievement approach it with open eyes and mind that permits a company to take a new direction based on the opinions of others they meet.
Take a chance and start networking today!