Let’s get real; most people get jobs and businesses where they have a connection. Business networking, therefore, makes a great difference. Business networking is the art of establishing beneficial relationships with clients and other people so that you are able to realise, develop and take action on available opportunities.
Networking is not easy as it sounds especially when you don’t understand how to do it. For this reason, we put together all that you need to know to get your business moving in the right direction. Read on
Types of business networking
As a business individual you hardly have any time to spare, knowledge on each of the following business networking group will shade more light on which one is relevant and best for your business.
1. Strong Contact Networks
What you will mostly love about these groups is that you will get to connect more with people here than elsewhere. The groups comprises of individuals from different professions. You are able to know who to contact in case you need anything. For example, there are higher chances of being contacted as a farm produce supplier when you join a catering agent group.
These types of networks have less competition, as said you may be the only farm supplier and the catering group will contact you each time they need farm produce.
2. Casual contact networks.
Casual contact networks are bigger than strong contacts networks. The groups are easy to join and do not hold the meeting as often as the strong contact network groups.
They are often joined by people of the same profession, while this may not be entirely a good idea, we advise that you join one, you may get a connection that will open doors for your business, you never know!
3. Online networks
These types of business groups are much newer. They are however as useful as the rest of the organizations in the business networking circle. There are several groups online purely for businesses that often use modern tools such as chatrooms to connect with entrepreneurs around the world.
- These groups are mostly recommended for extra busy business persons who may not prefer moving from place to place in the name of meetings.
One may join as many groups as they like, but we recommend that you get at least two that will empower and steer your business all the way up.
4. Community service clubs
These networks are mainly focused on giving back to the community. The organizations’ activities are based on humanitarian cause. Even though, deep relationships develop with time and that is likely to open doors for business opportunities.
The main agendas of these groups are simply to give. However, you may end up dong businesses with some members of these groups which is a good thing.
5. Professional Associations
These types of groups are formed by individuals from a specific profession such as health, real estate or procurement. Their main purpose is to share ideas and widen their contact base.
Joining these groups is beneficial to those looking for clients or market for their products. To benefit more from these groups, we advise that you be to try to solve other member’s issues rather than selling your products. Helping other individuals is a great way to develop a friendship that will most likely lead to better business networks.
Try and inquire from your customers which professional associations they belong to, this is the only sure way of joining a target key group.
Is networking important in business?
Should you take business networking seriously? Below are the reasons why we think you should:
It is so obvious that the main agenda for business networking is to meet clients or referrals. Business networking generates ideas and opens up for new clientele base. You will also be able to identify gaps and opportunities for future partnership.
2. Keeps you updated
We are living in a world whose business climate is ever changing. It is therefore very crucial to keep yourself abreast with the latest trends in your business. You may not be able to develop a successful business model without a solid picture of what the market is like.
- You will only stay current when you are able to attend meetings; share with other professionals or business people of the same background to gauge your product suitability for the current market.
3. Helps find solutions
Networking helps you find individuals who are willing and ready to help you solve your business nightmares. For example, you may find a storekeeper at a business group that is if your business needs a keeper.
4. Boosts individuals confidence
Associating with positive and focussed people helps you attain the confidence you need to take your businesses to the next level. One needs lots of encouragement especially when their business is new. There is no better place to find that than in a business networking group.
5. Builds Business Profile
Meeting with your clients helps boost and maintain existing relationships. Attending events helps you build your personal profile so that you are able to stay relevant in the business circle.
6. Leads to Personal Fulfilment
You will always find fulfilment if you are a person who loves helping others by solving their problems. Business networking gives you that platform so that you can help as many people as possible. Not only will you develop deeper relationships, but also connections that will be beneficial to your business.
As you can see, there are several benefits to joining a business network group. Instead of giving yourself unending excuses, wake up and join relevant organizations in your area and reap the benefits now than later!
Additional tips on how to become successful in business networking
Besides what we have already discussed above, here other ways to successfully build your business through networking:
- Have clear goals from the start. This way you will be able to pick groups that will be relevant and beneficial to your business. Understand that some types of groups are purely for learning and not entirely on making business networks.
- Be open to visiting as many groups as you can. This will help you in determining which ones you are more interested in. Always be keen on the agendas of the groups and members’ attitude.
- Do not be shy or afraid to ask as many questions as possible. Questions that need explanations are great in showing the group members that you are interested in them as a group.
- Be extra helpful and resourceful to other members. There is no better way to get close to people than when they know they can rely on you for suggestions and ideas.
- Be quick to follow up on the referrals given by other members. Create a good impression and other referrals will come your way easily.
- Make a point of contacting people you think you can do business with.
- Know what you want and how others may be of help. Also know why you do what you do, and what makes you special and different from anyone doing it.
Our Final word
Remember that business networking banks on authenticity and trust. It is important to join groups that are engineered towards making you better at what you are already doing. Always re-evaluate your business networking circle to see if you are getting the benefits as intended. All the best!