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. In this article I will share the top benefits of business networking and why it is a powerful marketing activity.
I highly recommend business networking as a way to gain new clients and to build a sustainable business and here is why…
Here are the top 9 benefits of business networking for small business owners:
1. Generation of referrals/Increased business
This is probably the most obvious benefit and the reason most business owners decide to participate in networking activities and join networking groups.
The great news is that as long as you are building genuine relationships, referrals that you get through networking are normally high quality. Most of the time they are even pre-qualified for you. You can then follow up on these referrals/leads and turn them into clients if suitable.
So you are getting much higher quality leads from networking than other forms of marketing. That is why it can be so powerful.
The increase in business from networking is the major advantage, but there are many other benefits of business networking as well.
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 huge!
Opportunities like joint ventures, cross promotions, partnerships, speaking and writing opportunities, business or asset sales… the list goes on. The opportunities within networking are really endless.
Just make sure you are jumping on board with the right opportunities and don’t go jumping into every opportunity that comes your way. Do your due diligence first before you work with someone. Not everyone will have the same values and/or work ethic as you. So make sure that whoever you pursue opportunities with is a good match. The opportunities you get involved in should also align with your business goals/vision. Otherwise you might find that you are spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
This is one of my favourite benefits of business networking.
“It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. This is so true in business. 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.
Networking provides you with a great source of connections. It opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to.
It’s not just about who you are networking with directly either – that person will have a network you can possibly 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!
Having like-minded business owners to talk to also gives you the opportunity to get advice. Advice on all sorts of things related to your business or even how to obtain 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 has expertise in what you need to know and is not just giving you their opinion on something that they have no or very little experience in.
5. Raising your profile
Being visible and getting noticed is one of the big benefits of business networking. Make sure you regularly attend business and social events that will help to get your face known. You can then build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering useful advice 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.
6. Positive Influence
The people that you hang around with and talk to do influence who you are and what you do. So it is important to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people that help you to grow and thrive as a business owner. People who are further down the business path then you will have a positive influence on the actions you take and how you view your business. Networking is great for this, because business owners that are networking are usually people that are really going for it, positive and uplifting.
7. Increased confidence
By regularly networking, and stretching your comfort zone to talk to people you don’t know, you will get increased confidence. The more you do this, the easier it becomes. This is really important as a business owner, because your business growth is very dependent on talking to people and making connections.
Networking can be great for people that aren’t confident. It really pushes them to grow and learn how to make conversations and lasting connections with people they don’t know.
I was certainly not confident when I started networking, in fact it completely petrified me! But as I did it more, the more confident I got and the easier it become. Also the more benefit I get from it!
8. Satisfaction from helping others
I really love helping other people, and networking is a fantastic way that allows me to do this easily. Networking is full of business owners that have problems or issues within their business that need solving, and there is great satisfaction from helping someone to solve a problem they have and get a fantastic result from it.
This can have a great flow on effect of displaying your expertise and how you help people. Which can lead to new business and new clients.
Lastly, this one is more personal related rather than business related, but is a big benefit none-the-less. Many friendships form as a result of networking because you are like-minded business owners that want to grow your businesses. You meet and help each other regularly, so naturally strong friendships and bonds tend to form. Some of my strongest friendships have been started from networking.
As you can see, there are so many wonderful benefits of business networking. It is a powerful marketing strategy to add for any small business to help it grow sustainably.
If you’re ready to grow and streamline your business, and you have an established business that is desiring its next level of growth. Visit our Work With Us page to see our business coaching options. We would love to help your business thrive!