“Networking is an investment in your business, It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come.” – Diane Helbig
What is Networking?
Often confused with selling, business networking is the art of building mutually beneficial relationships with other business people, potential clients, and customers. When you build lasting relationships for mutual gain and create lasting impressions on individuals you meet, you expand your circle of influence which becomes critical to your own career growth as well. It also proves to become one of the most effective techniques to create referrals and create a sustainable and successful business.
Benefits of networking
- Sharing knowledge and experience
Networking is ideal for expanding your knowledge as you meet people with varied interests and experiences who help you look at things from a different perspective.
One can also harness their network in order to learn new business techniques to stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry. Networking is a key factor why more and more individuals and companies are choosing coworking spaces over traditional offices. At 91springboard, we believe in the power of networking. That’s why everything we do, all services we offer, are designed to fulfill the human need of social interaction and building meaningful connections.
- Boosts confidence
When you repeatedly put yourself out there to meet new people and build connections, you push yourself out of your comfort zone and learn to be more confident with every step. And this becomes very important if you are a business owner since you represent your business to all the new people you meet. The more confident you are as a person, the more confident you are in your business. Networking can open new doors to opportunities that don’t just benefit you personally but can also be profitable for your business.
- Get the right visibility in the market
Business networking opens up a whole new world of opportunities when you begin getting noticed. When you’re visible in various networking events and amiable to various people, you establish a cordial relationship with people from various walks of life. This will enable you to always be the one they think of when they need something done that’s right up your alley. Networking with the right people can help you expand your business and venture into avenues that could be profitable in the long term.
- Build new contacts and referrals
When you build lasting relationships with other people and provide them with good quality work, the undeniable benefit you reap is a good word for your business which converts into a pre-qualified referral. This helps you to acquire more clients/ customers who will potentially form a long term business relationship with you as well, thus getting you much higher quality leads than marketing. It also helps you to identify opportunities for partnerships, collaborations or expansion for your business.
- Create a sense of satisfaction
When you network and help people find solutions to their problems, you not only earn a referral, but also the person’s trust and respect. This respect helps you to grow in your field of work as you attach more meaning to your job, thereby creating an overall sense of satisfaction which ultimately leads to better productivity at the workplace.
Networking tips to build better business relationships
- Attend business networking events
The first step to successful networking is to know where to find connections. This is when working in a coworking space proves to be of great help. Coworking spaces like 91springboard allow you to build your business in an engaging, exciting and inspirational environment surrounded by all kinds of business contacts. You expand and improve your networking circle simply by going to work in addition to all the various meet and greet events organized by our hub teams.
- Be accessible and approachable
Remember that everyone’s a little nervous when they approach someone for the first time. But by being warm and welcoming, you can help people build better connections with you. An assuring smile, a kind gesture or a warm introduction can help you break the initial barrier and build lasting relationships and a great network of colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
- Share your passion
When interacting with others, share your story with passion and honesty. Seeing you passionate about your work will fuel their enthusiasm and encourage them to share their passions too, thereby melting the ice and creating great two way conversations and a lasting impression.
- Respond in kind
The key to networking is to reciprocate- you learn something from the others and you share your experiences with them. In this give and take of stories, a lot of insights are shared that could be helpful to them as well as to you. So, the key therefore, to building a mutually beneficial relationship is to reciprocate and be welcoming.
- Remember to follow up
Networking is only half the battle won as that’s when the conversation just begins. If you had a memorable interaction with someone, do offer to stay in touch and if they seem open to that, follow up with a connection request so you can stay connected. Some common ways to keep the interaction going is by sharing interesting articles, inviting them to an engaging conference or simply by sending a friendly note to them in order to stay in touch.
As the old saying goes, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ Great business minds thus know and understand the importance of building the necessary professional skills to make great networking a business strategy. In the long term, they know that networking will benefit them personally and professionally by helping them build strong client/customer relationships, strengthening brand equity and gaining them personal satisfaction by doing meaningful work. All of this adds up to the fact that networking can in fact do a world of good for your business.
Have you started building your network yet? If not, now is the right time to start!