What is Importance of Business Networking?
Business networking is an art form and as an entrepreneur you should be expert in it. Business networking is all about connecting people which will be beneficial for each other’s business. Networking is done because of the benefits you hope to reap from good networking. The entrepreneur has to be clear about what he/she hopes to achieve through networking. you should get some right people in your network that will improve your influence.
“Effective networking isn’t a result of luck – it requires hard work and persistence.”
Related Article -> Importance of Business Network for Entrepreneurs
In the ecosystem of entrepreneurship, communication and presence with strength are useful ways to help you build strong relations with other entrepreneurs. They may belong to different age groups, nationality and interest fields.
Business and Networking Conferences provide direct opportunities to increase your network. Because after the session, large number of participants meet each other irrespective of their working fields and relations to get knowledge, guide, inspiration, motivations, etc.
You should generally avoid pitching about your business at initial case. Instead, you just stand there and try to know their conditions. This would be enough for you to know what they want. At the end or at right time interval, you can go ahead pitching your business.
“I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.”
– John D. Rockefeller
Facts on Networking
Do not attend such events with a motive to neglect your local connections over new connections. Because who knows, based on your current situation, local connections could be your help meanwhile new connections could not be able to help you. Therefore, give equal importance to both global and local business connections.
Also, while meeting people in such conferences, be yourself and real. In this way you will build a more genuine relations. In this way, you will also be able to attract more people. Further, you can also achieve it by talking about general situations which entrepreneurs face, people suffering in job, etc. Such topics will be understood by everyone and will make them comfortable by showing yourself understanding their situations.
You could also derive important advantages from these conferences. Like getting yourself a new investors, customers, mentors etc, if you are able to impress them a lot. You can refer The importance of business network for entrepreneurs
How to Establish an Effective Business Network?
Business networking is not a different thing. We do it every time in life but won’t realize it. we make good friends and meaningful relationships. But in business networking you have understand that you add right people around you. Also, the most important thing in networking is that you should diversify your network. Forget about similar lines of business. Keep in continuous touch with them.
1. Networking through Social Media
Today’s era is a social media era. That’s why it is very easy to build a network through Social Media. There are business groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and even on google plus you can join them and start creating network. Twitter also provides easy and quick access to entrepreneurs.
There are many business groups on personal chatting platform like WhatsApp. You just need to get their contact numbers from social medias, talk with them based on suitable situations. Then, add suitable people with common objectives in a WhatsApp group or message them individually. You can also do it for members belonging to different regions of the world.
If you are traveling in different city or country you can just message in the WhatsApp group that you are in that particular city or country and you want to hangout for a business meet. if anyone is interested they will join you. Its a simple work!
2. Networking through Business Events
You can join the business meets, entrepreneurship events, awards, seminars, etc. in your local regions for personally interacting with people of your field. This can be accomplished by joining network club sites like LinkedIn, MySpace, WisdomBuilder, etc.
As said before, while meeting these people don’t irritate them by directly giving company cards, links and start selling your product. The best way to make good lasting connections is to actually find ways using which you can give a value to them without expecting something in return.
It is not much cost and time consuming to form a good network. You just have to understand their needs and introduce them with the right people and resources. They will also understand your needs and will do the same. It is not like the typical ‘Like, Comment, share principle of liking a post’. After understanding their needs, you have to look into things you can do for them. So that you can accordingly answer whenever they ask about what you have found to satisfy their need.
You should ask relevant questions to them for contributing to make your network. At the same time, be a good listener too which will represent that you are also valuing them. If you are not able to start a communication with people in business meets, don’t worry because not all the entrepreneurs are extroverts. Some of them are introverts too. Therefore ‘Introverts can also become entrepreneurs’. Remember this statement!
You may think that all entrepreneurs have similar mind set. But instead, they are all different. They are all unique in their way. So while networking, Just Be You. This also works on Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me Formula.
Remember a sentence. It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know. This is very true in business.
“It’s great to spend time at a networking event with someone you know and like. But that’s not what you’re there for. Your goal is to expand your network by meeting new people.“
– Beth Ramsay
8 Benefits of Business Networking.
1. References for Increasing the Business
References which you receive from business networking is of high quality. In most cases such references lies under your capabilities. You can follow them which can turn the person giving references into a client.
These references majorly increases your business. Meanwhile, you must also consider other factors for increasing your business. Don’t ignore them in front of Business Network References.
Furthermore, these references are also genuine because business network provides them based on real life experiences in entrepreneurship, making it realistic. Following them would yield genuine results.
“Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come.”
– Diane Helbig
2. Business Development Directions
Possibilities of business development directions depends upon motivation of people met during business networking. If motivation of people is high, directions are vast and if motivation of people is low, directions are less.
Such directions include finding right Investors, Customers/Consumers, Partners. Further opportunities include communication practice, acquiring business knowledge, selling assets, etc. There are infinite opportunities.
You need to ensure that from all the development directions you find, follow only those which are in favor of solving your problems in business. They should provide you a scope for improving, developing and diversifying your business. Don’t rush towards unnecessary directions as it will create a lop of one over other. As a result, this will lead you to nowhere.
“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”
– Michele Jennae
3. Business Connectivity
You have to work on great business connectivity sources for a successful business. In Business networking, when you meet with people already posses a large connections. As a result, your connections get add-up with theirs and your net connections multiply. This can contribute towards J-Curve of your business i.e. exponential or compound development of business.
For business connectivity, you need to ask right questions to them in order to understand whether they can contribute or not. Also, establishing connections with people having high influencing factor gives positive impact to your business.
“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.”
– Keith Ferrazzi
Business owners having similar thinking gives you a chance to get suggestions from them. These suggestions will help you to improve business and personal life by knowing correct balances which you can maintain between life and business.
Such suggestions obtained from business networking are very effective and efficient. This is because suggestions obtained from other sources like friends and family may not prove useful for your business. Further, make sure that you get strong and right suggestions from right person. For that, the person standing in front of you should know correctly about you, your situations and needs. Also make sure their suggestions should be based on their experiences and should not be theoretical. You can also refer Benefits of Network
5. Identity Development
Business network obviously get yourself known to all the people who attended business network programs. That’s why attended as much business programs as possible. This will simply grow your identity to many people. I have seen cases that even though person do not remember my name or I don’t remember their name, we recognize each other by face. And this happened for numerous business events.
Your identity will entirely be based on how you represent yourself. This includes your personality, knowledge, team, resources, product/service, business pitch, amount of helping and supporting nature etc. The more you gain your identity, the more suggestions, references and supports you get from people. Sometimes, you may not even require to approach them. Sounds great!
“Networking that matters is helping people achieve their goals.”
– Seth Godin
6. Great Motivation
Getting along with these positive people in business seminars is very important as they will maintain your motivation. Motivation will maintain the fire inside you to become successful. As a result your working capability, consistency will be maintained for longer time periods. Further, bad or weak motivation will highly poison your performance and management towards business development by bringing laziness, tiredness, irritation, etc.
You have to simultaneously work on your and your team’s motivation at various intervals of time. Business Networking will definitely help you to achieve this.
7. Higher Trust on Yourself
Talking to various people will definitely help to increase your confidence. This is because of people responding to you while talking. Also, people give inputs to you from their side. Further, as an entrepreneur, you must have confidence to talk with people for making connections. One should focus on creating business networks if they are not able to trust themselves much.
Initially, one lacks confidence while talking to people. But as they put their efforts, their confidence increases. Because, even if you are not able to frame proper sentences or unable to explain things, people are intelligent enough to understand your views. Also, they won’t even make fun of it or demotivate you. That’s one of the qualities of an entrepreneur i.e. not making fun of mistakes or deficiencies. They also know, they themselves are making mistakes unknowingly on various other aspects also, so its no big deal.
“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.”
– Robert T. Kiyosaki
8. A Peace and Happiness by Providing Help
There is a very high scope of providing help to people while creating a business network. Because a lot of people come with their problems. This occurs especially in the start-ups having problems like lack of money, employment issues, technological helps, guidance, resources, market positioning, sales issues, capital allocation problems and much more.
Therefore by providing a suitable help, you feel like ‘I have made my day by proving myself useful and helpful to somebody’. This is also a great source of motivation and energy to work for your business. Further the way these people express their gratitude is also lovely. You should also feel it.
“If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain, If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees, If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.”
– Chinese Proverb
According to a study in this article, for 78% of start-ups, business networking is vital for their success. This is because a formal relations (which exists with investors and incubators) do not provide much of a path towards business development, but informal relations and informal meetings provide the exact information according the need.
Online sources like internet overloads one with a large amount of different information. Due to which the individual gets tired from extracting their required information and reading it. Therefore, countries are working towards creating various business organizations which provides opportunities to entrepreneurs irrespective of their fields to meet each other to fulfill each others expectations.
Just have a look on Top 9 Benefits of Business Network