Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers. The primary purpose of business networking is to tell others about your business and hopefully turn them into customers.
The Importance of Business Networking
relationships can be the key to building a successful business. Professional
relationships with other business people can:
Be a source of education
professional development never stops—there’s always more to learn. Owning and
operating a business requires an extensive set of skills, and this can often
feel overwhelming for new entrepreneurs.
Experienced business connections can provide much-needed advice and industry insight, helping to avoid mistakes in marketing, product creation, communications, and time management. The lived experiences of old-hand business owners are invaluable when it comes to creating functional processes and making clever business decisions.
awareness is everything in business. There are plenty of options for business
marketing, especially in today’s social media world, but nothing beats word of
networking can help new businesses to build reputations, brand recognizability,
and product awareness. This is the first link in a chain reaction. Once a
business’s name is out there, it can begin to be shared by colleagues and
clients and that’s the key to more work, more profit, and overall business
Provide opportunities and support
helps business owners to build a client base. Professional connections can
provide fantastic outsourcing and collaboration opportunities that can help new
businesses to cement their position in the marketplace.
business owners can also serve as an important support network, helping
newcomers to understand and navigate business challenges.
networking opportunities are everywhere, but it helps to know how to spot them.
and events can be fantastic networking opportunities. Likeminded and motivated
business people gather in their hundreds to talk about business and connect
with others who share their entrepreneurial drive.
events also offer a range of educational resources and professional development
workshops. Formal networking events like these are helpful because all
attendees arrive with a shared networking goal.
conferences and events to attend, it’s a good idea to carefully consider your
business niche and goals.
Some conferences are specifically tailored toward networking, while others have a greater emphasis on professional development or career progression. Selecting conferences that match your business’s interests will help you to get the most value out of event networking opportunities.
with local clubs and events is a great way of beginning to explore networking
opportunities. These events usually operate on a relatively small scale, and
this can provide a seemingly safer, more comfortable environment for business
people who are new to the networking scene.
Local networking opportunities can be helpful in offering location-specific advice and opportunities. They can provide space for developing working relationships, partnerships, and information about upcoming local sales events (a local market or show), or even space-sharing initiatives.
Online relationship building is growing in prevalence and popularity and the business world is included in this trend. There are a number of online business networking groups, many of them based on Facebook and LinkedIn.
are brilliant resources for business people who are still feeling intimidated
by face-to-face networking and can be great opportunities for those hoping to
expand businesses and embrace a global marketplace.
There a few
simple steps that can help business people to make the most of networking
Be prepared and know what you do
networking events with a clear sense of what your business can do to help other
business people. Everybody at a business networking event is there to grow
their own project, so your job is pitch how you can help them on their way to
arrive on time in dress-code appropriate clothing, and bring plenty of business
cards and/or brochures to hand out to interested connections.
Have clear networking goals
What do you
hope to achieve from this event and/or relationship? Attend all networking
events with a clear sense of purpose. Your business has a mission—you should
too. Having clear, well-defined goals will help you to drive conversations in
productive directions and it will make your business look well-prepared and
Possible networking goals include:
looking for casual mentorship or business support
hoping to outsource work to other business
– You’d like
to find other businesses that are willing to outsource work to you
planning a big move (like international expansion) and want to talk to more
experienced business people
– You want
to find and engage with a like-minded community
have a good understanding of what you want to get out of networking, you can
target the connections that best serve your purpose. Find out who the most
valuable potential connections are and focus on convincing them of how you can
help them achieve their business networking purpose.
order of networking priority can help to simplify overwhelming events. Talk to
as many people as possible, and try to ensure that all communications are
meaningful and purposeful.
to be listened to. The best way to develop a positive business reputation is to
maintain good engagement and professionalism in all networking communications.
Show interest in the people you speak with and offer value in the content of
It can be
helpful to take note of specific conversations details. In follow-ups, you can
rely on anecdotes and the use of names to encourage a sense of familiarity.
Ask specific, direction questions
always comes back down to purpose. Ask questions that are direct and
goal-driven, and don’t be afraid to make your business goals clear. Avoid
confusing connections with overly convoluted statements. Keep it simple and to
Plan to follow up
Provide website, business cards or social media details, and get back in touch with new professional connections. Think about how your business might be helpful to the businesses you connect with and offer your services.
You can keep in touch with professional connections by:
them to other events/conferences
industry-relevant articles or learning materials
At Hir Infotech, we know that every dollar you spend on your business is an investment, and when you don’t get a return on that investment, it’s money down the drain. To ensure that we’re the right business with you before you spend a single dollar, and to make working with us as easy as possible, we offer free quotes for your project.