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Why You Should Grit Your Teeth and... Get Networking

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Networking

If you’d rather stick barbed needles in your eyes than get out there and network with other businesses, you wouldn’t be alone. Networking isn’t easy for everyone. It involves the matter of speaking to people you don’t know for a start. Plus, you’re already busy, running your business right?

Networking might seem another commitment to fit in, but it really should form part of your overall strategy if you want your business to succeed.

Here’s why:

Networking is a gold mine of opportunity

Connecting with other local business owners should result in them throwing referrals your way when they come across someone who needs the type of goods or services that you’re offering. (You’ll do the same for them, of course).

Word of mouth is an incredibly effective form of marketing and can drive much better results than a flyer or advert in a business directory. Why? It’s all to do with trust. Recommendations mean everything.

Your business buddies will help you out

Networking can help alleviate some of the burdens you’ll face as a small business owner. You’ll make some valuable relationships – friendships even – so when you need to, you can seek advice, receive feedback or extend your knowledge.

You’ll gain ninja-level social skills

Networking will enable you to develop enough confidence about yourself and your business to set you up for success.

You’ll soon be able to deliver an elevator pitch in 30 seconds as well as learn how to listen, negotiate and problem solve. All skills that you can utilise in your day-to-day business operations.

Networking is crucial for small business owners

Yes, there’s time involved with networking. Yes, you may have to get up at the crack of bird song to attend a breakfast networking session. And yes, you’ll have to drag yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time. But the value of networking is worth offsetting against those things, because of the benefits above.

What’s more, there are plenty of different types of local networking events to participate in; some that are free and others that charge a fee, such as the Business Network International (BNI).

Get started by searching online for networking groups in your local area.