Networking can deliver a higher return on investment than a lot of marketing tools, so why are so many small businesses still not doing it? Creating relationships is the catalyst to business success so below, I’m going to explain the reasons why you should sign up to networking meetings in your area.
Not all benefits have a monetary value. At networking meetings, you can meet a variety of people who can become friends for life, business partners or those to just lend a hand in the business world and sometimes personally. As I stated in a previous blog, being an entrepreneur can be a lonely venture as often your time is absorbed into the business, however networking can help stop the feeling of isolation. Having friends can help you feel more cheerful and motivate to you to complete your business goals.
It’s Not What You Know…
It is who you know. As networking events have a variety of people, you never know who you’re going to meet or who they know that could help you, or vice versa. Networking can create many great business connections that could lead you to a big client.
Are you stuck on a problem, financial, technical or business? Sometimes Google just doesn’t cut it and a human answer it much easier to understand. As you become friends with people in different industries, you have a bank of knowledge at your disposal. The more you grow your network, the more people can help.
We are constantly bombarded with social media posts, emails and phone calls telling us to buy services. When you meet someone face to face and build a relationship, it helps you stand out from the crowd. Every time somebody sees a post by you, they will think of your business. So when the need comes for your product or services they are more likely to use you.
Referrals are a strong tool in marketing as 92% of recommendations from friends and family are trusted. As more and more people get to know you, there can become hundreds of possible referrals to their friends and family. By conducting yourself in a professional manner and being a likeable person, people are more likely to recommend you even if they haven’t actually used your business before.
If you ever lose your job or fancy a change of scenery, you have a network of people with companies who could be hiring or know somebody who is. You will be more likely to get a job this way than the standard way of applying for jobs.
Meeting other professionals in your niche or not can work towards your professional development. Meeting others and listening to their stories teaches you about how the business world works. For somebody who is new to their industry or to being a small business owner, networking can work wonders in developing them into an all-star entrepreneur.
In Kent the business community is very open, and most people know each other even if they live opposite sides of the county. There are many networking groups you can join, including Facebook groups like; Kent Small Business Network , Networking Events In Kent. For a bit more close to home, ABC Networks holds an event at Abbots Barton, Canterbury every other Thursday. Try finding local events to you, ABC are across the county however there are others out there.