14 Mar Why Should I Network?
Whether you’re a brand new start-up on your first day in business, or you’re an established business owner who’s seen and done it all, networking has its place in your business. While the idea might sound daunting, engaging in business networking is still one of the best ways to grow your business, expand your knowledge and let other people know about your business. Even if you’re a painfully shy person, networking will have enormous benefits, not only to your business, but to your personal life as well. We had a chat with some of our members, and asked them why they thought other businesses should network, and here is what they said:
You Will Generate Business
This is probably the biggest and most obvious benefit to business networking, and the reason most people initially go to their first meeting. Networking is all about finding and generating business for the people in the room – and so you are bound to generate some business from it. And the best part is, the referrals and business you get through networking are more likely to be high quality, warm leads that have been pre-qualified for you. This makes it much more likely that they will convert to a sale at the end, and put it head and shoulders above other marketing activities.
Not only will you see an increase in business, but you will see a huge upswing in the number of opportunities presented to you. Whether that’s being invited to speak at local events, to do training sessions or even to support a good charity, there are always opportunities for your business in networking. So not only will you find new customers, but you may see chances for joint ventures, partnerships, asset sales, writing opportunities and more. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure you’re jumping into the right opportunities for you, instead of just going with every one that presents itself to you. Make sure the opportunity aligns with your business and that you will get some value from it – otherwise you’ll end up spinning your wheels and going nowhere.
Ever heard the saying ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’? While it may sound cheesy, it is, to a certain extent, completely true. If you want to build a really successful business, you need to make sure you have a set of good, strong connections to help you get there. This will undoubtedly be a mix of customers, advocates and acquaintances that you would not have otherwise met. By engaging in a source of connections, you will find more doors open up to you, and it becomes easier to get in front of highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. It’s not just about the people you network with either – every person you meet has their own network of connections that you could gain access to. So ask the right questions, and find out if the person you’re talking to knows the person you want to know!
Networking groups are an excellent source of advice and expertise from a mix of disciplines that you just wouldn’t get in one room any other way. Everyone in a networking group is looking to help their fellow business owners, so it’s a great place to ask advice and find solutions for your business too. Being involved in a networking group means you can get (and give) advice on all sorts of topics for business and personal development – and will make your life infinitely better for it. Whether it’s finding out how to approach a difficult conversation with an employee to achieving that all important work-life balance. Just make sure you’re willing to give advice as well.
Increase Your Confidence
And finally, you’re walking into a room full of helpful and supportive people who all want to see you succeed. It might be a little outside your comfort zone, but regularly networking means you will end up talking to people you don’t know and normally wouldn’t be able to speak to. After a few meetings, you’ll find your confidence increasing, and your business will be much better for it. And if your chosen networking group includes a pitch to the room, your public speaking will get much better. We’ve had members go from being terrified of speaking to a room, to delivering training and speeches to packed out venues.
At BNI, we believe in givers gain. This means that you will be welcomed into our group with open arms from your first visit, and every member will help you on your journey to success. We’d love to welcome you to our BNI family, and to give you the tools and support you need to achieve your business goals, whatever they are. To find out more about BNI, why not come along for a visit? We meet every Friday morning, and breakfast is included! Just click here to book your place.