As a business owner or entrepreneur, networking is vital in getting you more business leads, closing deals, and leveraging new business openings. It also helps you grow as a person and learn how to treat your customers and employees. A strong network of business associates is also a source of energy for many entrepreneurs as they exchange ideas and advises- and even past failure and traumatic experiences- for their own benefit.
If you are new in business and you are wondering whether business networking will or not work for you, this post is for you. We have outlined 5 reasons why you need to network with other stakeholders in your niche in order to become successful. Be our guest.
Expanding your knowledge
Through networking, you are able to tap into the knowledge of others and to expand your knowledge in the process. Within the networking circles that you are in, there are people who were facing the challenges you are facing today and they conquered them, so they will give you actionable tips on how to navigate your way out.
Within the same group, there are people who are in the same situation as you but are handling it way better than you are, so they give you a new perspective to issues. And even when you are the most successful of all in the group, you still expand your knowledge by nurturing the others and discovering talents and strengths you never knew you had. What’s more, being an established business person doesn’t fundamentally mean that you will not benefit from the new perspectives and ideas that startup entrepreneurs bring to the table.
Furthermore, participating in networking events with business people from different cultures and customers, it is far more illuminating as you will have a lot more to learn. For example, not only you will learn about business practices in different countries, but also the culture. Granted, culture is a key indicator when doing business abroad, thus, learning the cultural habits of other countries will be an advantage for the business.
More career opportunities
It doesn’t matter how endowed you are within your niche, everyone needs chances for both career advancement and personal growth. You definitely could use some referrals, some recommendations, and even some job opportunities in your entrepreneurial life. Maybe you are a business manager looking for financing opportunities or investors to help you actualize your business plan. Networking could be your best shot at getting the attention of those investors.
It is also through networking that you will learn about professional and social events which, when you attend, you will meet many people who can mentor or hold your hand on your way to entrepreneurial greatness. This will prove to be highly relevant for future career plans, as it will open the doors for more international business. What is more, once you reach out and close a deal with one investor, you will again increase the chances for future business as you will eventually participate
Friends both at high and low places are important in your career and personal growth. Through networking, you meet people who are not only excited at the thought of having you as their friend but who also think like you. You can easily build one another up if you share the same career goals and aspirations.
For example, it is very good to keep your college friends, especially your international college friends, because, after college, it is true that goes their separate ways, but if you maintain relationships with them, they can be very useful in cases when connections are needed for specific jobs, especially in international markets.
When you interact with people who have succeeded both in life and in the world of business, your confidence grows significantly. When people come to you seeking advice from you, you start feeling honored and valued- you feel like a mentor to others. That means that you will start walking with your head held high even when negotiating business deals with industry leaders.
Building your reputation
Reputation is vital for the success of any brand. And because networking is the place where the who-is-who in your niche meet, you will easily build a good reputation if you actively take part in it.
For example: When you meet with potential clients in a networking forum and you ask them to give you tips on how to improve the quality of your products, the answer they will offer you is in a way a coded message to you that if you do as they say, they will easily become your customers. And when you implement their suggestions to the letter, they will recommend your products to their associates terming you as a reliable, high integrity individual.
On the other hand, being supportive of smaller businesses and offering actionable tips to your peers will get you noticed. People will start seeing you as a to-go-to authority in the industry. And even if you were not an industry leader per se, you will be one sooner than later.
To maximally benefit from business networking, it is advisable that you train and become a life coach in order to better understand the problems that smaller businesses go through and offer the right advice to them. Being a life coach will make you an even more reputable and reliable authority figure within your niche.