I could rave all day about the benefits of networking! It’s truly a wonderful way to build your connections, learn new things, and grow your business – but not in the way you might think.
Whether you are building a business that is your main job and source of income, or if you’re creating a little side-hustle – networking gives you so many benefits both personally and professionally.
HOW TO NETWORK FOR SUCCESS
If you are put off by pushy people, or business cards being shoved in your face before so much as a hello, I hear you!
Networking is not about selling but rather serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits.
Now, if you’ve had bad experiences with networking before, or are just too shy – that’s okay. There are strategies you can adopt to make sure you find the right networks and reap the rewards.
- If you’re shy, see if you can find one person to go with you – or find the event host when you arrive and explain you don’t know anyone. They can then introduce you to some people.
- If you’re worried you won’t enjoy it, start small and try out a few different networks and event types to see which ones suit you. Have a back-up plan to leave if you’re just not feeling it.
NETWORKING TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
So, exactly what are the brilliant benefits of networking everyone keeps raving about? Read on for 8 top networking benefits:
Fresh ideas and perspectives
Without networking, who are you going to talk to about your ideas or ask for advice? While your Mum/boyfriend/best mate/husband might be really supportive of your business and even have some great advice, this can eventually run its course or become counter-productive as they are too close to the situation.
Networking gives you an opportunity to gather a range of ideas and that can help grow your business. Think of it like a library – a place where you find lots of information and research ideas.
Opportunities and collaborations
As we’ve already established, networking is all about building relationships and connecting with other like-minded people. Building your tribe via networking allows you to be in the right place when opportunities come along.
Many opportunities for work or development will never be advertised on the open market – so building a professional network offers you the chance to be top of the list when opportunities do arise.
Create awareness, build business advocates
Despite all the online marketing you may be doing or the range of paid advertising you might be investing in, sometimes nothing quite beats actually meeting people and building awareness with you at the forefront.
Networking is a wonderful way to actually make a real connection with people. They may or may not become a client or customer, but I can guarantee that if you build these relationships the right way, they will become advocates of your business.
The people you connect with are likely to go on and connect with you on your business socials, share your posts, find useful resources for you, and recommend your business to their friends and family.
The more time you spend with like-minded, intelligent, fun people, the more your business will thank you. People that are attending networking events to build their business or to enjoy the company of others are usually people that are really driven, positive and uplifting.
Steer you towards the business you always wanted
Sometimes the business you are building is going off track, or not bringing you joy anymore. Networking with the right people will give you the chance to see other ideas, gain inspiration, or get advice from others on how you could steer your business in the right direction.
Networking also allows you to get an outside view of your business – other people can often identify areas of growth for you, or highlight where your marketing messaging might be slightly off. Wouldn’t you like to have access to all this amazing help?
If you feel nervous in social or business situations then going to regular networking events can be great for building your confidence.
You’ll get used to talking about your business.
You’ll get used to chatting about you!
You’ll get used to asking questions to others.
You’ll get used to helping others which in turn, builds up your confidence.
At Fembuiz, we often have events where we have 3 keynote speakers, sit down for a high tea lunch and then everyone gets a turn going around the table doing a 5min talk about them and their business.
This allows women to practise public speaking in front of a small group, building their confidence to speak in front of bigger crowds in the future.
Even if you feel confident already, attending networking events is a wonderful way to build on your enthusiasm and maybe help others who feel less confident. This is a wonderful way you can give back to the network.
Satisfaction from helping others
Picture this: you go to an event and meet someone who is experiencing a business issue that you have already been through, or is really unsure about a particular business issue. You bond over this mutual experience; you are able to offer advice or direct them to a resource that will help them.
How good do you think this would feel?
I bet it will make you feel really happy and actually energise you.
Plus, karma is a wonderful thing. People remember the good you did for them, how you listened, how you helped. Obviously, you don’t give to get back, but ultimately it feels good and that’s okay.
At Fembuiz networking events it’s all about the fun as well as business-building!
Let’s face it, we don’t want to do things that are not fun. So, at Fembuiz we start off with an Icebreaker game called “Find someone who…”.
We allow a safe space for women to connect and collaborate while enjoying helping other women build up their businesses.
So, what are you waiting for?! Take a look at our events CLICK HERE