If you are looking to improve or grow your business, one way you can do that is through business networking. What is business networking? Simply put, networking is a social activity where you get to interact with others, with the aim of building relationships. Through networking you can build relationships with other entrepreneurs, potential clients, potential partners, investors, suppliers or any persons who have the skill sets you are looking for.
Continuing to sharpen your social skills in order to network better is sure to yield positive results. Having good social skills comes in handy when you are looking to form relationships.
Networking is more effective when the business relationship is mutually beneficial. Always looking for selfish gain puts off potential partners. When they stand to gain nothing from the relationship, they don’t see the point of forming a partnership.
It’s not just about forming new relationships it is also about maintaining them and taking care of them. Why invest so much in business networking? What are the benefits?
Not all is lost if you have not yet been able to form lasting relationships through networking, you can still use it as an opportunity to get as much information as you can. This does not have to be limited to talking to people that have more experience than you in the industry. The new game players could expose you to new technologies that you can also implement in your business. Through mentorship and networking, entrepreneurs get all the support they need to make better decisions and get answers to questions they may have. Networking also helps them take more calculated risks. In order to develop a wider perspective, entrepreneurs speak to other entrepreneurs and clients. To benefit more from the exchange of information, you need to be willing to share information as well for the benefit of others. Sharing helpful information could earn you a good reputation. In turn, you can use your reputation to form more business relationships.
Leaning towards viewing other businesses as competition at all times, blinds entrepreneurs to the opportunity of teaming up with other entrepreneurs in order to generate more income for both businesses. One way this can be done is through recommendations and referrals.
Networking with other business owners can help the businesses find a gap that can only be filled through a mutually beneficial business relationship between the two businesses. Networking can also expose you to new business opportunities, not just for the purpose of expanding but also opening an entirely new business. Through interacting with other businesses and customers you might discover untouched ground in the market. A business opportunity can also come in the form of getting new suppliers or getting a new sponsor for your business.
When big players that you look up to in the industry know whomst you are, and are impressed with the work that you do, it’s an instant confidence boost. Receiving that nod of approval from influential people feeds your passion and your drive, you feel motivated to achieve even more. The new found energy and self-belief helps you dream bigger and thrive to achieve bigger.
The imposter syndrome can have a negative effect on even the most successful entrepreneurs. It causes them to lack the confidence that’s needed to pitch their ideas or sell their business in a way that’s appealing. It’s hard to be creative and come up with new ideas when you are battling with self-doubt. Believing in your own idea is important especially when others don’t readily get it but it takes a special kind of person to continue to push through without external votes of approval. Networking gives you the opportunity to speak to your clients in order for them to give you some feedback. The feedback adds to your confidence because you know exactly what your clients want and you know what you need to do to meet their needs.
In business, confidence is important. Without confidence you won’t be able to execute policies, deal with clients and create new strategies. Some business owners go as far as hiring coaches to help them work on their confidence. The cheapest, and probably the most effective way to boost your confidence is through networking. Learning different skills that help you look and sound more confident can be very helpful. But through networking, you can work on being genuinely confident and you will soon start exuding the confidence externally. There will not be a need to be coached through it.