The Power of Networking: Small Business Edition
At a time when everything and everyone is moving to digital, it becomes questionable whether meeting people face to face is really worth it – and if it’s a sustainable move. But reality is human to human connection is vital, in general, but most importantly in business. Read on to understand why this is important.
Psychologists and other industry experts have, over the years, given insights on the value of human connections. Stating that it offers people a sense of belonging. World-renowned speaker, Sean Stephenson once said: “the moment we feel that somebody cares about us, we’re open to learning from them.”
Of course, the primary goal of networking is to tell people about your business, that’s brand awareness and it is important. But networking strengthens your relationships with your existing clients. Because meeting them in person and taking interest in their lives, their needs and wants makes them feel like you care. That can result in significant interest in learning more about your business.
Networking can also help you meet new potential clients and can help you generate referrals through word of mouth. It can also help you grow your existing network and identify potential collaborators or business partners.
As a small business owner, networking events can expose you to potential investors who can help open up new opportunities of expanding your business. Many small business owners are concerned about the lack of time, which is understandable, but networking should be looked at as a necessary marketing tool to enforce. It adds as much value as your other tools that you use to market your business.
There are ways to be strategic about attending networking events (these include, launches and conferences etc.). There’s no shame in adding them to your calendar as it will help you plan better, make you accountable and teach you consistency.
You have to be proactive and identify industry events that you find relevant to your business – sometimes even the ones that are not necessarily related to your specific business are vital to attend. Chances are, you’ll meet like-minded business people who have similar experiences as you and who can share some insights. With that, you stand to find potential solutions to your existing problems or problems you haven’t yet identified.
You can also host your own meet and greet, where you’ll be more comfortable to engage with clients, potential clients and other business owners.
It is all a matter of devotion, and valuing growth enough to push yourself beyond your comfort zone to get things done.