“Your network is your net worth.”

-Porter Gale

A tree without its network of branches is a plant that didn’t flourish. Similarly, a business without a good network is a fantasy of profit that will not go beyond the realm of your imagination.

Business networking is one of the most important skills that you can use to grow your business from strength to strength.

It takes substantial time and effort to build a good network of people who help you accelerate your efforts to achieve what you set out to do, but if you see the bigger picture, this network is what will help you navigate forward.

What Is Networking?

Networking in business is an activity wherein entrepreneurs and businesspeople connect with others to form relationships in order to create, identify or act upon opportunities, exchange knowledge and find potential partners for their business to flourish.

When you seek to build a bond with someone to further your business interests, you first connect with her ideas, explore her potential and then, figure out if she can add real value to your business.

A person worthy of being in your network is the one who can bring you business opportunity, clients, customers and/or goodwill.

However, it’s not a selfish process. Instead, it involves mutual benefits for both parties. You cannot expect to nurture a relationship if you seek only your individual growth. You should be prepared to give and take at the opportune time.

Also Read: With Consumers Wanting Everything ‘Now’, Businesses Find Good Opportunity To Monetise Their Impatience

Sow The Seed Of Networking To Reap Profit

Networking has unquantifiable benefits to start off with. However, if you work long and hard enough on your relationships, they will lead you to the golden numbers of profit you want to hit.

Here are some of the advantages of networking that will give you enough motivation to build strong connections in business.

  • Referrals: Apparently, networking gives you the platform to add more people to your client base by generating referrals from existing clients and partners who appreciate the product and/or service you provide.
  • Staying Relevant:  It is imperative to be aware of the current business climate to stay ahead of the curve.  Meeting up with people in your field helps you understand new trends and tactics in the market.
  • Visibility : You need to be in the good books of those who matter for your business. Attending social and corporate events is important to build your personal profile and rapport with others.
  • Problem Solving: When you interact with people who have been in the game for long, you can get good advice on how to solve your problem. No matter how smart you are, there are some things that you learn only with experience.

How To Be Good At Networking

Below are certain things you should bear in mind if you really want to develop a good network.

  • Online networking through social media platforms is convenient and useful, but it is no substitute for face-to face interaction with people as the latter creates more trust and credibility in a relationship. The good old handshake still works better.
  • It is imperative to listen intently to the person you want to add to your network. Focus on how they make use of resources, what is their approach towards solving problems and how big they dream.
  • Don’t be in a rush to spread yourself too thin by befriending too many people who can later become a liability. Invest in limited relationships but invest very well in them. Always keep in touch with them.
  • Be forthcoming in helping your business partners when they need you. It’s the key to cultivating good relationships.

I hope this article helped ignite your networking flame. Leverage it to brighten your business ideas and look for a path to achieve your goals.

Sources: Forbes, Huffington Post

Image Credits: Google Images

Find The Blogger: @thinks_out_loud

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