Networking holds many benefits for both start-up and scale-up businesses, so here are our top 5 reasons why networking should be top of your agenda.
- Build your network – Making new contacts with people is vital in the business world. Once you make a new connection, it can potentially open up doors to their wider network, through word of mouth. You can also tap in to their expertise as well as generate opportunities to collaborate or do business.
- Increase confidence – There’s no denying that going into a room full of strangers and having conversations with them can be a daunting prospect, however please try to remember that everyone in that room is in the same boat. Going to networking events is great for building confidence as well as developing those all-important communication skills such as active listening, how to read your audience and when it is acceptable to move on and ‘mingle’.
- Develop your profile – Networking gives you the opportunity to get your/your company’s name known amongst like-minded people, in turn helping to build a reputation for your business and develop your personal brand. If you build a positive reputation, people are more likely to recommend you to their contacts.
- Inform people about what you do – If you have a new or growing business, support a charity or otherwise, use every valuable opportunity to network, meet new people and tell them about what you do. Don’t forget to always have plenty of business cards with you and don’t be afraid to ask someone for theirs.
- Improve your knowledge– Whether you’re attending a breakfast event or simply chatting to someone new, these are great learning and personal development opportunities. Hearing from others, building your knowledge and new ways of working or acquiring new skills to implement in your business, are invaluable. Keep your eye on Eventbrite and seek out valuable opportunities in your local area.
Finally, remember to be confident, listen to what other people have to say and don’t forget your business cards!