Networking can help us grow our target market and make meaningful connections within our industry. It can open our eyes to like-minded businesses and collaborators and help us grow our firms. In this short guide, we will look at how networking helps businesses grow and improve.
First, let’s define networking. Networking is “the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts”. We network every day in our personal and professional lives, but we don’t always realize we are doing it. Below are some tips on how to become more intentional with networking, to help your business grow.
More Networking, More Opportunities
We gain new chances to connect with potential businesses when we open ourselves up for collaboration. Suppose you own a website with lots of optimized content, and you’re struggling to find new markets. Collaborating online with other sites through a link exchange can benefit both businesses. You acquire more online traffic from their site, and they acquire more from yours. This results in more leads and conversions for both of you. That’s what we call a networking win-win.
Being open to new connections and networking can also help keep you up to date on recent advancements within your industry (and beyond). Perhaps you have been thriving in a niche food business for years; your customers love you, but your restaurant offers dine-in only. Through collaborations with local tech enthusiasts, you may discover the benefits of creating an app to serve new clients better or partnering with a delivery service app within your geographical location. This discovery may lead to a broader target market, and increased revenues.
Networking makes it easier to find unique solutions to problems and make improvements to your business.
Connections with Other Industries
Your network connections don’t have to come from the same industry all the time. In fact, they shouldn’t! There are lots of ways to expand and make meaningful relationships with those outside your industry. Owning a business that provides outsourced bookkeeping services for professionals leads us to new markets all the time. We meet clients from other industries, who introduce us to their colleagues, and suddenly we have a whole new network of people to collaborate with!
Finding new networks can also be done through conferences or trade shows; never underestimate the power of exchanging business cards. There are opportunities to connect with other people all around us, we just have to look for them.
Maybe you’ve gotten contacts and offers to meet other businesspeople, or maybe one of your managers is always eager to discuss new ideas and current news. Take time to nurture these contacts and offers and turn them into real connections.
The old adage “eighty percent of success is showing up” is true. People appreciate having someone to connect with and being there to connect with others is beneficial for them, and you.
At worst, saying “yes” may mean losing an hour of time listening to a terrible business pitch. But somewhere along the way, your connection with this person may prove to be mutually beneficial.
Networking can seem intimidating, but there are opportunities to connect with other people around every corner. There are almost no drawbacks to expanding your networks, and if you make connections with people honestly, there is nothing to lose.
There are network connections we create within our industry and related circles, and then there are network connections we make from somewhere we didn’t expect. Growth can come from different networks; we should be open to all types of connections to help develop our brand and business.
Blueprint Accounting Inc. offers small business accounting services to a wide range of clients across industries – thanks to the power of networking. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to connect with you!