How can networking help your business?

Gain More Customers

Yes networking really can help you gain more customers – though not straight away and not always in the obvious way you might think i.e. with people you meet directly at meetings.

a) Attending meetings on a regular basis (and the emphasis is on the word “regular” here) gives people the chance to get to know you and your business, so when they need someone who provides your service/product they will think of you.

b) The other important point about attending networking meetings is that you are not just talking to the people there, but also to all the people they know. There is a really horrible expression for this called “selling through the room”! In my experience this is something that Coffee and Connect regulars are very generous about and I often hear anecdotes where people talk about referring people to friends/colleagues who would be interested in their services.

Identify New Suppliers

Equally, networking gives you the chance to identify businesses whose services/products you might want to use; meeting someone on a regular basis gives you a great opportunity to identify people who really are expert and professional at what they do.

Sounding Board

When I started my business the only thing I really missed from my corporate career was the fact that I no longer had experts in other departments around me, who could not only give advice on their area of expertise, but who could set this advice in the context of the business we were working in.

However if you attend networking meetings regularly you start to build up your own contacts – people who you know are experts in their field, and who also get to know and understand your business so can give you relevant advice. …and if I can go off on a slight tangent here; this is definitely a case of getting out what you put in. So if you are helpful when people ask for your advice it will be more than reciprocated when you need it yourself.

New Ideas

Attending networking meetings are also a great way to find out about new ideas and different ways of working. Our Tuesday evening groups (which are smaller) are great for this – we really do have some good discussions and in-depth conversations.

Coffee Machine Chat

Finally, running your own business is fantastic (most of the time!) but it’s really nice to meet up with other people in a similar situation and have your own “chat at the coffee machine”.

So if you’ve not tried networking before why not come along to one of our meetings in October.

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