How networking can benefit your business

I started going to networking events @seven years ago and over that time there has been a phenomenal expansion both in the numbers of people attending groups and in the numbers/style of groups available. Choosing which group is right for you is a subject in itself (and one I will address another time) but to coincide with our move to our new venue I thought it would be appropriate to discuss exactly why so many people find that networking helps their business.

First of all and most obviously, just by coming along you are telling people about your business. However I actually think it is more complex than that because the people you are meeting are special.

Something that I notice very clearly about people that network at Coffee and Connect is that they like to help other local business people that they know. So when you come along and tell everyone what you do your audience are a) interested to hear what you do and b) they want to help you i.e. they have a very proactive mind set.

Secondly, when building your business you need lots of feedback to help you find out what customers really want and to shape and refine your service/product and marketing activities. Networking groups are great places to get this feedback, especially if you go regularly so that people start to understand your business. So, for example, if you are thinking of offering a new service mention it in your one minute and evaluate the response.

The third and equally important reason why so many business find networking helps their business is that a good networking group can become your “virtual office”. So you can:

  • find suppliers to outsource some of the tasks you don’t have the time/expertise to undertake yourself
  • get advice on how to solve a specific problem
  • be inspired by someone else’s creativity
  • find out about technology that you never knew existed but which will help you run your business more efficiently, the list goes on…

Finally, you will meet some great people and whether you have had a bad day because your PC has crashed or you’ve had a fabulous day and gained some new business, there is nothing like being able to share your news with people who really do understand what running your own business is really like!

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