Why networking is good for your business…

It is great to be back networking in person again at Coffee and Connect and to see other groups/events also returning to face-to-face formats. It is lovely being able to properly catch up with old networking friends, and to meet new ones, who up until now I have only seen online in our Zoom calls.

However, fantastic as it is just to be able to see people for a chat, attending networking events is actually also great for your business…

1. Quite simply the more people that know about your business the more business you are going to get  and networking is a great way for people to find out about what you do. Remember too that you are not just talking to people at the meetings about your business – you are also “speaking” to everyone they know and are connected with

However, networking is not a quick solution and you will not walk away from your first visit to Coffee and Connect with lots of referrals or new business. People take time to get to know you and understand what you do, but if you attend regularly and get to know everyone when they need your service, or get asked by one of their contacts if they can recommend someone, you are going to be the person who immediately comes to mind.

2. The people that you meet at networking meetings (and especially at Coffee and Connect!) are special. People that network like to help other local business people that they know. So, when you come along and tell everyone what you do your audience are interested and they want to help you i.e. they have a very proactive mind set.

3. To grow and maintain your business you always need feedback  to  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.

4. Networking is also useful for when you need to find someone to help you; perhaps you need a new accountant for your business or a physiotherapist to sort out a sports injury. How great to be able to pick up the phone to someone you already know?

5. Networking events are great places to “Ask an Expert”. The most effective networkers happily share their knowledge and expertise and if you share your best advice you will find your assistance reciprocated generously in return when you need advice.

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