Networking may not be essential to a successful commercial venture, but it comes close. Taking the time to meet people who can share ideas, information and support can make the rough road of the competitive business world much easier. When we travel with others, we appreciate different perspectives and we learn to expand our vision and our abilities. Networking makes a lot of business sense and is an area no successful business should neglect.
It Keeps You in Touch
Networking allows you to stay in touch with what is happening in the business community. The commercial world is always in flux. It’s easy to get left behind as things change. While networking with people, you hear their stories and share their experiences. It’s possible for the world to pass you by as you sit hidden in your place of business. Getting behind and becoming obsolete kills business and profit. Networking and finding out what others are doing and experiencing keeps you on the cutting-edge of what is important in your business community. You discover what is happening in the larger world and can adapt to meet its needs.
The more people who know about you means the more people who may use your service or buy your product. There are many outstanding marketing techniques that can bring people to your door. However, there is nothing as powerful as word of mouth. When someone who knows you recommends you, they instil confidence in the person they refer to you. You can’t do that with an advertisement. The more people you know or know you, the more traffic that will find its way to your door. A network means a collection of people or businesses that are connected. There is a self-contained element to that and a ready supply of potential clients.
Getting to know people who do business in your industry and your community helps you find out new ideas and new perspectives. Everything changes and ideas become stale and irrelevant. Stale and irrelevant don’t sell. A network allows you to get new ideas that can help you keep your business vital. A group of trusted business friends is a great place to float new ideas and get critiques that can keep innovations practical. People who are in the trenches working in a business as you are can be the best source of guidance and support. A prosperous business is often about having the best and most doable ideas. A group of like-minded people can help you develop those ideas.
Sometimes we need just to have somebody around who can understand you and listen to you. And sometimes you just need to hear that someone is going through something similar to what you are. While this is a “softer” benefit of networking, it remains an important one. It’s hard to keep a business together while you’re falling apart. Sometimes it takes a word of encouragement or a piece of thoughtful advice to help you continue. A network of people you can turn to, rely on and trust can be the difference between a business continuing or folding. Everyone needs support at times.