Why is networking so important?
Networking is a key part of business; it has been for decades. It allows secret doors to be opened to you through both the contacts you cultivate and through learning from the people that you meet and talk to. For some it comes naturally and easily, for others it is a nightmarish task, only undertaken under duress. Recently the domain of networking has expanded to also encompass the online realm, with networking groups set up across the social networking sites. This has given greater access to people who previously may have steered clear of networking events. It also has the added bonus of creating a constant and immediate place in which you can network. Having said all this what are the key benefits of networking?
The most obvious and tangible benefit of networking is that it can drive sales for your company. By speaking to people who might be interested in your company networking can directly create sales for your products. Though be careful not to oversell at networking events as this will turn people off from your business no matter how good your product is. Scanning networking sites can also lead to sales as people use them to post asking for goods and services that you might be able to provide. This is especially true in the creative industries.
Another benefit is that you might find people to partner with. At industry networking events you will find people who run similar businesses to you, who might be creating products to compliment your own. This can allow you to combine together to create a product that encompasses more areas of your industry and can lead to exponential growth.
Networking can also have less tangible benefits to you personally. It can give you confidence in yourself and your business. By talking about what you are doing with your business with other people it can make you realise what direction you need to take it in and therefore fill you with confidence. Even if you don't own a business yet it can help to give you the knowledge and confidence for you to take the first steps into the world of business.
Overall networking allows you to expand and build your contact base for you to call on and use. Not only does this raise your profile but it gives you more expertise on hand available to talk to about the quandaries that you come across as you navigate the business world.