If you’ve ever been to a networking event, you may doubt that rubbing elbows with peers at a cocktail-filled venue can really help your business. After all, what can an informal network actually offer?
This is where the research begs to differ. In fact, 78% of entrepreneurs find networking to be vital to their success. From lead generation to added motivation, you might be surprised at what networking provides—and how far it can take your business.
Potential Lead Generation
When most of us think of networking, this is where our mind goes: the next sale. Networking earns a bad reputation as something that requires sneaky and even predatory sales tactics, when in reality it only requires a keen ear. Meeting new people is a great way to naturally learn more about their wants and needs, and it sometimes puts you in the fortunate position of being able to provide solutions for them. The more people you meet, the more likely it is that you’ll find people you can work to help.
More Peace of Mind
Entrepreneurship is a stressful business, especially if you’re doing the whole thing solo. From working with legal aid to structuring your business to finding better ways to target customers, everything can feel like a new and overwhelming crash course.
Here’s where networking makes a difference: it allows us to develop quality relationships, which can in turn help us better respond to stress and even offer more peace of mind. When the time comes to confront stressful situations, talking things out with people in your network may be all you need to move the needle.
One of the biggest benefits of networking––no matter where you are in your business journey––is the ability to learn from the people around you. The wider your network, the more diverse the ideas and strategies you’ll learn. The knowledge you can gain is invaluable, and it may make a huge difference in the future of your business.
Better Partnership Opportunities
Networking with like-minded people—both inside and outside of your industry—can be a great way to see better ways to connect, including finding opportunities that work to your mutual benefit. Whether you opt to help each other out with referrals, to exchange different forms of mentoring, or to create a unique promotion or project as a team, the right partner can boost your business in unexpected ways.
Getting noticed in the business world can be a challenge—unless you have opportunities to put yourself out there. With both business and social networking, you can increase your visibility and even start to build a stronger online and offline reputation. Any exposure to your brand can help you get referrals, and converting them through great service can grow your sales and lead to more referrals in the future.
Knowing that networking offers all the benefits above (and more) is one thing, but finding good opportunities for networking is another. Social media and local events are the standard places to start, but they’re not always the best way to find like-minded people. If you’re struggling to find the right network, consider joining our mastermind groups! Our community of high-level entrepreneurs, leaders, and freelancers can give you the network you need to make the most of your business.