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3rd March, 2016 3 Comments

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If you’re starting a business, networking with the right contacts in the correct way can be crucial to becoming successful. Networking isn’t about making a quick sale it is all about building long term relationships with other businesses that allow you to offer your services and experience to one another and reaping the rewards further down the line.

This blog post will be giving you five benefits of networking letting you know what it can do for your business as you look to take it to the next level.

1. Opening of opportunities

Networking can really help when starting a business. Joint ventures, client leads and partnerships are all brilliant ways for you to gain new experiences and skills. Ultimately these opportunities will all go a long way to expanding your eventual client base.

Though networking can be extremely beneficial, it’s also worth mentioning that you should be wary of approaches from certain businesses. Making the wrong connections and jumping into business with everybody that offers you an opportunity isn’t the right way to go, so don’t make rash decisions and always ensure you consider your options and conduct extensive research into those who you are considering to build trustworthy relationships with.

2. Sourcing the right connections

Sourcing the right business connections is a brilliant way of solving many of the problems your business may encounter in the start-up phase. The phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” couldn’t be truer in business. Businesses that are more experienced in a particular area may be able to help your business out in new, unfamiliar and difficult situations. Having somebody to call upon in times of need is extremely beneficial. Ensuring you return the favour or letting the business know how much you appreciate the help is vital in maintaining these types of relationships.

3. A word of advice

Taking advice from the right people can be crucial in business. Gaining advice from like minded business owners who have had similar experiences can be very helpful indeed. If a business is slightly further down a particular path, which your business is planning on following, they may be able to offer you advice that could save you time, money or other resources.

4. Gaining referrals / increased business

Receiving a recommendation can go an extremely long way when making a decision about most products and services. Of course, that is if the recommendation is coming from a reliable source. Gaining from referrals can increase your business success dramatically. If you are referred or recommended to another business from a business that you have networked with you will then have the opportunity to make this referral a client. Making a referral a client means permanently expanding your customer base, meaning you will be establishing a solid foundation for your business.

5. Stimulating creativity

If you are running out of ideas and have hit a wall in terms creativity, meeting new businesses and taking ideas and new approaches from them can be the answer to your problems. Networking can bring new ideas and experiences to your business. By talking to other like minded business owners you will discover the different ways that they do business. Bringing new and different creative approaches to your business will bring fresh ideas which will always have a positive impact.

 

These are just five of many benefits of networking. There are many more ways that networking will have a positive impact and help open up new opportunities. Attending and meeting businesses at networking events is the perfect way to start connecting with other businesses but ensure you try to talk to as many people as possible and don’t just stay chatting to your friends!

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Written by Tara Gillam, Head of Enterprise, Business West

  3 Comments

Jane

6th March, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Very true and very good article. Originally when we started our business we had an existing network of people, but didn’t really try to grow it. Though we still have the same network, it hasn’t really helped us grow. So now we need to really start looking at building on that. You are right about it helping to discover new ways you could do business. It’s really helpful learning how similar business overcome the hurdles you face, it may open a completely new avenue you hadn’t thought about.

Davina Young

7th March, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Thank you Jane. Its great to hear from people who are putting these ideas into action and who appreciate the value of networking. Hopefully by sharing your experiences others will be inspired to follow your lead.

Tara Gillam

7th March, 2016 at 9:28 AM

Jane, than you for your comment, its always good to get some feedback from business owners who understand what it’s like to try to grow your business as well as maintain your clients. Its always good to be open to new avenues to take your business forward. I am aware of several businesses who have similar services who have collabroated more and therefore grown their businesses by working together rather than separately.

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