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Networking

Networking Now–A Community

Networking is always the right way of creating a win-win situation not only in the short run but also in the long run
Networking Now–A Community
Image credit: graphicstock
Owner at Networking Now
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Something that seemed like a bizarre concept 5 years ago has today become one of the most prevalent tools of self-marketing. Joining weekly meetings to enhance one’s business or even join groups on WhatsApp and Facebook to take up new clients seemed unheard of. But today, in 2019, with the growth of social media, connecting people across continents also seems like a small task. ‘Networking Circles’ and growth of business communities has become an integral part of one’s role as an entrepreneur in their daily life.

The New Way of Doing Things

Who would imagine that home-based businesses, home chefs, housewives, caterers, photographers and service providers could do great amounts of business sitting at home in front of their laptops! Thanks to the growing platforms, their ability to connect with clients and colleagues virtually have taken away the headache of going out and pitching the service from one door to another. Today, word of mouth helps a great amount and so does building a trusted community and networking group. With the growth of Linkedin, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and various social media mediums brands are not compelled to create physical look-books or catalogues for marketing, saving on a handsome bracket of costs and in-turn helping the environment in the long run.

Perks of Doing it the New Way

Most startups benefit from just being online and from attending weekly networking sessions to help get feedback on their existing product or to reach out to more customers who may recommend them to another, boosting their business development organically. Overall, it not only creates a positive impact on your business but also helps you reach out to people you couldn’t possibly connect with on your own.

Here’s Why Networking Holds The Keys

In today’s day and age, networking is synonymous to the business itself. It is very important to find a soundboard of people from within the work culture or space where entrepreneurs are free to discuss the problems they face and ways to solve them in every industry. With time, Entrepreneurs are even willing to help each other grow in the same field of work, pass contacts on and even speak about their own experiences at events, thereby helping others gain from their mishaps and refrain from the error of a similar kind, reducing their financial drain. This is hugely beneficial for both kind of attendees, those individuals who are starting out as well as veterans who may be looking for a fresher perspective.

Networking is always the right way of creating a win-win situation for both companies involved to benefit their work not only in the short run but also from a long-term angle. It is important to assess what a person or company is going to offer you versus what you are willing to put into a project. When attending a networking event, analyse beforehand who the speaker is, the spectrum of attendees and what you or your company will gain from it.

A few pointers which always help while attending a session:

  1. Always research the speaker and topic so you know if it’s of interest to you and has something that can benefit your business.

  2. Have a few pointers ready if you’re getting a chance to speak. They can even be about you, your company, hobbies and not necessarily about why you’re there.

  3. Be on time as walking in late and disrupting the session can be annoying for others.

  4. Carry your visiting card so people don’t have to look you up or write your e-mail contact down.

  5. Introduce yourself and your brand in a short possibly one line effective description.

  6. Don’t oversell and never talk endlessly.

  7. Be confident and introduce yourself to others in the room making sure you meet most of the people.

  8. Never sit alone in the corner as people may feel you don’t want to be approached.

  9. NEVER spam. If you get people’s visiting cards, drop in a line if you think there’s a synergy to work together but never constantly spam or reach out if you don’t get a response. For example, refrain from adding people on your mailing lists if they haven’t approved of the same.

Although networking helps you create business and career opportunities, most often it helps you build a trusted circuit of people from within the industry that can give you constructive feedback or advice, often better than friends or family. Talking to other people always gets you a different perspective which is usually a welcome change after sitting with your own team and your ideas day in and day out. Customer feedback is crucial. Furthermore, connecting people who can benefit from each other is often a good way to lend a helping hand without always being financially benefitting from it.

Always maintain a good relationship with all your clients and co-workers. It is also important to know that eventually, people do business with people and not always with the company, therefore, building an individual relationship is essential. It’s the principal to create a personal relationship and not always a business one!

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