Networking is the process of aligning with like-minded people to establishing mutually beneficial relationships typically, with other business-people and potential clients and/or customers. Networking can happen on a one on one basis or within large groups like at expos or conventions. Sounds like a simple task, but networking requires engagement and relationship building that can be more complex that what it seems.
People use networking for various reasons. Depending on your industry or interests, networking can be a very beneficial towards your personal or professional goals. Whether moving to a new city, starting a new business venture, or connecting with people who have similar interests, networking can help in building valuable, long-lasting relationships.
Here are 4 benefits to Networking
Increase professional circles Many new entrepreneurs use networking events to make valuable connections and increase awareness of their business venture. Networking events provide access to all sorts of like-minded people who are in pursuit of something greater. The connections you make can be valuable towards taking you and your business to the next level. As they say, “Sometimes it’s not about what you know, its’ about who you know. ”
Increase Awareness Do you remember the saying “where have you been, under a rock?” Well that’s how it feels sometimes without a network of people to keep you engaged in current events. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find out all kinds of information and you will surely miss many opportunities without those built in connections to increase your awareness.
Share Information Similar to increasing your awareness, the benefit of having a network of people is being able to share information. The term two heads are better than one comes to mind with this one. Knowing other professionals in your industry can help you with fresh ideas and keep you up to date with current trends and best practices. Other times, it pays to have someone to talk to and exchange information about the challenges and experiences you go through personally and as a young professional.
Increase Confidence Lastly, networking and making connections with new people just feels good! It forces you to put yourself out there and to let others in the room know that you exist and your business is out there. It may be nerve wrecking at first but being social, meeting new people, making new business partnerships, and having a good time is in essence, what networking is really all about right? After a while, the whole process of talking to strangers and discussing your business becomes second nature and you will be connecting with people wherever you go.