According to Small Business BC, networking provides:
Networking is great for sharing ideas and knowledge. Whether it’s asking for feedback or discussing your point of view, it will help you expand your knowledge and allow you to see things from another perspective.
It is also likely that within a group there will be those who have already been where you are today. This provides you with an opportunity to learn and avoid some of the common pitfalls they experienced.
It’s natural that networking will result in opportunities. The thing you will not know is when or how they will materialise. Whether it’s a referral, offer partnership or request for your service or product, it is important to be ready to seize opportunities when they come along.
Remember you are not just gaining exposure to the people in the room; you are building connections with their network too. If someone they know has a need that matches your business, if you have made an impression, you will likely get a referral.
And remember it’s not just a one-way street. If someone in your network matches a business you encounter at an event, don’t hesitate to share their details. It will only strengthen your relationship.
By regularly networking, and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, it will help increase your confidence.
Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking. By regularly attending business and social events, people will begin to recognise you. This can you help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering useful information or tips to people who need it. You are also more likely to get more leads and referrals as you will be the one that pops into their head when they need what you offer.
Having like-minded people to talk to also gives you the opportunity to get advice from them on all sorts of things related to your business or even your personal life and obtaining that important work-life balance.
Networking is a great way to tap into advice and expertise that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get hold of. Just make sure you are getting solid advice from the right person – someone that actually knows about what you need to know and is not just giving you their opinion on something that they have no or very little experience in.
The people that you hang around with and talk to do influence who you are and what you do, so it is important to be surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people that help you to grow and thrive. Networking is great for this, as the people who are using networking are usually people that are really going for it, and are positive and uplifting.
Networking is full of people that have problems or issues within their business that need solving, and there is great satisfaction from helping someone to solve a problem they have and get a fantastic result from it.
Many friendships form as a result of networking because you meet and help each other regularly, so naturally strong friendships tend to form.
Supporting others work, accomplishments, life events and activities is a key part of networking and relationship building. Be kind, be a connector, be a giver and a catalyst when you network. Givers get more.