Anyone who has experienced what it takes to run a business knows how important it is to have connections. Who you know can play a huge role in the success of a business. I’m not necessarily talking about those big investors with millions of dollars, I’m talking about local businesses and people in your industry on the ground working just like you!
‘Your network is your net-worth.’ Here are a few ways that a strong network can help you strengthen your business.
Support & Advice
It can be really tough knowing what the ‘right answer’ is when you’re running a business all on your own with everything on the line. When you’re left to make all the decisions on your own it’s easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed, but maybe you don’t have to do this on your own. If you have a network of individuals both within and outside of your industry who have experience in running their own businesses, you can always turn to them for advice! Having trusted individuals who you can turn to in times of need can be the difference between success and failure for your business. Never be afraid to lean on that support.
Not only will networking help you feel confident in what the ‘right’ decision is, but it can also give you fresh ideas for your own business! Having people to bounce ideas off of or to gain inspiration from will keep your business fresh and lively. A great way to get these fresh ideas is by following a few companies or individuals working in the same industry on social media.
Word of mouth references is by far the best and one of the most reliable ways to get business. When you build a strong network, you are far more likely to get word-of-mouth recommendations. This doesn’t just go for businesses in industries other than yours, it can also include your own competition! Likely there are unique differences between your business and others in the same industry. If a potential client visits your competition with whom you have a positive relationship and they find that their services are not quite right, they can be referred over to you! Or if you make connections with complementary businesses, such as office space and office supply companies, you can also get those awesome references too!
Opportunities to connect and partner with other companies provide some of the most successful business ventures. The more people you know, the greater your opportunities are to partner up and either develop a new venture! When you put 2 (or more) great minds together, then you can be sure to find new opportunities around every corner. Plus, should you ever find yourself in a position of need, you can always turn to your network to look for more opportunities.
As globalization continues to push forward at break-neck speed, there is so much value in connecting with those around you in a very real way. Simply being an active member of your local business community and helping to support that community will provide invaluable emotional well-being and support. The feeling of community will not only translate well for yourself, but it will also be evident for your clients and customers. If you’re getting referrals and positive reviews from other members of the business community, your clients will notice!
How to Network
As important as networking is, it can sometimes be tough to figure out how to get your foot in the door, especially if you’re new to the business world. Here at Legacy Office Centers, we host several weekly and monthly networking events for all of our community members to connect and support one another! Another simple and easy way to start is by joining local Facebook groups and searching for networking events near you! You can also look out for conferences as those are excellent ways to find people both in and surrounding your industry. Fortunately, social media and technology have made this process undoubtedly easier. The more people you know, the greater the opportunity to further your network is! It takes time and will likely take some grit as well but having a strong network will do wonders for your business. Now go join some Facebook groups, RSVP to a local event, and add some people on LinkedIn! It’s time to start building your network.