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Does Your Business Encourage Networking?

Jun 27, 2008
From the point of view of lead generation, networking with local business men and women, across industry and target markets, can prove to be time and money well spent, and can help to generate word of mouth referrals and recommendations.

Despite its obvious merits, so many small business owners neglect networking and discourage their employees from getting to know other business owners in their area. As a result, they miss out on the opportunities presented by having a wider network of business associates. Just how much difference can networking make to the success, or otherwise, of your business?

Networking in business is initially important as regards getting your business known 'out there' within the local community. Business owners talk to other business owners' everyday, on a personal and commercial level, sharing information that can mutually help their businesses and closing deals to the benefit of one another.

Furthermore, those business owners each have their own independent network of friends, who have their own individual network of friends, and so the web continues.

Networking is a great way of promoting a new startup, and a great source of help and advice when needed. Many first time networking individuals are surprised to find how active their local business community is. There are loads of business owners across all different industries ready and willing to offer a helping hand when and if you face a problem.

Likewise, networking in business is important from the point of view of driving sales and boosting revenues. By becoming involved with your local business community you can not only sell products and services to them directly, but also to their friends in other areas through recommendations. For example, as a website designer, your business could grow substantially through networking with business owners from a diversity of industries who may need a website designed themselves, or may know someone else who requires such services.

In fact, you would be surprised how tenuous some business links arising from networking can get - friends of friends of friends might also come knocking for your services, simply because you have taken the time and effort to communicate and network with other business owners in your area.

There is no doubt networking and business go hand in hand, and is a simple proposition for those that invest in building relationships. They will be subsequently dealt a great deal of work from the wider network and gain more respect and a higher profile within their specific business community.

Bear in mind that networking is a two way process; the more you help others the more you will receive. For the little effort required in forming personal relationships, the rewards of networking in business are there for all to see, and it's no wonder major companies spend millions every year on corporate hospitality and getting to know their clients and suppliers.

Your business can also engage in networking with others to generate greater awareness of the products or services you have to offer, leading to new sales leads and long-term client relationships.
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