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The Benefits of Business Networking

Jul 30, 2008
The practice of building personal relationships to grow a business has been around since the first entrepreneurs in modern society. Today, traditional business networking events give entrepreneurs like yourself the opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals in your community and to forge relationships that can prove integral to growing your business. The benefits of traditional business networking events should not be undervalued. Not only do they provide you with the chance to showcase your goods and services and to meet potential clients, they offer you the opportunity to help other business owners to grow their businesses, as well. This is the intent of any business networking event: to create a win-win scenario for all who attend.

How do traditional business networking events work? Some networking events occur on a monthly basis, while other groups meet weekly or even daily. Some events are geared towards specific types of business owners, such as women. But most are open to anyone who is interested in tapping into the power of networking. Owners of small home-based businesses, medium-sized businesses, and even larger corporations are welcome. In fact, events which offer a variety of business types, sizes, and personalities are the ones which also offer the most opportunity for beneficial networking opportunities.

Major metropolitan areas offer any number of networking events throughout the city. And in light of the benefits of traditional business networking events, even smaller towns and communities are joining the networking bandwagon. A simple internet search should provide a list of local events and meetings.

How does one make the most of a traditional networking event? First of all, you should be prepared to effectively explain what your business has to offer in under a minute. At many traditional business networking events, the first part of the meeting is spent allowing each person in attendance the opportunity to pitch his or her business. The more clearly stated and memorable the presentation, the better. And don't forget to dress to impress. The best marketing pitch in the world will be lost on your audience, if you are underdressed or dressed inappropriately.

Next, never arrive at a networking event without plenty of business cards. The more professional the better. But if you have no other option, you can create a simple business card of your own and print them out yourself. Give your business cards away freely. You never know when your card will land in the hands of your next new customer.

Another way to guarantee that you will benefit from a networking event is to come regularly. Quality relationships aren't built in a day. In order to build trust with others, you must show your commitment to the networking group and the businesses represented. Attend as often as your schedule permits.

In addition, always remember that you are in attendance just as much to help out other businesses as you are to grow your own. Just as you should come prepared to discuss your business, come prepared to listen to others and what they have to offer. In fact, if you are nervous to attend your first networking event, this is a great strategy: simply go and listen. This will take the pressure off, and before you know it, you'll be networking like a pro.

Collect business cards and use the services of the businesses in attendance for your personal and professional needs. If you have a positive experience, share your feedback with the group and refer the company to friends and family. This is called a referral and referrals are the cornerstone of networking groups. Referrals grow businesses.

If you want to take your business networking one step further then try www.Networkology.com is taking networking to the next level with its online speed-networking system. Here the benefits of traditional business networking events and the web come together to provide business owners with an innovative platform to build relationships and profits......all without leaving the office!
About the Author
Tref Griffiths is the MD of http://www.networkology.com
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