“Networking is a lot like nutrition and fitness: we know what to do, the hard part is making it a top priority.”
In the current scenario, with most of the businesses being closed, one is in a dilemma as what to do next. Don’t worry! Things will get back to normal soon. Until then you have to make use of the situation in the best way possible.
I am here to discuss a very important topic, which most businessmen and employees tend to undermine. Business Networking! Networking is a socio-economic business activity where businessmen and entrepreneurs meet in order to form professional relationships. Through networking create, recognize, or grab business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for future ventures. Networking helps you to come up with new innovative business ideas.
In my opinion, you can make the best use of this quarantine by networking with people online. If you haven’t started yet, start connecting with people of your interest on various platforms. It is the best time to expand your reach and connect with people or organizations which will help you in future. At Evolvers, the experts can guide you to attain this goal.
During this lockdown you cannot go out and connect with people instead you can use social networking sites to start networking. I have listed down some of the best networking platforms which you can use now to explore and connect with people and build long term relationships.
- LinkedIn: – LinkedIn is one of the most popular and widely used social networking platforms today. It gives professionals an opportunity to connect with other professionals in the same industry to learn and grow together.
- Twitter: – With more than 300 million monthly active users, Twitter is a place to “see what’s happening.” The biggest obstacle with Twitter, however, is getting noticed by the right set of individuals or companies. By using relevant hashtags, you can overcome this issue and also increase your brand awareness. The frequency of your tweet increases your chances of increasing your brand’s visibility and awareness.
- Facebook: – Since the time of its inception, Facebook has developed and improved exceptionally, from adding new languages to introducing new exciting and creative features. Facebook has made a lot of progress in upgrading their user experience and providing opportunities for marketers to promote their businesses.
- Instagram: – Initially, Instagram was meant to be a platform to share photos with friends and family. However, it has quickly evolved beyond personal use and is being widely used by businesses today.
Other business networking platforms are:-
- Local Business Groups- Most cities have small business groups of different industry types.
- Community Service Groups- Groups such as Rotary can be ideal for those who enjoy mixing networking with service to their community.
- Professional associations- These are associations where people from similar industry or a similar interest come together and interact. Having a membership in such groups can also boost your professional standing.
- Chamber of Commerce- Founded in 1925, Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the leading and only National Chamber of Commerce having headquartered in Kolkata, and one of the most pro-active and forward-looking Chambers in the country today. Its membership includes some of the most prominent and major industrial groups in India.
“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with an idea, and people with opportunities.” In essence, networking is all about developing rapport, building connections, and interacting with people in order to expand your circle of influence. It is important to have good networking for the growth of your career. By developing lasting relationships for mutual gain and creating lasting impressions with various individuals, you will benefit from it both professionally and personally.
Active networking is vital for career growth. People sometimes confuse it with selling; networking is about forming relationships and a good reputation over time. It involves meeting people and knowing whom you can assist, and who can potentially help you in return.
Your network includes everyone from family and friends, to colleagues, business connections, your social network and members of the groups to which you belong.
To help you understand the importance of business networking I have listed down the benefits of it:-
- Strengthens Business Connections: – Trust is the basis to form any relationship. Networking means building trust and helping one another. Regular interaction with your contacts helps you to build a strong connection. It may assist you to find new opportunities and help you achieve your goals.
- New Contacts: – One of the most common benefits of networking is that you can meet potential clients or generate referrals. Networking also helps you identify opportunities for joint ventures, partnerships or new areas of expansion for your business.
- Staying aware: – Business environment keeps on changing, and you need to be aware of the market conditions as well as the overall trends in your industry. Attending seminars/conferences and networking with your business associates and peers on a regular basis will help you to stay current.
- Getting fresh innovative ideas: – Interacting with new minds can give you new ideas for your business. You should always look for new innovative ideas for your business and your network can be an excellent source of fresh perspectives and idea to help you in. Exchanging information and experiences may help you to gain insights. While offering a helpful idea to contacts will help you to build your reputation.
- Job Opportunities: – Networking can help you advance your career. Expanding your contact reach help you is personal growth, career advancement or gain new knowledge. Active networking keeps you informed about new job opportunities and also helps you get a good referral.
- Career growth: – You need to communicate and meet your contacts on a regular basis to maintain your business relationships. Attending professional and social events makes you visible and raises your personal profile. You can then build your reputation as being reliable, supportive and knowledgeable by offering your help to people who need it.
- Sharing knowledge and gaining different perspective: – Networking is ideal for expanding your knowledge by taking advantage of the viewpoints and prior experience of others. You can gain new insights by talking to others in your fields or people with expertise in a particular area. Asking for opinions from the contacts you trust or admire can help you see the challenges in a new light and help you overcome it.
- Get advice and support: – Your networks and support you in challenging times by giving their expert advice. Mentoring is important and helps a person gain proper knowledge from an experienced person. Your contact can serve as a mentor can guide your career to a successful path.
- Improved Credibility: – As you start meeting more people, you will eventually attain a reputation as being someone who loves interacting with and helping people. As your credibility and reputation grow, you will get better opportunities and support. You will be able to help others with valuable ideas, sources, and information. This will further enhance your credibility.
- Build Confidence: – Regular networking will help you improve your confidence. Meeting new people regularly can also boost your confidence and may help you form new friendships on a personal basis with like-minded people. The way you speak, deliver your message and make connections, deeply impacts your business.
There are countless more benefits of business networking. It is important that you stay in regular contact with your connections in order to gain maximum advantages for your business and yourself.
Networking doesn’t come naturally to many people. In fact, for some, the thought of starting a conversation with a stranger at some event or meeting makes them nervous. A good thumb rule is to be prepared ahead of time and have a few relevant points of discussion in your mind before meeting new people.
Nurturing relationships with your contacts is mutually beneficial. You can broaden your access to opportunities and improve your personal profile. One way or another, the purpose of business networking is to ultimately increase business revenue.
“Networking is an investment in your business. It will take but if done properly can produce great results for years to come.” To gain more insights, you can get in touch with the Evolvers Experts to understand how you can network and also improve your networking skills.