If you want to build a robust business, it is important to get out there, make connections, and network with others. Business networking involves connecting with potential customers and other individuals who might refer business to you. It also means making contact with people who can provide key information that can help you grow your business and is based on creating trusting relationships with other businesspeople.

Networking helps you promote your business and can lead to new opportunities, both very important as business owners seek to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, with the disruptions caused by the pandemic, which have meant fewer chances to meet others in person, there has been a shift to networking virtually, which can actually offer you more opportunities to build connections across borders.

Below are some key reasons why networking is important for your small business and tips on how to network well to achieve your business goals.

 

  1. Networking is a great way to acquire new business leads. Leveraging the contacts you make when you meet people can open doors for business opportunities. Always communicate professionally when you follow up on leads, be sensitive to timing (for example, send that email when you promised to), and use common courtesy when following up.

 

  1. Networking can help you to identify business best practices. Learning from what others do is a valuable strategy for all businesses. For example, suppose you own a wholesale store and belong to an association. Ask around to find programs that other members use for stock management or other critical operational tasks that you can bring back to your own business.

 

  1. Regular networking will help you build confidence. It will help you become more familiar with talking to people you don’t know over time, enhancing your communications skills and enabling you to make lasting connections that can bring both positive professional and personal results.

 

  1. Networking is a great way to make relevant connections. It will enable you to meet and engage with highly influential people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to talk to or find easily. You can call on these new connections for assistance when you need them. So be sure to ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know.

Don’t wait until you have run out of opportunities to start networking. Be sure to start making these connections to expand the number of opportunities that come your way!