From personal experiences of running our own networking groups, the Local Meet Sessions, we have learnt a lot, met some incredible, inspiring (and aspiring!) businesswomen and have chatted for hours about their success stories and pain points!
Networking is one of the most valuable uses of time in business. They’re frequently free to attend and when you get there you will more than likely meet other like-minded people that are all attending for the same reason (no, not just for the wine!).
If you feel you are too busy to attend these events, think again. They’re beneficial to your business for many reasons, including the following:
- they act as a break from being stuck at your desk, in front of the computer.
- they can count as being at work because you are inevitably spreading the name of your business to others in the industry, boosting your brand’s exposure.
- it’s a great opportunity to learn new things and get ideas.
- establishing new relationships with potential clients/customers/suppliers.
Face-to-face networking creates a lasting impression in the minds of people you meet. As long as you pick and choose the right sessions to attended, it’s full of people that you can work with or learn from in some way. An informal chat can often lead to many opportunities and potential ways you can work together.
It can always lead to future opportunities for both parties, in terms of help, advice and business. It can also motivate you go further, you may be thinking about starting your own business or just expanding your knowledge.
After networking events, the key part is to stay connected with those that made a lasting impression on you. Go through the business cards and email the people of interest, continuing any discussions you had while it is still fresh in your mind.
So, in short, the 6 benefits of networking are:
- Opportunities – Leads to new and future business
- Share ideas – Share expertise and resources
- Exposure – Promote and draw attention to your business and brand
- Building Relationships – Meet like-minded people building a strong contact base
- Learning – Learn from others with experience
- Confidence Building – Reassurance and supporting one another
Start searching for new opportunities today (and if you’re in the Suffolk/Cambs/Essex region check out our Local Meet Sessions – your first session is free)!