Some business experts call it strategic networking while others call it social networking. In any case, networking and connecting with other company owners is a sure method to grow your business in any market.
Connecting with other businesses and company owners is a smart decision for a number of reasons.
Primarily, it is usually a free method to market and promote your business and services. Secondly, networking with other entrepreneurs can help you to optimize your resources. Strategic networking also helps you market yourself and your business and attract possible company partners.
Everyone knows that word of mouth marketing is usually the best. It is complimentary, fast, and trusted. Normally word of mouth advertising comes from happy consumers wanting to share their great experience. But it is also worthwhile to ‘sell’ yourself to others. When you network with others about your business, they will have the opportunity to meet you and learn more about your products and services. Even when the individual you are communicating with has no interest in your services, he or she may at least know somebody who does. Networking allows you to get the word out about your business totally free.
When you network with other business owners you are also opening up the possibility of making the best use of or enhancing your resources. As you network and discuss your business services, you may discover yourself talking to a business owner that has complimentary products or services. Furthermore, networking allows business owners to meet other company owners who are in the same field, without being direct rivals. In this way, networking gives opportunity for companies in the same industry with complimentary products or services to potentially engage in new strategic partnerships.
Strategic networking among company owners is one of the most efficient ways to develop an effective business. While it is a good strategic tactic in the early start-up years, successful business owners often continue to network even after their business grows as networking through the various phases of business opens the possibility of new relationships, new ideas, new customers, new resources, and new partners.
Networking can be done on an informal basis, by attending events run by business associations, or in an ongoing formal arrangement where various organizations provide mentoring and networking opportunities. The bottom line is that networking is beneficial and should be part of your marketing arsenal.
Here is a great video to help you with your networking.