Networking and connecting in business are super important. Just as in life, you can’t go it alone. It’s said that none of us are islands, but if we were, each of us would form a vast and interconnected archipelago. Bridges and boats would stream traffic between all these islands and that traffic is largely information. If you cut yourself off from this flow of information, either purposely or by mistake, you do so at your own peril.
Why is it so important to make connections with other business owners? This topic of networking and connecting comes up often so why is it so important?
Here’s one reason why. If you don’t, the island next to you is going to make those connections you’re making and the information they provide and use it to his or her advantage. What are am I even talking about? Let me explain in further detail below.
Why You Should Network
Networking is an essential element of every successful business. It provides you with contacts, leads, clients, partners, suppliers, and much more. It will carry your name and your business reputation farther and more efficiently than most advertising will. Most importantly, it is an endless source of profit, ideas, collaboration, and support.
The IFS and the BUTS
If you are networking, you should do more. If you’re not networking, you need to start. If you don’t network, your business will stagnate and die. But why should I do this you might ask? Aren’t people just going to find me online searching for me? After all, I have a website! Ha…so does everyone else!
When you’re networking you need to keep a couple of important points in mind.
First, every social or professional engagement can provide you with an opportunity to network. There’s often nothing more formal about it than an exchange of information and follow-up connection. Remember, as a business owner you’re always “on the clock”, so to speak. Be ready to take advantage of a potentially lucrative networking situation should the opportunity arise.
Second, when you are networking, treat people naturally, the way you’d want to be treated. Offer no-strings advice. Often solving a problem for free generates more long-term profit than the cost of the advice or service. Also, listen more than you talk. Silence really can be golden when you take the time to hear what another person is saying.
Finally, always remember that honesty is the best policy. Don’t promise something that you cannot produce. Don’t be someone you’re not in order to close a deal. Be yourself and watch those connections grow!
Connections & Business Collaborations
Networking and connecting with other business owners gives you the opportunity to collaborate with others also. You never know what you might teach each other or you might just find someone you can partner up with. Some of the most interesting aspects of your business might be just around the corner. So, remember that when you’re connecting with others.