Networking isn’t a quick-win strategy. It takes time to nurture new connections and build business relationships. However, whether you’re looking to network online or offline, it’s something that can reap huge dividends for your business.  

For many, the time spent networking is a worthwhile investment, as it’s an investment in the future success of your business. So, having said all that, what are the biggest business benefits you can glean from networking?  

#1 Your business is built on connections 

The success of your business depends on your ability to build connections. Networking isn’t just about meeting suitable clients, it’s about building valuable connections and growing your network of contacts. Build relationships with those contacts and you’ll have a wide network of contacts who personally know you and can recommend you, should they get the chance. 

#2 Networking raises your profile 

Networking both online and offline, keeps you visible and helps others put a face to the name and brand. Network consistently and it’ll help cement in that instant recognition. 

#3 It gets you out of the house! 

Many entrepreneurs now work from a home office and, as many will attest, it can be a lonely existence. Whether you’re a work-from-home mum or a solo-preneur who works remotely with a small team, networking gets you out of your home and interacting with others.  

#4 Networking is an essential part of your overall marketing strategy 

Your marketing strategy needs to encompass various mediums, to get your message out into the world. A good mix is that of online and offline platforms, a variety of methods (such as video, audio, visual and written), as well as the opportunity to constantly be in front of your ideal customer. Networking is one strategy that can encompass several of these mediums, as well as giving you access to potential joint venture and affiliate partners. 

#5 Make new friends 

Networking isn’t all about business – it can be fun too! When you interact with others in an offline environment, it gives you the opportunity to forge new friendships for both your business and your social circle. 

#6 Networking enables the sharing of advice 

Mingle with other business owners and you’ll have access to a wide and diverse range of people, all at different stages of their business. These business owners have all had to get over hurdles and work through problems, similar to those you’re likely to face or are currently facing. If you’re currently struggling with something or need help with something – ask those in your networking circle for their advice. Most people love to offer advice, it makes them feel valued and appreciated – and you may just get the right solution to help you move forward! 

#7 Positive influence  

The people you hang around with, highlight who you are as an individual. If you want to be a successful business owner – hang around with successful business owners. Not only will it inspire you to become who you want to become, it gives you access to all the advice, help and positivity you need. However, it also gives you a chance to be that person to someone else too, so you can help inspire other new business owners too – all through the power of networking! So make it your mission, to make networking part of your 2018 action plan and start reaping those rewards.