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Networking is a valuable way to expand your knowledge, not only about yourself but your business and other local business’ around you. Networking can help you to learn from the success of others, attain new clients and tell others about your business.

We strongly recommend business networking as a way to gain new clients and to build a sustainable business. Here are a few benefits for business owners of getting involved in networking:

1. Generation of referrals/Increased business

This is probably the most obvious benefit and the reason most business owners decide to participate in networking activities and join networking groups.

The great news is that the referrals that you get through networking are normally high quality and most of the time are even pre-qualified for you. You can then follow up on these referrals/leads and turn them into clients. So you are getting much higher quality leads from networking than other forms of marketing.

The increase in business from networking is the major advantage, but there are many others as well.

2. Opportunities

With a motivated group of business owners comes an abundance of opportunities! There are always lots of opportunities that come from networking and in fact this is where the benefits of business networking are huge!

Opportunities like joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, speaking and writing opportunities, business or asset sales… the list goes on, and the opportunities within networking are really endless.

Just make sure you are jumping on board with the right opportunities and don’t go jumping into every opportunity that comes your way. The opportunities that you get involved in should align with your business goals/vision, otherwise you might find that you are spinning your wheels chasing after opportunity after opportunity and getting nowhere.

3. Connections

“It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. This is so true in business. If you want a really successful business, then you need to have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them.

Networking provides you with a great source of connections, and really opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to or find.

It’s not just about who you are networking with directly either – that person will already have a network you can tap into as well. So ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know!

4. Raising your profile

Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking. Make sure you regularly attend business and social events that will help to get your face known. You can then help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering useful information or tips to people who need it. You are also more likely to get more leads and referrals as you will be the one that pops into their head when they need what you offer.

5. Increased confidence

By regularly networking, and pushing yourself to talk to people you don’t know, you will get increased confidence the more you do this. This is really important as a business owner, because your business growth is very dependent on talking to people and making connections.

Networking is great for people that aren’t confident as it really pushes them to grow and learn how to make conversations and lasting connections with people they don’t know.

There are many local networking groups in your area. If you aren’t familiar consider that your social media connections are a great way to ‘online’ network and build your success.