The Top 3 Benefits of Small Business Networking
Running a business and managing people can be very challenging and time-consuming. After trying to tackle sales goals, execute payroll, keep track of inventory, and update human resources processes (and maybe finding time to sleep for a few hours), the last thing on a business owner’s mind would be to go out and network with others. Unbeknownst to some, networking must be as much of a priority as the other elements of running a business.
While you may get frustrated trying to figure out where you will have the time to squeeze in a networking session, know that there are several benefits to networking when you are a leader within a small business. Here are the top three benefits of small business networking:
1. Networking increases brand visibility.
Most networking events are promoted on digital, print, and media platforms. Event sponsors create brand kits to offer attendees and other sponsors information, graphics, and hashtags to help promote the event. When your company is attached to these events, you have an opportunity to leverage your brand alongside other growing businesses, which will open the door to being seen by potential clients and customers.
2. Networking provides business owners with support and access.
Networking opportunities commonly occur at in-person or virtual events where professionals can connect to discuss relevant topics and exchange ideas. Usually, after these events, attendees exchange contact information with other professionals to stay updated on their business activities through social media and email marketing.
Maintaining positive relationships with fellow business owners and professionals will allow you to exchange experiences and receive advice and insight that may help you to grow your business. As you build your contact list, you will have the opportunity to make connections and stay updated on industry developments and trends.
3. Networking can help to generate business leads.
After connecting with other professionals, you can identify their needs and assess whether your business can also provide services in the future. Create a workflow with your sales or business development team to periodically check in with your contacts and add them to your email marketing list and social media accounts. Even if they do not need your services, it is good to stay visible if they need your services in the future. Keeping in touch with these same contacts can also increase your chances of receiving business referrals.
As a human resources consulting firm, when HRinMotion connects with other business owners, we can offer human resources support to all business owners since most businesses, regardless of their industry, need to be aware of labor laws and should routinely update their employee handbooks.
And don't be surprised if you receive referrals from business owners who, in many cases, would be your competitors. We’ve partnered with other HR professionals and consulting firms in the past to tackle large or time-restrictive projects. In some cases, it is more beneficial to partner with a competitor who is stronger in one area than to try to handle a project alone – everyone (including the client) wins.
If you network with industry peers and their company handles larger contracts than your company handles at the time, they may also be willing to pass on smaller projects for a small fee, which is beneficial for everyone involved.
Never underestimate the power of growing your business through networking, especially with your industry peers. The growth and legacy of your business could be right next door (or at the next networking event!)
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