Business networking: Why it’s important for entrepreneurs

Business networking: Why it’s important for entrepreneurs

Jakarasi

In the business world “It’s not what you know, but who you know and who knows you” that drives you to success.  Making connections and building strong, mutually beneficial relationships, commonly referred to as business networking, is one of the leading entrepreneurial skills that helps in building a thriving business.

Business networking is very valuable as it aids you to expand your knowledge of your business, you learn from the success of others, and in the process you attain new clients as you tell them about your business. Through business networking you are able to build a sustainable business.

There are a number of benefits accruing to entrepreneurs as they get involved in networking.

The generation of referrals or increased business is one of the key benefits and reasons why, you as an entrepreneur, should be involved and be participating in networking activities or why you need to join networking groups. Usually the referrals that you get through networking are of high quality and you can quickly turn these referrals into highly profitable business.

Networking brings an abundance of opportunities to business owners. Such opportunities like joint ventures, other business ventures, client leads, partnerships, or speaking engagements or writing opportunities, business or asset sales – all will become available as you network with your business colleagues.

The opportunities that avail themselves as a result of networking are virtually endless. A word of caution here: don’t just jump into every opportunity that comes your way. You should get involved into those opportunities that align with your business goals/vision, those that have a strategic fit with your organisation, otherwise you spend your time chasing after the proverbial wind.

Business networking is a great source of relevant connections whom you can call in times of need. You develop close relationships with highly influential people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to come close to or easily talk to.

The nature of networking is that it’s not only those that you are directly connected to that become part of your network but the people you are networked to have their own networks that you can easily tap into. You just need to say the right things or ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know.

Networking with entrepreneurs in the same field as yours gives you the opportunity to get advice from them that is related to your business venture or in some cases even some advice to do with your personal life. Business networking gives you great strides to tap into advice and expertise that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get hold of easily or at no cost.

Obviously you need to weigh every advice you get whether it is really helpful. The education and the experience and success of the person in business can help you in that assessment. You can’t get advice from someone who has failed in his business or who has no relevant experience in that field.

Networking raises you up on a pedestal where you become visible and get noticed. You will get noticed by regularly attending business and social events. At these functions you can offer your services or provide useful information or tips that people need. This can then help in building your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person. People will then call you whenever they need help.  You will as a result get more business leads and referrals.

The choice of who you network with is very critical. Behaviour is contagious. You need to network with people who exude positive energy, those who have positive influence. You need people who are positive, uplifting and that will give you good ideas in running your business.

As you network you develop interpersonal skills that you would otherwise not be able to acquire on your own. You also develop confidence in yourself. Networking pushes you to talk to people you don’t even know, people you have not met before. And from such conversations you are able to make lasting and fruitful relationships.

As human beings we are dependent on each other and we feel gratified in assisting others. Through networking you will meet other entrepreneurs who are going through similar problems you have passed through. You will therefore be able to solve these problems for them and that gives you satisfaction.

Above all you make close friends through networking.

About the author

Stewart Jakarasi is a business & financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management. He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations. For assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com or +266 58881062 or on WhatsApp +266 62110062

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