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The Importance of Business Networking

19th November 2010
Business networking is an essential task that company owners often misunderstand or put on the backburner. Networking means building and nurturing relationships that can be utilised and capitalised for business purposes. It can range from simple things such as a phone call to introduce yourself to a business in the same sector to working closely with partners to ensure the relationship is continually mutually-beneficial.

Why is networking important?

Business networking brings an important human element to industries that can often be overly-corporate and clinical. It can be hard to close deals with the right people within this kind of atmosphere, and it’s far easier to find the right services, suppliers, investors and other key partnerships if the situation is approached from a personal and human angle. Building up a network of contacts provides opportunities that you may not realise exist – you’re able to pick up the phone and discuss a collaborative idea in seconds. That’s what drives business success, and it’s all made possible through effective and confident networking.

Where should I network?

There are a number of ways to locate and talk to the right people.

• Online specialist sites such as www.meetup.com
• Relevant local events in your industry
• Industry conferences
• Local power breakfasts
• Local business mailing lists
• Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook

How should I engage people?

Be friendly and remember that people enjoy doing business with those they like on a personal level. Don’t be arrogant but be confident and fun to be around. Introduce yourself and provide an overview of what your business does, and don’t forget to tell potential partners how the partnership will be mutually beneficial. It’s important you don’t just focus on the benefits to your company or you’ll find that striking up new business deals becomes far harder than you originally thought.

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