Businesses need a reliable network to grow, whether it’s by connecting with other businesses or influential individuals. Business networking is crucial if you’re looking to shorten the route to increased sales and business success. That’s because networking allows you to build trusted relationships and leverage those relationships to gain new prospects.
Unfortunately, networking does not come naturally to many business owners, especially if you consider yourself an introvert. But if you’re looking to build a business network, there are some effective ways to go about it. Here are some of those ways.
- Don’t let your introversion get in the way
If you’re naturally shy, networking can be quite challenging, especially if you have to do so face-to-face. Before you attend any networking event, take the time to brainstorm usable icebreakers and follow-ups. This way, you wouldn’t find yourself struggling to come up with conversation ideas on the spot. But if you find attending any type of in-person event difficult, you can consider online alternatives.
Social media platforms and apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, and GroupMe, are great online options for network building. You can join groups with similar or like-minded members without worrying about meeting them physically immediately. If you’re concerned about the privacy Facebook lacks or better organization than that on GroupMe; you can use a GroupMe alternative like Geneva.
- Focus on finding the right people
Networking takes time and effort. It’s not something you can expect to achieve overnight or with a simple “hey.” Although networking takes time, you can easily waste time trying to connect with the wrong people. By “wrong people,” the emphasis is on people or businesses that will not make a difference in your progress as a business owner or entrepreneur.
Admittedly, it can be challenging to decipher if contact is worthwhile. But you can minimize this difficulty by focusing on only the right people. A great way to do this is by joining or creating groups of people with similar interests.
- Attend business networking events
An effective way to build a reliable business network is to make time off your busy schedule to attend organized network events related to your business field. You can find important local business events near you to attend, such as workshops, trade fairs, seminars, lectures, etc.
You can find important business and individual contacts at such events. But don’t limit yourself to just attending these events, as you’ll need to contribute and communicate with other attendees. And this makes the next point equally important.
- Don’t forget to reconnect
After choosing the right people to connect with, don’t forget to continue reconnecting with them. Building new contacts is relatively easy, but maintaining them requires regular communication.
Also, regardless of what type of business you’re into, you’re likely to make various contacts with several people from your business activities. Every contact you make is important, from your regular customers to business partners. Every person you come into contact with can be part of your network.