The importance of Business Networking
Whether you’re looking to progress your career, boost your professional performance or tap into some words of wisdom, guidance and advice, networking presents many possibilities to grow.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at what business networking is precisely, why it is essential for you and how you can get involved.
What does it mean to ‘network’, anyway?
Business networking is the means by which professionals develop and grow their contacts within their industry or sector.
Networking is all about building rapport and relationships with fellow business owners and professionals who can offer support and advice as and when you need it. A strong network can enable you to feel more supported in the work that you do, and in turn, you can support the work of your fellow professionals, too.
It’s not necessarily a must if you’re looking to progress, but networking will certainly help you to move forwards more quickly and efficiently, and perhaps with better access to a wider framework of opportunities and advice, too.
Why is business networking important?
Generally, networking is about building and strengthening a positive reputation within your industry and learning from those around you. Presenting yourself in a positive light and sharing your experience and time with other professionals will foster supportive connections and help you to grow your career or business in a multitude of ways.
Ultimately, you can’t really grasp the benefit of business networking until you jump in and get amongst it. After a short while, you may start to notice that things are…well…happening!
There are always beneficial fruits to be harvested as a result of giving over your time and energy to networking in your industry. Opportunities will present themselves, connections will form, and your horizons will begin to expand.
To be a little more specific, here are a few positives business networking can bring:
- Networking will enable you to build a positive reputation for yourself and strengthen your personal brand.
- You may be able to gain access to new prospective customers via your network.
- Contacts in your network may come to you with new opportunities for job openings or freelance/contracted work.
- Business networking presents the opportunity to find investors for projects and start-ups that you may be working on.
- If you’re looking to take on new employees, networking can enable you to connect with like-minded individuals who may be looking for work.
- You may find opportunities to grow your network of stakeholders, thus boosting the success of your organisation.
- Networking can offer you access to vendors and suppliers whose products and services you may require.
Where can you get involved in networking?
There are plenty of different types of networking that you can get involved in, and taking part in a variety of opportunities will help you to develop a well-balanced roster of contacts and make connections with different types of people.
Business seminars and events
By attending seminars, conferences and events within your industry, you’ll be able to tap into opportunities to build your professional skills and keep your industry knowledge fresh and up to date, all while making connections with other people in your sector.
There’s always plenty of time to mingle with other professionals and executives at these events, and you’ll have the opportunity to swap details or business cards with anyone you wish to keep in touch with, so make sure you have a fresh stack of business cards to hand when you head out to a networking event (pssst…our fantastic Team Valley Printers team can help with that!).
North East Network
If you’re based in the North East of England, you may have already heard of some of the fantastic in-person events that we run as part of North East Network, working in partnership with fellow North East businesses, Heels & Brogues and Gordon Brown Law.
North East Network is a regional networking hub spanning the cities of Sunderland and Gateshead and founded with the aim of hosting exciting networking events in some of the North East’s most renowned venues. From casual coffee mornings in your local area and breakfast meetings at Gateshead Football Club to all-day events at landmarks such as Lumley Castle, we host a variety of events offering something for every professional.
If you’re an executive or professional working in the local area, you may like to read more about North East Network and find out about the sort of events that we run here.
Online networking has, unsurprisingly, grown exponentially over the last decade or so, and is now a key facet of contemporary life as an industry professional.
If you’re looking to take your networking into the digital sphere, you may wish to tap into fantastic platforms such as LinkedIn or seek out industry-specific online networking groups that can help you to grow a roster of connections from all over the world.
Being part of an online networking sphere enables you to be part of a digital community that transcends borders, is accessible at short notice and allows you to keep your finger on the pulse, even if you’re more of a reclusive type!
If you’re a business or professional operating in the North East region, check out our upcoming North East Network events here.