As a small business owner, your first year can pass in the blink of an eye. If this is your first venture, it’s important to understand how much work you’ll be putting in. Everything will seem chaotic at times and you’ll probably be putting in long hours but it’s all for the greater good.
Apart from the day to day operations, it’s crucial to develop relationships within your industry and with other small business owners or vendors. These connections might not necessarily be something that pays off immediately but could be handy in the near future.
If you take a look at some statistics, it shows that networking is necessary when you’re a small business. According to some statistics from HubSpot:
85% of jobs are filled through networking.
1 in 4 people say they don’t network.
Only 11% of LinkedIn users have more than 100 people in their network.
49% of people say in-person business meetings are preferred since it leads to more complex strategic thinking.
95% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential to build long-term business relationships.
Just about 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential to building business relationships.
Making connections is simply something we all have to do. The beauty of a platform like LinkedIn is that we’re able to actually see who our connections’ connections are. You’re not only making a connection with that person, you’re also connecting to their entire network. This can open more doors than you can imagine.
For a small or even a growing business, here are some ways to ways that networking can help your business, opening you up to even more connections, opportunity, and success.
Creating Opportunities – When you’re just starting out, opportunities can be hard to come by, especially when you’re the point person for your business. The more networking events you attend, the more exposure your company has and with that introductions to more people who could be vital to success. These opportunities could come in the form of referrals, partnerships, or even lots of direct sales.
Raising Your Profile – By attending industry events and mixers, conferences, et cetera, small businesses can get much needed visibility among their peers. Any exposure is good exposure. Make sure to have plenty of business cards!
Getting Good Advice – Networking events, especially within your industry, will always be full of people with more experience than you. It’s the perfect opportunity to put on your best listening ears and learn. Be sure to ask plenty of questions on what your business may be lacking. Trust your gut of course, but be open to hearing new ideas.
There are plenty more benefits, but the main thing to take away is how networking ultimately boosts your credibility and builds on your brand’s professionalism.
That means you need to have your contacts well organized. Phone.com’s Address Book feature lets you easily sync your contacts into your business phone service. Having these organized means not having to decipher vague names quickly added to your contacts list. Then, all the hard work you put in meeting folks and building your network can be seamlessly integrated to your business phone control panel.