How do you tell apart regular business owners and smart, goal-oriented aspiring entrepreneurs?
A regular business owner would refuse to attend a networking event, saying that instead of entertaining strangers with “silly chit-chats,” they’d focus on their day-to-day responsibilities at the office.
But smart entrepreneurs seize any networking opportunity they get because they understand how building professional relationships is key to business scaling and further growth. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably curious about how making connections with others helps one’s career success.
Here are the top 4 reasons why you should attend your next networking event and the do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while you do.
4 Reasons Why Should You Focus On Networking And Making Connections
1. Gathering new leads
There’s always a lucrative business opportunity hidden everywhere – and it’s only through the right connections that you’re introduced to the next big thing in your entrepreneurial career. The moral of the story is? Start networking now.
Also, gathering leads through connections can boost your career growth if you’re a working professional. As per a recent Business2Community report, 85% of US-based employees landed successful job opportunities through professional networking in 2020.
Yes, following up on new leads is essential, but don’t come off as a relentless pesterer who repetitively bothers their contacts for a new idea or a partnership. Always follow up when the timing is perfect, and be courteous and professional throughout the conversation.
2. Learning about best practices
Suppose you’ve ventured into the fast-food industry and become a new member of the respective association. You’re now invited to networking events, opening new doors to connect with established fast-food chain owners.
You should use this opportunity to gather information about the industry benchmarks. For instance, you can learn about the best software tools or workforce management protocols they’ve been using for years, which you can adapt immediately.
3. Getting noticed by the high-profile club
Entrepreneurs understand how good publicity leverages one’s business, so they always seek networking opportunities with established peers. It all sums down to how good you’re at presenting yourself as relevant in front of people who already have made a big name for themselves.
A Bizjournals study claims that any support from high-profile individuals could change your fate overnight by overcoming a recurrent inefficiency or financing a new branch.
So the better you stand out from the crowd in terms of experience, capabilities, and services, the more likely you make these sorts of connections.
Who knows, a few connections can possibly graduate into business partnerships?
4. Boosting your self-confidence
Networking also contributes to personality development; frequently connecting with new people seriously boosts your self-confidence. You build extraordinary conversational abilities by meeting and building a network with different individuals.
As per a recent Forbes study, meeting and developing relationships with others is an integral tool to increase your self-esteem. When you’re great at starting conversations and building relationships, it helps you form new partnerships with like-minded business people in your field.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Networking
Here are a few tips that you must practice to excel at building connections and networking:
Try enrolling in every networking event in your area to gain experience.
Figure out who you should network with to gain an advantage in business; building connections with people you can’t share mutual benefits with isn’t recommended.
Try to enter your first few networking events with an experienced friend; observe and learn how they initiate conversations.
Keep in mind the short-term and the long-term plans when connecting with new people.
Once you’ve built connections successfully, remember to follow up professionally via social media or in person.
Now that we have cleared out what to do, here’s what you should not do:
Do not sever contact with someone once you’ve used their support.
Do not focus on networking only to achieve your short-term targets; always think about the bigger picture.
Do not treat your network poorly by remaining distant and negligent.
Do not leak out confidential information someone has shared with you out of trust.
Do not stray away from giving back to your connections; it’s a two-way process.
Summing It Up
No man is an island; you can’t establish a thriving business without a joint, collaborative effort, and support from your network. The most prominent leaders in the industry have continuously emphasized the need to make connections as it helps you connect with like-minded people with similar professional goals.
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