A supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.
Networking is an activity by which business people and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognise, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.
New contacts and referrals
We meet potential clients and/or generate referrals which we can then follow up on to hopefully add to our client base. Networking can also help us identify opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures, or new areas of expansion for our business.
We need to meet and communicate with potential clients and business partners on a regular basis to maintain our business relationships. Attending business luncheons and other networking events raises our personal profile and can help keep us front and centre in the minds of the right people
In an ever-changing business climate it is important for us to keep up with the target market conditions as well as overall trends in our industry. Knowing the market is the key to developing a successful marketing plan. Attending seminars and networking with our peers and business associates on a regular basis will help us stay current.
Confidence and morale
Most business people are optimistic and positive. Regularly associating with such people can be a great morale boost, particularly in the difficult early phases of a new business. If you are not naturally outgoing, regularly meeting new people can also boost your confidence and on a personal basis you may form new friendships with like-minded people.
In addition to the potential of increasing our business we can often find solutions to our own business problems or needs by networking. For example, if our business needs the services of a bookkeeper, accountant, or lawyer we may find the ideal candidate via networking, or if our business needs equity financing for startup we may be able to find an angel investor or venture capitalist through networking channels.