Humans thrive on social interaction with one another. That’s why networking in one form of another has been a necessary tool for the survival of businesses for hundreds of years.
Similarly, relationships are crucial to any business, including relationships with others in your field. Interestingly many people feel that getting to know people in their field should only be done for competitive reasons. Networking with other experts in your field however can be extremely beneficial to you for many reasons. You never know, one day you might do a joint venture, create a product together, or even share ideas that are worth millions.
Networking can be positive for you and bring about successful results for 5 key reasons:
- Opportunity—You have the chance to meet new people every time you leave your house. You never know what people you might meet, or what that person may have to offer. Prospects are everywhere if you just take the chance. Take a positive look around you, see what’s out there, and begin networking with others. You haven’t lost anything by trying.
- Exposure—Getting yourself, your talents, or your business “out there” requires exposure. You may be a new musician, have just created an awesome new product, or struggling to get your business running. In any case, the more people you know, the better off you’ll be. Your customers or fans will talk among themselves. They may also talk with people outside the circle you’re in. You may already have some fans or customers, but remember that more is better.
- Contacts/Relationships—I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “It’s not what you know…it’s who you know.” That’s what makes networking SO important. The more contacts you make and the more relationships you build, the more people you’ll know, and the better your chance of knowing the right person. You never know what “right” person you may need in the future. In the beginning, just make as many connections as you can. Stay in contact with them, and it will give you a good group of people to draw from for future needs.
- Sharing things in Common—Like-minded people enjoy each other’s company. When you have something in common with someone, conversation will be easier, and they’ll want to build a relationship with you. Commonalities draw people together, and can bind them together.
- Learning from each other—Networking with others will definitely mean that information and ideas will be shared. There is a good chance that you will meet someone who has a new idea or vision that you feel will benefit your company. Knowing who to go to for help when you need it is important. When it comes to knowing the right person…knowledge is power!
In short: Networking goes hand in hand with operating a successful business!