As savvy small business owners, we all know that networking is important for building connections, raising our profile and generating word of mouth.
There is no doubt that it’s been a massive factor in the growth of my business so far, having gained the majority of my clients either through meeting them at an event, or by referral from someone in my network.
But the impact that networking can have goes beyond sales. Over time, I have come to discover a few hidden benefits of networking that you may not have noticed before…
In fact, the day I attended my first networking event was the first day I truly felt like a business owner. It was a pivotal moment! And there have been many more since then.
So here are my top 5 lesser-known benefits of networking:
1. Networking can help you get your mojo back
It can be difficult to stay motivated as a solo business owner, particularly when you work from home and stare at the same four walls every day. When you’re stuck in a rut, getting out to an event, meeting new people and catching up with contacts will remind you why you started your business in the first place.
2. Telling people about your business makes you reflect on your achievements
When you’re trying to build your dreams and realise your vision, it can be easy to focus on what you haven’t achieved yet as a matter of habit. Over time, this can lead to negative thinking and self-sabotage. Telling your story and how you’ve got to where you are makes you realise how far you’ve come.
3. You gain golden-nuggets of information from experienced business owners
Networking events are a chance to mingle with people who have been around the business block and have achieved the success that you dream of. A casual chat with someone like this often leads to a golden nugget of advice or information that could give you just the clarity you need to move forward.
4. You pick up random opportunities
Many people recommend that you go to a networking event with a specific objective, but in my experience it’s better to go with an open mind and expect the unexpected! You never know the opportunities that might come from a brief chat, whether it’s a PR or marketing opportunity, a new client or a potential collaborative partner.
5. You may be able to help someone else on their business journey
You might not feel like you have enough knowledge or experience to offer someone else advice, but you don’t know until you get out and talk to people. An introduction to one of your contacts, an awesome support service or a link to your favourite online resource might just help someone get their foot on the next rung of the business ladder.
So next time you feel stuck, demotivated or overwhelmed when growing your business, my best advice is to get out there and network!! You’ll be amazed at the results.