Building relationships with other businesses through local business networking can be incredibly rewarding on a personal level as well as a shrewd business decision.
Forging friendships with other people, many of whom may be facing similar challenges to you, can have some fantastic benefits that will enable you to grow your business – some of which you may not have considered. Here are some of the benefits of local business networking…
Get ideas, learn new things, share tips
One of the best things about local business networking is that you can pick up ideas and identify new opportunities that might be really helpful for your business growth. Whether it’s digital tools you’ve not considered or a fantastic upcoming event you’d not heard about – your network can keep you up to date on what’s going on in your local area that can add real value to your business. While your instinct may be to keep all the good ideas to yourself to get ahead of the competition, sharing ideas with others will build trust and open doors for your business. This may even help your sales and marketing strategy!
Find people you can lean on for support
Another great part of networking is making real connections with other people in a similar position to you. Whether or not you work in the same industry, meeting other local business owners can help you feel like you’re not alone because you may be facing comparable challenges on a local level. Whether you end up collaborating or just leaning on each other for advice – building trust with likeminded business owners is really valuable.
Gain confidence in yourself and your business
Some people find networking challenging because they find it difficult speaking in public and can feel like they’re under pressure. Putting yourself out there and developing these skills can be really beneficial on both a personal and professional level. Public speaking is a great tool to have in your arsenal and talking about your business with strangers can actually help you understand your business better. You’ll become more confident about the essence of your business, what you can offer, and how best to communicate that with others, and this can have a knock-on effect on how you market yourself.
Find new talent for your business
Recruiting the right people for your team is such an important part of enabling your business to grow. Finding the right local talent can be a challenge, but networking is a fantastic way to find what you’re looking for. You may meet someone incredible at a networking event who you want to bring on board immediately or keep in your contacts for a future role. Your connections with trusted, likeminded local business owners may also be able to recommend competent people they’re willing to vouch for, saving you valuable time.
Promote your business and raise your brand profile
Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth; networking is an invaluable marketing tool! Speaking with passion about your own business in a local setting really helps to make a meaningful impact because it helps people to understand who you are and what your business stands for. People really like to support other local businesses, so getting your brand name out there using old-fashioned networking is a fantastic way to get business leads. You’ll help give people a friendly face to think of when they hear your brand, and they may even start sending business your way.
So you want to start local business networking?
Nervous about your first networking event or want some tips how to get the most out of your next one? Here are our 10 tips for success at networking events. Networking doesn’t have to be in person, even if you’re looking to connect with people local to you; watch our webinar on networking via LinkedIn. At York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub we provide free and impartial business support and resources to help your small business grow and thrive.
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