A line in business that often gets thrown around is “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and business networking uses this quote to its fullest. The idea of networking, much like our use of our social networks, is to engage with new faces, additional businesses and fresh opportunities. The idea of networking alone can seem daunting at first, but there are many rewards available from taking this opportunity for both you and your business.
What is networking?
Networking is a cost-effective approach to marketing your business and services. Some events are completely free whilst others may consist of a small membership fee. It allows you to be introduced to likeminded business owners in your local area and add new, friendly faces to your circle of contacts. Some networking organisation will only allow your entry to membership if there are no other businesses within the same sector within the group. Doubling up on industries will create a competitive atmosphere which is not what networking us about. Here at Cain & Beer, Paul is a member of BNI Sutton where once a week, Paul will meet with other business owners from a variety of industries to help spread the word about both his own business, and those of his new connections.
How networking could help you
By broadening your connective circle, not only are you meeting new faces, but you are sharing skills amongst others. This could allow you to be linked with possible business partners, training courses or future clientele. The possibility of you being recommended and referred by one of your networking friends will also rise as yours will be the name in their head when one of their friends, family members, colleagues or clients ask for advice on a particular service. Of course, the widening of your contacts list will increase the chances of you winning new business, but it will also allow you to relax in the presence of new faces, building your confidence up and allowing you to promote your services in a comfortable setting.
Our networking event
As mentioned before, Paul attends a networking group once a week, but on the side, he also hosts his own. Curry & Beer is a lighthearted, laidback networking event which occurs once a month and allows you to experience fine Indian cuisine whilst meeting with the friendly faces of local business owners and service providers. With a small, pre-paid cost of £25.00, you will be able to relax in the company of like-minded men and women, accompanied with a starter, main, sides and drinks, and share your stories and connections.
Networking tips for you
- Remember to plan your networking in advance. Who do you want to connect to? What services do you want to network with? And take plenty of business cards to exchange with new connections.
- If you have the opportunity to present your business, be strong with your pitch. Elevate your voice, not only to allow others to hear you, but to add confidence to your words.
- Assist others. Networking isn’t just about your business and services. Everyone will attend for the same reason and the likelihood of you being lent a helping hand after offering assistance to another member will increase.
- Remain positive. If you haven’t had any strong connections or leads, stay positive. Good things take time, so don’t give up at the first hurdle.
Networking is a continuous process that doesn’t stop once the meeting ends. Keep in touch with your group and look out for the opportunities that come your way to help yourself and your connections. To find out how we could help your business here at Cain & Beer, contact us by calling 020 3633 1340 or emailing and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.