Many business owners believe that their financial capital is the most important part of their portfolio. This can be true, but it’s quite unlikely.
Sure, running a business revolves around money management. You’re balancing your assets and liabilities while trying to make smart financial investments. Well, experts say that the main assets you should invest in are your relationships.
Why is networking important, you ask? For starters, building a business from the ground up is almost impossible without a powerful network around you. In many ways, this network is a safety net that protects you from catastrophe.
Of course, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Here are some key advantages of networking that any business should take interest in.
You may have heard of the old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” As cliched as that saying is, it’s true for any business around the world.
If you want to grow your business, you need to be visible. More than that, you need to get seen in the right places and with the right people. This increases your standing among your peers and builds your reputation as someone who has the answers.
Networking also opens the door to establishing connections to influential people. This makes it more likely to get useful leads and referrals down the line. The people you network with will likely have a network you can tap into as well.
New Business Opportunities
On your own, your ability to create business opportunities is likely limited. If you’re surrounded by people you trust, those opportunities will multiply.
Even in today’s digital age, most leaders prefer to do business with people they trust. Personal relationships are the main ways to establish and strengthen that trust. This is why exclusive networking opportunities are in high demand these days.
The sale of Eloqua in 2012 is a great example of the importance of networking. The deal amounted to $862 million—over 200% of Eloqua’s market value. Thanks to the networking prowess of co-founder Paul Teshima, the sale went through seamlessly.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should jump on every business opportunity you get. As Warren Buffet once said, the most successful people say no to almost everything. Make sure that the opportunities you act on align with your career goals.
Also, keep in mind that business opportunities come in many forms. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, there are several ways you can grow your business. For example, have you considered organizing a virtual event?
A big part of networking is engaging with people you don’t know very well. Doing that on a regular basis can do wonders for your confidence.
For a business owner, getting a confidence boost can make all the difference. After all, business growth depends in large part on forging lasting connections. Once you become a part of a group, opening up in conversations will become routine.
This is particularly important for business owners who aren’t confident by nature. The more you push yourself outside your comfort zone, the easier it will be inside of it. This is why reaching out to other people is one of the key benefits of networking.
Yes, networking can help you get insider information on the latest deals. More importantly, though, it gives you a chance to expand your knowledge.
By conferring with like-minded business owners, you can learn from them on any topic related to your business. Plus, many of them have likely been in your situation and will be able to provide valuable tips and advice.
In other words, networking is a great way to tap into expertise you can’t obtain otherwise. A single tip from the right person can be a key factor in business success. Networking also provides an opportunity for mentoring relationships.
That said, you’ll want to make sure that you take the right kind of advice. Avoid listening to people who tell you what to do without taking your situation into account. Instead, focus on people who help you gain a deeper understanding of your business.
Contrary to popular opinion, business rewards aren’t the only purpose of networking. The other main benefit is the personal satisfaction you gain from helping others.
One great thing about networking is that it provides many opportunities for that. In fact, providing valuable advice should be a key part of your networking skills. Everyone has problems, and you may be the right person to solve them.
This ties into those mentoring relationships we mentioned above. Almost everyone in the world has gained value from these relationships—even if they’re not aware of it. Bill Gates had Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs, and so on.
Great business owners invest in other people as much as other people invest in them. This is one of the defining virtues of networking. The more you learn about life and business, the more information you’re able to pass on to others.
In life, the people we associate with influence who we are. As a business owner, the caliber of your network will determine how successful you can be.
This is why it’s important to surround yourself with people that will help you grow. Look for positive and uplifting people as they tend to exude their best attributes. Networking is great for this, as most successful business owners fit this bill.
What’s their secret? Simple: most people who network are pursuing excellence in both business and their personal lives. The knowledge you may gain from them is important, but adopting this kind of mindset is the real prize.
More on Why Is Networking Important
So why is networking important?
As you can see, the benefits of professional networking are many and varied. Still, there’s one thing we haven’t touched on: personal relationships.
For business owners, personal relationships can be a big help in avoiding burnout. Still, there’s only so many close friends and family members you can have. Fortunately, talking to like-minded people can be a great basis for friendship.
Want to know more about why networking is important? Looking for other ways you can make your business more successful? Check out more of our marketing-related content!