Networking has always been a cornerstone of doing business. Whether you’re building your network or connecting with potential clients, networking allows you to grow and nurture your business relationships.
As we all shift and adapt to the virtual world, stay connected with business peers through online networking. Developing professional relationships with those outside of your industry opens you up to new knowledge and experiences.
Thinking about attending your first virtual networking session? Here’s five reasons why it’s great for you and your business.
Maintaining relationships during periods of isolation helps our wellbeing, and this includes staying in touch with other business owners. Virtual networking is your chance to meet-up and have a virtual coffee with local, like-minded business owners who are in a similar position to you. Small businesses have always been at the heart of our communities, so this is a way to stay in touch and support one another. If someone can’t help you, they may know someone who can.
Share knowledge and advice
Networking attracts people from every walk of life, so you’ll be exposed to a wealth of knowledge and advice. As with usual business networking, you get out what you put in, so share what you know with others and you’ll be amazed what you’ll get in return. Your business peers are in the same boat as you: trying to navigate through this new normal. It’s a space to share experiences, as well as any issues or concerns you may have as a business owner.
Build your network
It may seem obvious, but networking is all about expanding your reach and creating connections. You may make a new business friend, or even find potential customers and clients. Everyone is open to connections, so be sure to reach out. In the absence of business cards, send a request to connect on LinkedIn. There’s no fear of a misplaced business card, and you’ll be able to send a message after the meeting to follow up!
Getting to know the business owners in your area is a great way to take advantage of any upcoming opportunities. If they are outside your industry, then you may find they will be able to help support your business with the products or services they offer. Championing local communities and small businesses is more important than ever before.
One of the benefits of business networking, especially if you’re attending regularly, is that you can build your business profile. Getting your name out into the local community will help you to build a good reputation. Creating new connections and maintaining your existing ones means your business will be well positioned once business returns to normal, as you’ll have a list of contacts to draw upon.
Ready to give virtual networking a try?
Join one of our friendly events across the country from the comfort of your own home. Find out more and search for events near you through our events calendar.
Business life doesn’t have to be lonely
Network with other members and non members from across the UK through our National and Local networking framework