Why Entrepreneurs Should Network

“It’s not what you know but who you know!”

That saying has been used for many years and does have real meaning. In business good contacts or connections are vital. For entrepreneurs networking should be the first choice route for building a business. The people you meet when you network are your potential customers, suppliers, collaborators, providers of leads and sources of advice.

Types of networking

Networking both in person and online is one of the best ways that you can meet people who can help you in your business and likewise you can help them. There are many business network groups around the world and quite likely in your own town or city there will be a number of them. Some groups are set up on a national and even international basis whilst others are very local to your area.

It is good to get out and try them out before joining and many will welcome you as a visitor to do just that. If they don’t welcome visitors then you are probably better off avoiding them.

Online there are also many ways to network and one of the leading websites offering this facility is Linkedin. When you go online you need to interact with people and this is done by using the discussion groups, answering any questions that you can and seeking advice where you need it. Use the discussion groups to build up your relationship with people in the group and hence you are building a network of contacts.

There are many ways online to network and the power of Twitter and Facebook should also not be underestimated. This article has not been written to show you how to use these forms of networking but why you should. The reason is using online networking will give you access to people that you would not normally encounter in person to person networking. This may be due to the distances that you live apart from each other.

The Benefits of a Network for an Entrepreneur

Having a network of people will enable you to promote your business much more quickly and effectively that if you were to endeavor to make appointments with the representatives of companies whom you do not know. We all know how difficult it is to speak to someone important in a company. There is a whole brigade of people whose role is to prevent callers getting through and ‘wasting’ the time of directors and business owners.

Your network both online and offline could give you access to many people that you can speak to or be introduced to by members. Networking opens up a world of contacts and if you work hard at networking the results will be truly amazing.

From my own experience I can recommend networking and I have joined 4Networking with groups across the UK and locally I help organise The Wiltshire Business Club.

Roland Millward
The Entrepreneur Club

This article has also been published at Factoidz

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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5 thoughts on “Why Entrepreneurs Should Network

  1. For me meeting people is not only a great way of getting new contacts – it is the most enjoyable part of being in business. Online media such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In etc. really allows you to do this.

    Combine it then with the face to face stuff such as Wiltshire Business Club and 4N and you have a great way of doing business.

    The even better thing about 4N and Wilts Biz club is that they have online and offline contact points! It really is worth a look

    http://www.wiltsbizclub.co.uk

    Next Wiltshire business club meeting is this Wednesday!

  2. I know this may sound silly but having worked for a corporate company for 30 years up until 18 months ago I am realising that I can give myself permission to be myself.
    Through networking and getting involved in organisations I found myself this afternoon spending two hours with the local MP talking about small businesses. Maybe nothing will come of it,maybe it will, but whatever the result networking and meeting people gave me that opportunity.
    Becoming self employed is a steep learning curve and every meeting I go to and each person I meet teaches me something new and I gain more knowledge.

  3. I think that the thing to bear in mind is that Networking won’t necessarily give you instant results, but build up a whole range of people that you can refer to others or use for yourself as and when you need them.

    I do a mixture of both face to face and social networking and have made great friends through both, who I can call on as and when I might need them.

  4. That is a good point Adrian about being yourself. I feel that too. I enjoy all the networking I do. I love meeting people, especially people who are like me running their own business. If work comes out of these meetings then great but if not I’m still gaining knowledge.

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