What's the fuss about networking?

What does networking mean to small business owners - and is it worth it?

The Oxford Dictionary defines networking as “a system of trying to meet and talk to other people who may be useful to you in your work.”

It is said that networking is like having a myriad of sales people working for you, because everyone you speak to carries the potential to advertise your product, business and the services you offer. Typically, the aim of specialised networking events is to provide a friendly environment for start-ups and small businesses to meet and discuss new ideas and to get feedback on what potential clients might want or need in a product or service.

We have compiled a list of five reasons why you should get up and network for the benefit of your business:

  1. Networking identifies opportunities. Networking is about spotting opportunities. Spend time asking questions about the person you are talking to and their business, and try to see whether they have any problems that you can help with – and vice versa. You could be a travel agent who needs office furniture, or you could be speaking to someone who needs a discount travel partner for staff incentives!
  2. Networking forms contacts. There is nothing business owners need more than good relationships with clients and colleagues alike. By networking, you form a web of skillsets you can tap into later – for instance, you never know when you might need a plumber. The author MiSha aptly notes, "Networking is not collecting contacts, it is about planting relations."
  3. Networking is enriching. Networking is a way to learn more about the running of a business, understanding the industry better and hearing about the challenges like-minded people face. It also enables you to learn from mistakes others have made, and equally so, other business owners can learn from you.
  4. Networking can grow your business. If you want to have a chance at getting that big contract, you have to network! People recommend people that they like and know, so while you might not have physically met the person you will be doing work for in the future, you might have met one of their contacts who could endorse you.
  5. What goes around, comes around… Many lasting business relationships form as a result of networking because you are interacting with like-minded business owners that want to grow their businesses as much as you do yours. 

The bottom line is that networking forms an integral part of growing your small to medium sized business (SME).  As the quote says “The opposite of networking is NOT working…”. 

MiWay Business Insurance understands that as a business owner, your company demands a lot of your time and energy. They have therefore designed a range of carefully selected services called ‘MiBusinessAssist’ to assist you and your whole networking group with business matters, reduce unnecessary operational costs and give you extra time to focus on running your company. 

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