Developing your Networking Skills for Business Growth
“Networking will forever be a power horse for every business owner that dares to master the skills” Taiwo Sotikare
Starting a business is not as easy as it appears in our head. Many times, it seems like we have everything figured out only to launch the business and fail. This is why many startups don’t succeed.
You definitely know that it requires a great deal of hard work for a startup to achieve success. However, you might not know that you need networking as much as you need to understand your product and market.
This is the secret of successful entrepreneurs. These business owners understand the importance of partnership when it comes to business and always take their time seeking the right relationship through networking to make their business stand out.
What You Don’t Know About Networking
There are several benefits attached to networking skills that successful entrepreneurs have been enjoying and, at the same time, make their business stand out. These benefits are hidden secret because only a few people know it. This is why startups’ success rate is very low when compared to the number of startups emerging every day.
Benefits of Networking for Business Development
Below are the benefits of networking skills that the successful entrepreneurs we all admire so much have been enjoying while you spend years trying to figure out what is not working with our business:
It strengthens business connections
Firstly, you need to understand that networking brings value to your network and gets value from the person. It doesn’t have a selfish motive. The goal of networking is to build trust and help one another. Through this, you build quality and sustainable business relationships that can save you in times of trouble and generate the needed support for your business’s progress.
Help you generate fresh business ideas
When you network with people in your area of business interests, you expose yourselves to new and wider business perspectives that can help you develop yourself and gather new business insights. Also, holding a quality discussion with your networks can help generate ideas that can help you solve your business challenges and learn new excellent ways to solve problems and enhance progress.
Help you find answers to your questions
No man has the monopoly of knowledge. There is always a time you will be in a dilemma and search for answers to several business questions. The only way you can find answers to your questions is by presenting them to others who are more experienced than you.
Sincerely, there is no way to find them than through networking. By networking, you get to relate with them and discuss pressing issues you need to address to move your business forward.
It helps build a long-term relationship
A popular saying goes thus; “relationship is the soul of business.” You will need to relate with your clients, your employees, and even your suppliers effectively. The world of business revolves around relationship building. To build this relationship, you will need to master networking skills to enjoy lasting relationships effectively.
It helps build confidence
Successful entrepreneurs are known to be very confident. Because of their confidence, they can network and build a lasting partnership that has helped their business record success. When you get used to networking, you become confident. You stop being shy or timid to walk up to someone you are meeting for the first time to initiate a conversation. This confidence will help you reach out to more networks and consequently help your business grow.
Tips on How to Network Like A Pro
Social anxiety is a factor that restricts many business owners from networking. This social anxiety arises from a lack of understanding in regards to the proper way to effective networking.
Nevertheless, this section will address how to do away with your anxiety and take charge of your networking journey. It is easy. Just read on.
Develop your interpersonal relationship skills
Interpersonal relationship skills will equip you with the right way to approach people in public and engage them. An essential aspect of the interpersonal relationship is effective communication.
An excellent communicator is an outstanding networker.
What does he do?
Firstly, he understands his audience. He knows the right manner of approach for each particular time, knows what to say and the best way to say it, and is very confident to stand and speak.
In addition to this, you will be able to apply communication skills to pitch your ideas and also market your product effectively. Since networking deals with mutual benefits, you can always be certain of getting a fair deal. You develop these skills once you have mastered interpersonal relationship skills.
Attend conferences and professional events
After you have mastered interpersonal relationship skills, the next thing to do is identify the right environment to apply what you have mastered. Among the places, you can practice your network skills are conferences and professional events like dinner. You can also maximize casual events like picnic, party, and even hangout to initiate a quality discussion that could translate to long-term business partnerships. Don’t forget to always understand the mood of your target and go further by identifying the right expression they would want to hear from you.
Seek mentorship and advice
Remember, you are interested in gaining something tangible from them. After much talk, don’t forget to ask for their views on business and entrepreneurship subjects and constantly keep in touch with them to secure a mentoring slot under them.
This is one of the most crucial things every starter needs for their startups to become the next talk of the street. To do this, identifying key professionals and industry experts is not negotiable. You can only meet these professionals when you step up your networking game.
Strengthen your social network
While trying to connect with successful entrepreneurs, don’t forget to strengthen the already existing relationship between you and your colleagues, friends, and former schoolmates. Strengthening the interactions with them can open doors to opportunities for your startups. The best way you can do this is to identify like minds among your social networks. This could be through social media or offline. In your class at the university, who among your friends shared the same passion with you? Finding the right answer to this would convince you of the people you really need around you for the progress of your business and the people you only need for the sake of fun and talk.
Practice public speaking
Public speaking is one of the most effective ways to make yourself an individual to be reckoned with in your industry. This attracts people’s attention to you and makes it easier for you to connect with successful entrepreneurs at events and conferences. This is likely to be very difficult for the introverted entrepreneurs.
Nevertheless, you can start by standing before your mirror and practicing public speaking. From there, start practicing before your friends and then give it a shot one time at a goal in public and see how amazing your voice would sound and convince the public that you are certainly an entrepreneur they can network with.
Don’t forget public speakers are vast in knowledge. The best way to gather enough knowledge is by accessing audiovisual and textual materials.
It is glaring that your success as an entrepreneur is attached to the worth of your network. As such, you must learn how to develop your networking skills for effective business development.
Note that Successful entrepreneurs understand this and are committed to meeting new people every day and initiating conversations that would be beneficial to their business’s progress. For your startup to grow, you need to act like them.
- Isreal Winlade
- Isreal Winlade is a content creator and creative writer with awards and recognition. He is a graduate of French and currently works as an online freelance French tutor and English/French translator.