Networking is valuable for all business professionals, but especially so for entrepreneurs. When starting out, a business owner’s network can provide vital opportunities and support that make all the difference between a successful venture and a failed one.
Networking is all about building professional relationships and creating relevant contacts that assist you to achieve your long-term goals. With a healthy network of contacts you can easily generate leads, as well as get referrals to potential customers or clients, which can eventually drive conversions. One more advantage is coming across new contacts who may be looking for joint ventures, partnerships or simply referrals.
Having a good network also helps you stay up-to-date with the latest news and industry trends. This will allow you to learn about new opportunities or potential threats to your business. A strong network gives you a competitive edge over your competitors, too, besides providing you access to market knowledge and resources your competitors may not have.
Your professional network can help you expand your reach and build awareness about your brand by introducing you to their contacts. You can try some of the tips mentioned here to build a strong professional network…
Building an Effective Network
Networking builds relationships. But, to develop these relationships, you must invest consistent efforts and time…
Use Social Media: Today, with social media, it has become easy to reach out to people you want to connect with. Therefore, you can look for some important professionals in your field whom you respect. Connect with them on social media and keep in touch with them through online conversations. They will know that you share the same interests and will help you connect with them.
Exchange Business Cards
You cannot predict when a networking opportunity may come up. You can meet someone at the airport lounge, a grocery store, on public transportation, or at a friend’s place. Thus, it is very important to carry your business card always for easy networking and spreading the word about your brand. You can also ask others for their business cards. You can build on some meaningful relationships by following up and keeping a conversation going to build stronger bonds.
Maintain Relationships: To build lasting and stable business relationships, you have to nurture them. You cannot initiate a relationship and forget about it expecting it to crop up in your times of need. Some simple ways to maintain a relationship can be to ask how they are doing in a text message or a phone call, meeting over coffee or meals at times, sending cards, taking part in events, sending articles or news pieces they would be interested in and so forth.
Attend Relevant Events: Being present at industry events and networking functions, such as trade shows, conferences, seminars and so on can be a great way to meet successful entrepreneurs. Help your name and face gain ubiquity out there at these events. Do not wait for someone to start a conversation. You should take the initiative to introduce yourself so that people become aware about your work. While doing so, you should also inquire about what work others are doing. Take down the contact details of the people you meet at such programs so that you can follow them up at a later occasion to strengthen connections.
There are other effective ways to build strong professional networks. You can get involved in organizations in to your field and attend events they host to connect with other members of these organizations. You can also offer your expertise, such as holding teaching classes, making presentations, writing articles and sharing your knowledge and expertise that can help you build a strong reputation and, in turn, attract new contacts. Networking also helps you seek out probable business partners and clients to create an ecosystem of inter-dependence.
It is time for you to focus on creating a strong network, if you have not started working on it yet.
About the Author
Mr. Harish Jagtani, a philanthropist, visionary, businessman of Indian origin, currently based in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 20 years now, is one of the most reputed business owners in the Indian diaspora as well as the entire expat business community in DRC. The business house caters to multiple domains, including but not limited to Domestic as well as International Air Cargo, real Estate and infrastructure development, healthcare, hospitality as well as CSR.
Coming from humble beginnings from Jaipur, Rajasthan, Mr. Harish Jagtani has come a long way in building this conglomerate with a strong and clear vision, sheer dedication and grit. Starting with a small job in sales, Mr. Harish Jagtani today is a proud and righteous owner of a fleet of airplanes and multiple businesses that cater to the basic and advanced needs of the people of Dem. Rep. of Congo in different sectors.