A powerful network is the building block for any business. Strategic networking is valuable to all business professionals but more so for entrepreneurs. Experienced founders know that a substantial portion of the credit for their success goes to the strong connections they have built over time. At its core, the theory of strategic networking is to develop trusting and reciprocal relationships. Especially with people or organizations that can help drive business growth. It can open doors to substantial opportunities, shared knowledge, and strong business relationships, among other things.
If you’re keen on learning more about strategic networking, read on. Find out why it forms an integral part of the business world. Also, how you can use it to drive growth in your business, this blog has everything you need to know.
Benefits of Strategic Networking
Regarding business, the popular adage—“It’s not what you know but who you know”—rings true and emphasizes that building the right connections can make all the difference. The benefits of strategic networking are a crucial aspect of business development and can be critical to your personal growth as a new entrepreneur. According to Zippia, networking is the reason for the success of 78% of startups in the U.S.
Here are some benefits of strategic networking for businesses:
- Offers more opportunities for collaboration
- Improves brand awareness
- Enables a more proactive value chain
- Enhances the scope for hiring competent team members
- Ensures exposure to insightful advice from industry experts
To get the most out of your entrepreneurial networking experience, it is important to understand what makes strategic networking an integral aspect of building a successful business. Let’s take a look!
Why Entrepreneurs Need Strategic Networking
Networking is one of the most valuable skills you can learn as an entrepreneur to make your company successful. Effective strategic networking can bring about many opportunities and prospects, such as client leads, business partnerships, joint ventures, asset sales, etc. It is a valuable way to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs, find new customers, extend your skills, build brand awareness, and get a fresh perspective on managing business solutions.
Besides enabling you to find the right people to join your team, networking can also create opportunities to connect with the right investors who can offer funding, investments, and perhaps even the capital required to scale your business.
5 Tips for Entrepreneurs on How to Scale Business Using Strategic Networking
Strategic networks are developed by creating win-win relationships with key decision-makers in the industry or a related field. As an entrepreneur, you can then analyze who will benefit from what your business offers and tap into opportunities that could drive your business to success. The idea is to capitalize on a networking space with potential exponential growth.
We have put together five essential tips to help you learn how you can use strategic networking to drive business growth:
Meet the Right People
Begin by outlining your target audience’s profile to check how they can help your business. You can start by contacting clients, stakeholders, leaders, and innovators in your existing network or perhaps try a networking event to form more niche networking groups. Virtual networking options through LinkedIn could also be a great way to find and build strong connections within the industry.
While meeting new people in a professional capacity, you need to be well-prepared to have value-add conversations around your business. Networking combines learning about the works of other business owners, innovators, or leaders while piquing their interests with your own. Consider preparing a short as well as long-form pitch that you can utilize based on the networking environment you are in.
Lead with Curiosity
Strategic networking is all about engaging in meaningful conversation. While a certain conversation may benefit you professionally, not all interactions need to be transactional. Connect with people and be curious about their work, experiences, and shared interests. This will also get you to learn more about your connections and how you can help each other.
If an interaction with a certain individual looks promising, find the right opportunity to share your contact details, such as an email address or phone number, for further discussions or possibly even business engagements. While some people may prefer phone calls or messages, email is a more professional way to follow up and build a strong business relationship.
Nurture Your Connections
Once you’ve built a professional connection, stay in touch and dedicate time to nurture and build that relationship. Sharing informative articles around similar interests, checking in on them occasionally, and sending them invitations to events, among other things, are ways to nurture the connection. As you seek connections to help your business grow, be prepared to do the same for others. Ultimately, you will find that building professional networks and maintaining relationships pays off.
Fostering professional networks is one of the most valuable assets for an entrepreneur. The key is to leverage networks and build partnerships that will prove favorable to business goals. If your goal is to strengthen your strategic networking skills and learn how to develop a strong professional network, explore online entrepreneurship courses at Emeritus and take your entrepreneurial journey to the next level!
By Neha Menon
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