When it comes to business, you’ve probably heard the famous phrase: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Who you know can often get you connected with top professionals in your field, build relationships with other businesses and even land you high-level jobs. Who you know matters, but how do you get to know them in the first place?
The answer: through networking. Networking serves as a critical component of any business field, from marketing, to the paper industry and even into the construction field. No matter who you are or what you do, networking can help you and your business grow. Today we dive into the big benefits of joining a networking group.
Connect the business.
Of course, the greatest reason for joining a networking group is the ability to connect your business with other businesses and professionals in the community. Whether you own a business or not, joining a networking group gives you firsthand contact with other industry-leading experts, giving you a leg up for business opportunities in the future.
Gain business advice.
When you connect with other professionals, you have the opportunity to learn valuable business advice from those who might have more experience or knowledge than you. Advice like this can’t be found in a simple self-help article online or a quick podcast in the car. It’s personal, direct-to-you advice that is invaluable when working with or building a business of your own.
Do market research.
In a networking group, chances are there might be one or two other professionals in a similar field as you. This gives you the perfect chance to do market research. Bounce ideas off of the associates you make in your group, explore new ventures and listen to genuine feedback from those who may or may not be in your market—but have a unique perspective.
Expand your knowledge.
What happens when you gain business advice and do market research in this networking group? Simple. You expand your knowledge base. And the more you grow in field, industry or business knowledge, the better opportunities you’ll have later on. Through networking, you have access to a shared knowledge base by connecting with like-minded individuals on a professional and personal level.
Earn referral partners.
Of course, the more businesses you connect with, the more referrals you can earn for your own company. Networking groups often have agreements to refer any businesses or individuals to each other before going outside of the “inner circle.” Sources like this are a gold mine when it comes to gaining and retaining new customers—who may not have heard of you otherwise.
Raise company exposure.
Whether you own your own business or work with a company you care about, being involved in a networking group allows you to raise the company’s exposure in the community. Get the business name and image out there by connecting with individuals from various fields.
Enjoy membership benefits.
Finally, many networking groups often have big benefits for members, such as discounts, coupons, swag and other perks—not to mention those guaranteed referrals we mentioned. These benefits alone are worth joining a networking group, as they unify and foster strong relationships within.
There are lots of benefits to joining a networking group in your community. No matter who you are, where you work or what your business journey looks like, consider joining a networking group near you.