When starting a business, we have all heard that networking can be a big help.
I am here to tell you that networking can be the difference between success and immediate failure.
So what is networking, why is it effective and what types are there?
What Is Business Networking?
When referring to computers networking is a way of electronically linking two or more machines in order for their services, programs and ideas to be shared freely. This is not much different than business networking. The dictionary defines business networking as; supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest. So instead of machines we link ourselves in order to support and assist one another.
Why Is Business Networking Effective?
Networking is effective because it can provide insight, knowledge and resources that may be critical in the startup or operation of a business. Without your network, you might not have access to this valuable assistance.
For example, consider a person who wants to find a location to lease but has no prior experience leasing a commercial property. If they have a person in their network of contacts who does have experience in leasing a business space, this could help them get the right location at the right price. That is one of the keys to successfully opening a new retail company. So, in this example, the entrepreneur's business network was a key enabler of success…or at least helped to avoid a quick failure.
What Forms of Business Networking Are Out There?
Besides basic business networking, many people engage in social networking as a way of making contacts.
This can be helpful but only if the people in your social network share your desires or have skills that can assist you in achieving your goals. It goes the other way as well. You need to have marketable skills in order to be selected to be in network. This is one of the ways in which social networking is different than business networking.
In social networking people are primarily focused on people's attributes that make them good friends. In business networking you try to find others who have attributes that you can benefit from and friendship seems to be a sidebar.
Start Networking Today
So, now you understand what business networking is and why it is so effective.
Now, get out there and start building a base of people to network with. You never know when you may need the help and advice.