Networking business to business can occasionally feel uncomfortable or aimless. If you’re meeting with other business professionals, it may seem like there isn’t much to be gained from forming a connection or spending the time networking. Whereas networking to find a job or networking to learn a new skill is more clear-cut, networking for business can be more ambiguous. What’s the benefit of business networking? What are you trying to accomplish?
Networking business to business is an effective way to grow your brand and your business. And that’s the goal for most businesses and professionals networking with other businesses — to expand your business reach, audience, and customer-base. So how do you make the most of networking business to business to create the connections and relationships that help your business grow?
There are a lot of networking events out there. While each event offers its own benefits to your professional career, not every event is created equal. Look for networking groups or events that are designed to support business to business connections. While you can form lasting networking connections with professionals at conferences or general networking events, it takes more work on your part to do so. With a business networking group, you’re exclusively meeting other business people who are looking for the same thing.
Imagine your network of other professionals and business people is like a spider’s web. The more points of contact you have in your community, the bigger your web can become. This is the logic and the power behind building a referral network. As a single business-person, your ability to spread brand awareness and connect with customers is limited by your time, capacity, and geographic location. With a referral network, you can rely on businesspeople in other industries and areas to keep an ear out for your potential customers. By doing the same for them, you can build your businesses together without needing extra hands on your team or more time in your day.
Networking is one of those activities that you have to do often to see the best results. When you attend a conference or a one-time networking event, you can learn a lot and introduce yourself to many people. But networking is more than only professional development and collecting acquaintances. Getting the most from your business networking takes some commitment. Like any relationship, establishing lasting professional relationships requires time and shared goals. Look for networking opportunities that can support you in your business goals and provide a time and space for you to regularly commit to networking. By incorporating networking regularly into your schedule, you’re less likely to let it slide by or forget about your commitment.
For a regular and focused networking group that is dedicated to helping you and your business grow, check out 4BR business networking groups. We’re a networking organization that helps our members find success in their businesses with a supportive group and a focus on referrals.