Focus on: Networking

20 Jan 2016

 

If you're doing business in the Bath area, you're lucky to be part of a friendly and connected business community, with plenty of networking opportunities and sector support available (click here for more information on business groups in the Bath area).

Here's a list of ten reasons why networking can help you and your business.

1. Visibility

A crucial part of your marketing strategy, attending events can be key to any marketing campaign, if you get it right!
Regular and ongoing participation can be an important way to make sure that your proposition and your face appears in front of the same and the right people.

2. Market intelligence
You can use a business networking event to test ideas and themes and make sure that your business focus is aligned to the opportunities and desires of your target market.

3. Strategic alliances, joint ventures, and referrals.
However, it can't all happen in a few minutes over a bacon sandwich at a business breakfast. Networking is a great way to make new contacts but it is essential to follow up if you want to deepen the relationships which may actually benefit your business.

4. Keeping your knowledge fresh
Attending networking events given by your professional association (or associations related to your target market) allows you to glean information about current and future trends. The information you gather at these functions can help you to stay ahead of the competition.

5. Making connections to key influencers in your industry and within your target market
Be selective in your attendance at networking events.  It is worth trying to find groups which are relevant to your own sector.  We are lucky in the region to have some very active sector networks.  Please check out the sector network information from the West of England LEP to help you with your research to find out the best way of reaching the people you want to meet and you will get the biggest return on your investment of time, money, and energy.

6. Motivation
Many business networking events have speakers who are experts in fields that will be of interest to you and to your target market.  Some of these speakers can be the essential spark which encourages you to take the next step with your business.

7. Finding Suppliers
Remember that networking is a two-way process, and you may have some business needs which could be resolved at a networking event.  Business events can help you to sift through the great range of local accountants, designers, lawyers and other service providers and find people who connect well with you.

8. Recruitment
If you are looking to expand your business and hire staff, business networking events are a good starting point for your exploration of the marketplace. You will be able to enter into conversations with potential employees and get clear on what your needs are. You may well find what you are looking for right in front of you!

9. Sharpen your marketing message
Everyone has probably tried to develop an 'elevator pitch'. Business networking events can be a good place to try out your pitch and make sure it tells people what you want to say in a really concise way.

10. Socialising
With more and more people working from home remotely out of their attics, basements, or spare bedrooms, it has become increasingly important for us to socialize, recharge our batteries, and preserve our sanity.  Why not do business and network at the same time?