Does the thought of attending a networking event send you in to a cold sweat? Do you get a a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach at the mere mention of the word?
I can understand that walking into a room of strangers can be intimidating and daunting. But the benefits of networking for a small business far outweigh those uncomfortable feelings.
Here are some of the benefits:
– Increased sales. This is probably the main reason most business owners participate in networking. Sales happen through networking and are usually higher quality.
– Opportunities. Networking can open up other opportunities so think outside the square. It can lead to business partnerships, collaborations, referrals and even speaking opportunities.
– Increased learning and knowledge. Networking is a great opportunity to learn from others. It’s a chance to get advice and expertise from people you may not normally have access to.
– Raised business profile. Regularly attending networking events allows people to get to know you and your business and builds your reputation as a knowledgeable and supportive business owner.
– Increased confidence. The more you network the more confident you will feel in talking to others, which as a small business owner is vital skill.
If you’re still not convinced. Why not try online networking first. Twitter hours or #hours are a great way to network from the comfort of your home or office and once you feel comfortable try an offline event.