People sitting at table with laptops

Networking is creating beneficial relationships and the hope for possible partnerships, this is done through meetings and networking seminars. These seminars are a great time for different businesses to find people to build a relationship with, at these events there is normally a presentation to display what you’re business has to offer. Afterwards there is normally many conversations and business cards exchanged but, the most important part during the conversations is making yourself memorable. Networking can lead to joint ventures, partnerships, or new areas of expansion. Small businesses benefit the most from networking because even if they do not have any businesses interested, they still benefit from word of mouth marketing.

Different levels of businesses network differently, the biggest differences is where and how. There are many ways to network whether it is at an event or just directly contacting a business to build a relationship. Local businesses benefit more from direct face to face networking because it leaves the other business with a face to the small business. For small businesses especially it is very important to know what they are worth and letting the other businesses know what you intend to get out of networking. This is to be done so both sides can benefit from networking.

Many people start conversations and make it awkward, starting the conversation with an icebreaker such as a compliment of their business or of a clothing item they could be wearing. After that start asking about different things that relate to your business and ask questions about their business, but keep in mind that building a relationship is important so refer to sports or another topic outside of work. Asking for what you want is important too, knowing what your business could benefit from is the reason for networking. Sometimes it is easier to network at a seminar if you have another co-worker that shares similar traits of building relationships. The last thing to do in a conversation is to find a reason to follow up with the person keeping a relationship.

Making money does come from networking but having relationships with other businesses will give you more information on other possible partners or other businesses and that’s better than money when networking. Networking does not mean automatic business partnerships, the majority of the time there isn’t anything other than a relationship made. Being negative in a conversation will definitely not lead to a relationship, being positive and keeping the conversation going is a guarantee that the person will remember you, not because of your business but because you have personality.