Article by: Mr.Pankaj Harwansh, Director, BNI-Navi Mumbai
Networking isn’t just about just selling. It can open up a whole new world of opportunities, whether it’s a new job or a chance to start your own business. That’s why it’s important to have a clear purpose for why you want to build a strong network.
If business networking, is you need, you should consider that Business has a tentacled existence and every arm of it requires attention. Businesses that flourish do things differently, one amongst them is connecting with the right people when it comes to sourcing business, vendors or recruiting. Let us see how business owners can rely on business networking platforms for a holistic approach and reach the right people.
What is the nature of your business?
To decide which networking platform will work best for your business, you’ll need to consider the nature of your business. If you’re a business-to-consumer company or a business-to-business company. Having done that, you can join a manufacturers guild, a coaches forum, or a different network suiting your business need.
Are you looking for faster conversions?
Small businesses have to be extra careful with their advertising budgets. They can’t afford to fail often, so they need to make sure that their advertising budget is working hard for them. Besides running after advertising, networking comes as an economic option and in the latter, you spend one-to-one time with your target audience, leading to faster conversions.
What are your Client Demographics?
Have you identified your client demographics and acted on the same concentration? By understanding who your customer is, you can more easily figure out what platform would work best for reaching them. Once you’ve decided on a platform, put some time and effort into it.
Example – Promoting nappies, and bedtime story books in Mom’s groups as well as kitty parties.
Create a Right Channel for promoters
Educate your members about your business and let them act as your marketing team in sourcing business for you. Empower these team members through your client testimonies and the value you bring to your service.
Accepting invitations from different networking sources is not enough to establish a connection. Doing a small background work on what works best for your company’s product or services can help you create dedicated business opportunities.
Offline Business Network
- Alumni Group
- Industrial Associations
- Start-up Forums
- Women’s Business Group
- SME and MSME Groups
Online Networking Platforms
Networking platforms are preferred online now for the ease of their operations. There are many online professional networking platforms that you can opt for depending on your purpose. Let travel or time management not be a reason for not networking.
While LinkedIn tops the chart as a professional online networking app, many apps are following closely like –
- Shapr – To find people with the same location, profession, and interest.
- Bizzabo (a virtual conference app where you can meet and connect with professionals. This app also allows access to LinkedIn profiles of other attendees connected at a conference.
- Bizfluence – An app for Business, career, and professional networking.
It is all about finding the right network and spending the right time strategically can the business network come to your full advantage.