Whether you run a business in New York, Chicago, Dallas, or Miami, you’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of networking. Despite the fact that a lot of promotion and marketing is done online these days, networking continues to be an essential resource, because nothing compares with face to face contact.
It is absolutely true. No matter how fancy your business cards or your website, they’re simply not as powerful as an engaging conversation with somebody who can relate to your vision. This is why you should be seeking out environments which support and encourage contact with potential clients, investors, vendors, and suppliers.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of networking and what it can do for your business.
Increases Your Profile
If you’re just starting out in a new region or city, the best plan is to try and raise your profile fast. The aim should be to get on the radar of anybody who might have the money and the power to fund future projects. When you’re operating in a market as busy as that in New York, sometimes, it is all about who can yell the loudest. Check out www.servcorp.com/en/virtual-offices/ to browse some of the fantastic co-working environments located in the city. They are ideal places to network.
Generation of Referrals
One thing which online marketing definitely doesn’t do as well as face to face contact is trigger referrals. This is the same as ‘word of mouth’ promotion. You might attend a pitch night or networking event and do nothing but talk with guests all evening. Even though you haven’t done anything out of the ordinary, you may find that this is all that’s needed to secure you a handful of valuable referrals. In other words, people like to talk. If you make a big impression on their night, they’ll talk about you (to other important people).
It is also true that the best way to create opportunities is to form connections with people. Joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, speaking and writing gigs, business and asset sales; they can all grow out of chance conversations. It is useful to remember that most investors and big-market players aren’t out targeting companies for specific roles. Like everybody else, they frequent co-working environments and networking events with an open mind. The right interaction is what sparks ideas and ambitious plans for the future.
A Wider Circle of Influence
It is worth remembering that, whenever you connect with somebody new, you’re becoming a part of their chain of contacts too. The business networking website LinkedIn provides the perfect example of how this works. You befriend an entrepreneur and, even though you don’t know any of the people in their chain, the opportunity to create links opens up because you have a mutual contact. So, networking widens your circle of influence and allows you to get closer to high-level individuals.
The Chance to Give Back
Yet, don’t forget that the power of networking is two directional. As a business owner, you also have a responsibility to support young entrepreneurs and talented people. If you find yourself wondering what the benefit of giving back might be, just ask yourself why your current sponsors and investors gave you a chance – and what might be different if they had decided otherwise. Recruit local talent, help fellow business owners with problem solving, and build up a reputation for being strong, generous, and an asset to the community.
Why Virtual Offices Are the Best Place to Network
Virtual offices have always been fantastic places for networking, but they are also increasingly being used as scouting grounds by investors. They are cheap to use, do not demand a contract from tenants, and they provide access to high-end resources. So, while you’re taking advantage of the super-fast broadband and media tools, you can also do some self-promotion.