No matter what stage your business is at, networking is a very important part of it. Those starting out with a new business need to build up some contacts and establish themselves, whereas older businesses should always be seeking to expand and promote themselves further by networking on a regular basis. Here are some of the best ways you can network your business.
- It’s a two-way street
Networking isn’t the same as getting customers and serving clients. Networking is all about building relationships with people who can help you, while also being prepared to help them too. Don’t be surprised if you have contacts who ask you to do favours for them, and you might be expected to speak at business meetings just as often as they will come and speak at yours. However, it’s still important to stay authentic and genuine, as people can quite easily see through someone who is fake.
- Hold regular events and meetings
It’s easy to hold corporate events in Melbourne, thanks to all the venues, which are available and suitable for hosting conferences and other functions. If you have a long list of contacts that you’ve been in touch with but have either never met properly or never had the chance to learn more about them, host a conference and invite them to come and speak or just attend. You can have a business dinner afterwards or other social event where you can encourage networking between all parties.
- Offer work experience and volunteer placements
Depending on the type of business you’re running, you might be able to offer volunteer placements or internships to students and young people. This is great for your business, since you won’t have to pay a full-time member of staff to do simple tasks around the office or admin jobs, and it gives young people the chance to get some experience. The placements only need to be for a week or two, but it’s a good way of networking with colleges, schools and other groups.
- Be as knowledgeable as possible
More people will want to get involved with you and your business if you are knowledgeable and have some good information and skills to offer. People are therefore more likely to help you in different ways that you might need, and you can return the favour by advising them on different strategies and issues they may have. This might involve talking to senior people, reading more books and documents, and taking extra time at the end of the day to learn more.
- Know what you want
Apart from being able to help others, you should also know what you want for your business. This will not only allow you to network more accurately and find people who are more suitable to have links with your company, but you won’t be left wondering how your contacts can help you and what they can do for your business.