Many people think that business networking is for companies that want to sell to other businesses. Here’s why it’s also a great opportunity for businesses that sell directly to their consumers and end users ...
Networking works for both business to business AND business to consumer!
It's time well spent, of course. Busy business owners who sell directly to their clients might be concerned that they won't have time for regular networking. That's important because you can't be an effective networker unless you make a commitment to it.
"You need to build relationships and support other business owners!"
However, if you want your business to grow sustainably then you need a reliable team of professionals that you can trust. They can recommend you to others and give you advice. It's a very effective and (dare we say it?) organic way to grow your business.
Spending time networking is a worthwhile investment for the future. Many companies that sell directly to their customers are described as B2C or business to consumer. That's a very general description that doesn't really reflect what's unique about your business.
When you started your business you will have been:
passionate about your product or service
convinced there was a better way to meet your customers' needs
When you consider other options for promotions and advertising and the cost and time it will take to create, deliver, and measure your campaigns then being part of an effective network will compare very well.
"It'll give you a new perspective too!"
Whatever your business model you can share ideas in a safe environment with people who can give you the benefit of their experience and suggest alternatives that you might not have considered.
If you make celebration cakes, for example, you could provide a reminder service for your clients for birthdays and anniversaries. If there's a virtual assistant in your network they can coordinate and manage it all for you and regular orders will roll in.
Have you ever considered selling or taking bookings online? If there isn't a website builder in the room, someone will certainly be able to recommend an expert who will provide you with an excellent service.
Do you provide physical fitness training or sports massage? You could ask for introductions to local businesses who could offer your services as an employee benefit which will also help to keep their staff happy and fit for work.
You can even ask your networking team to make suggestions to improve your business or to introduce it to a new market.
So, take the next step in your business journey. Come along to meet the BNI Sterling team.
I am committed to communications - personally and professionally. I want to hear what you have to say and to help you to be heard. That's why people tell me their life's story on the bus or train. I love it!
At work, I'm respected as a senior leader, strategist and innovator. I am effective, calm under pressure and confident. I revel in everything from strategic analysis of communications objectives and options to copywriting and the detailed planning and delivery of successful projects and integrated campaigns. I'm very fussy too - about creativity, quality, value and consistency - they all make a difference to results.
At play, I'm learning to paint (slowly) and enjoy cooking, photography, travelling and writing (of course). Most of all, I enjoy learning about all the very special people I meet along the way.
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