A business network is a group of business-minded individuals who come together to share ideas and opinions, and collaborate for mutual benefit. Owning a successful business can be hard, there are ups and downs. However, a business network, or an informal association with other business people in your community can be a valuable relationship, built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding, and a win-win relationship for everyone.
Business networking helps to build powerful business relationships in the following ways:
1. Build a network
Build a network by getting in touch with other business people whom you have something in common (i.e., community or industry). You can leverage your membership in person or use
social media. Apart from Facebook and Twitter, you can use LinkedIn to get in touch with other business people in your field or join existing online communities, start your own community, or just build informal contacts.
2. Build reputation and trust
A successful relationship works on trust. You need to build trust with other members of the communities, and build a reputation for being helpful and reliable.
3. Think long-term
When you are part of a business network, you develop contacts that can help you get business deals. This will not happen overnight. You need to develop a strong relationship so that the other party can trust you. You need to think long-term, and look for a long-standing beneficial relationship to give you results.
4. Use cross promotions
A cross promotion is where you help someone else through a combined business effort, where both businesses collaborate for sales promotion. When you are part of a network, you can use cross-promotion for a mutually beneficial relationship. Such relations with other business people would help you to grow your business.
5. Follow through
Follow-up with the leads or referrals your network partners provide, so that you can develop new businesses with the help of your network. Also, follow-up with members of your network to get leads. Effective follow-up is a must to gain benefits of the network. It makes sense for a businessman to be part of a network. Networking helps to build relationships and can make the business grow.