Ted Hickman

The Importance of Networking



It’s too easy to sit at your desk and between watching an endless torrent of cat videos on YouTube, send out emails. That’s some sage advice I extracted from listening to the audiobook version of Duncan Bannatyne’s autobiography. I’ve come to learn that it’s true, but it’s not about just that particular lesson of going out there into the market and trying to find clients there instead of firing off emails.

There’s an underlying lesson in networking, which has importance that goes way beyond what the typical person may understand.

Establishing direct routes to your clients

It’s almost some kind of a cliché that networking is important because of the potential it has to help you establish direct routes to your market and your clients. It’s just one of those mainstays of the business world, so much so that it can often get overlooked. It can get hidden in plain view…

So to bring its importance back onto the horizon, networking as a means through which to establish direct routes to market can teach you just how much easier it is to make a sale if you’ve made your offer in more of a personal manner than something like firing off an email sales pitch. Certain business people have two phones, for example, one of which is one of those old dual band ones which might need new batteries quite regularly, in which case there is probably not a single soul of this ilk who subscribes to a mailing list about riveting content covering the topic of dual band phones! And do you know where there is a high concentration of such entrepreneurs? It’s at a networking session…

Discovering new routes to market

As perhaps an extension of establishing direct routes to your clients and to the market, networking is important in that it can help you find brand new routes to market. There are certain sales which can only be made in a setting such as a business breakfast, for instance, or certain relationships with prospective partners and suppliers which can only be signed off on in such networking environments. Sometimes all it really takes is making the right connection with just one fellow attendee and your business could blast right off into space from there.

Building up network capital

Network capital can only be built up through networking, although there are different ways through which the actual networking can play out. What is network capital?

Network capital as depicted in a practical setting is being able to go to a supplier and ask them to supply you with the raw materials or supplies you need to run your business on the agreement that you’ll only pay after a certain period of time, which means that your immediate overheads are cut right out!

Building credibility

That in a sense spills over into the construction of credibility, but credibility transcends the construction of network capital as depicted above. Networking bears the importance of providing a platform for you to establish the kinds of relationships which associate credibility with you and your business.

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