Do you live in Michigan and own a small business?
If so, networking is the best way to build relationships with potential customers and grow your company.
Networking has many benefits for businesses and individuals, including increased revenue, improved visibility, better customer service skills, new contacts, more marketable employees, and more!
This blog post will discuss nine reasons why every Michigan small business should be networking in their community.
1. Meet new people
Meet people who might want to buy your product or service: Networking is the most obvious reason of all. The only way you can sell anything is by meeting someone who needs what you have! So when meeting new people, avoid the temptation of hard-selling them and focus on connecting with them instead.
2. Networking is free
You have to love the cost of networking. It is free to attend many networking events, and you can usually get a lot out of it for the price!
- Net-work: work done by two or more people on behalf of each other; cooperation among individuals with different skills to achieve common goals. Notice how there is nothing about spending or buying anything.
- Networker (noun): someone who builds social networks through their connections at events such as conferences to gain access into new circles, which will help them grow professionally. Again, free.
- Networking Event(NOUN): an organized meeting where businesspeople meet others interested either personally connecting socially over drinks, food, snacks, etc., often held during conference breaks between sessions when there are many attendees from all around the world gathered together under one roof. The term “networking” describes meeting new people and making connections.
3. Into the future
Networking can have short-term results, but it is defiantly a long-term game. You’ll make connections that can help you in the future. I know I’ve had contacts I’ve made networking become close friends over the years.
Networking is about building relationships. You’ll provide a service or product that someone needs, and they might not know it yet, but you will have the opportunity because of your networking efforts! It’s all in how well we can listen and take notes on what people say when talking with them at events. Make it a point to get to know people and not just the company they represent.
4. Feedback before you start a company
Networking is a great way to get feedback on your business idea before you start it up. For example, I’ve had people tell me they want my product, and the only thing stopping them from buying was that there wasn’t enough inventory or shipping costs were too high for their location in Michigan! It’s like having an angel investor but without any of those strings attached because it’s just advice, not money, being given out freely with no return expected back at all. That’s what networking can do if done right – give us insight into our businesses. Hence, we know how best to move forward when making decisions about pricing, etc., and then find ways around obstacles instead of getting stuck wondering why something isn’t working as well.
5. You never know who might be looking for someone just like you!
Long-term business clients can be found while networking in your community. You never know who might be looking for someone just like you! If your business is in the Detroit area, there are many opportunities to network with other companies. The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers various networking events throughout Metro-Detroit and Southeast MI that can help grow relationships within our community while providing valuable resources on how to grow your business.
6. Get out there and meet people face-to-face
The more you put into your network, the better it will be for everyone involved. It’s a win-win situation! “If we’re willing to give our time and knowledge away freely without expecting anything in return–it’ll come back around again when needed most.” -Chris Dyki from Patient Empowered Dentistry.
7. New people, new perspectives
Networking events will have you bumping elbows from different backgrounds, industries, and professions. You’ll be exposed to new people with unique perspectives on things that you may not have thought of before-even if they’re in the same industry as yours!
8. Professional development
Networking provides opportunities for professional development through workshops, seminars, panel discussions, etc., so even if nothing else comes from networking other than learning something new about yourself or your industry, it was worth it!
In addition to learning new things, networking can also help you find mentors and advisors. These people will be able to offer guidance on your career path or business decisions that may not have been available otherwise!
9. Groups explicitly targeting small businesses
These groups exist because they want to give back by helping those starting to succeed! Networking is a great way to find out about new opportunities, as well. The people you meet will give insight into what’s going on in their industry and may even offer connections that can help your business grow! Some groups specifically target small businesses because they want those starting with the best possible chance of success.
I hope you had some excellent takeaways from this article!
If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and other businesses in your network. If there is anything else I can help make your small business a success let me know. -JH