Networking is essential to building business relationships and building those relationships is critical to your success and the success of your business community.
As small businesses in rural Alberta we have to work together to succeed. We don't have the large number of resources that larger communities have so when we collaborate on projects together we save time, we save money, we increase our customer base and our community wants to see us working together. Partnerships and project collaboration happens when people get comfortable with each other and understand each other's businesses, and this happens through consistent networking. Community strength is a wonderful by-product of businesses collaborating and shouldn't be undervalued.
Helps refine your proposition
Networking helps you figure out what your community needs and how your business can meet those needs. What are you offering and what is the feedback you are getting from your networking? You learn a lot from listening to other business owners and helps you to process your own business needs and offerings.
Improve your marketing
Networking with other business owners and managers will help your marketing efforts. We discuss how to reach our clients, what to offer our customers, what worked as a promotion and what was a waste of time and money. We share all this information in hopes everyone is better able to make informed marketing decisions.
Other business owners can understand your struggles and your successes.
It's great to have a group who understands how much work went into your littlest victories. And, its good to have some support when you have a crisis. This group doesn't just happen but develops over time with your networking efforts. If people don't know you, they don't know how to help you and vice versa.
Sometimes you get stuck in a rut and you need another business owner to give you a fresh perspective. This advice comes easy if you have developed those business relationships through networking. People invested in their business community don't just want to take they want to give too.
Give, and get, business
Networking is great way to find new clients and customers and it's not just the people in the room but the referrals you get in between the networking. When people know you, they know what you, they know what your speciality is then they refer their friends, family and clients to you. You, in turn, get to do the same. Its a win for everyone when we, as a business community, come together to promote local businesses.
Where and How
The next Stettler Board of Trade Business Mixer is May 23, 2019 at The Shoe Closet & Boutique at 6:30pm and we hope to see everyone there. In the meantime, feel empowered to reach out to a local business owner you don't know and invite them to coffee or go see their business and get to know them and what they do. Networking doesn't have to be a formal event, it can be as simple as popping in and introducing yourself and grand as you want. Start small and find your way but the most important thing is just start!