|How Networking Works|
|Benefits of Networking|
|Different Kinds of Networks|
|Finding Network Partners|
|Be an Active Participant in Networks|
Active networking and participation in network partnerships can help you meet people and build mutually beneficial business relationships.
For a start-up or small business, networking can provide a lifeline of support and business generation through benefits such as:
benchmarking opportunities against competitors and similar-sized businesses
comparing and discussing issues of common interest, eg legal and regulatory developments, staff retention, supplier networks, customer service and computerisation
developing ideas, innovation and knowledge of best practice
staff exchanges and secondments, eg an expert from an association or business network may join your business to oversee a specific project or you may second a graduate joiner to a supplier to learn about the supply process
joint skills development for staff in your business sector which can save costs across the board because of economies of scale
raising your business profile by becoming an established and regular networking member, getting your face (and the business name) known and being an active networking partner
expanding markets by generating business contacts such as customers, suppliers and partners
Establishing overseas partnerships, eg through international exhibitions and conferences
You have the opportunity to further your personal, professional and career development and your business' growth by learning from other's experience, and how they have dealt with similar problems or situations.
When it comes to seeking advice or help to address a weakness or need - for example people development - some businesses are reluctant to participate in a network for fear of being embarrassed by admitting a problem or a competitor taking advantage. However, for most businesses that participate in network partnerships, the benefits of taking an active role usually outweigh any potential concerns or reasons not to network.
Business Networking. Crown Copyright © 2004-2013