Communication and networking may not seem a priority for busy SMEs struggling against economic headwinds at the moment.
However, building up a network can be a way to generate business, give your company a higher profile and develop knowledge of what is happening in the industry.
There can be opportunities to look at recruiting top staff, get information on the latest technology and advice on finance and potential for growth.
Networking can benefit you when you:
- Join a leads group where members gather on a regular basis for the purpose of giving and getting business referrals
- Join a networking group that focuses on providing charitable projects and involves the likes of Lions Club International and Rotary International. They attract high flyers from some of the most well-known organisations and could provide invaluable leads
- Seek to recruit talent. Many of those attending events will be looking for a move. They could be some of the best talent available in your sector. Attracting the best staff will help your business grow.
Making the right connections
Attending conferences is great for obtaining knowledge and should be used to professionally showcase your business.
In addition, the increase in virtual networking means there are even more opportunities to meet local business owners at virtual events, with many free to attend.
You can connect through social media with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and perhaps the most business focussed of the lot, LinkedIn.
Networking allows you to gain knowledge of other products, build up contact and attract new customers, so where possible, always provide a way of getting in touch directly with your contact, whether it’s your LinkedIn, email address or phone number.
If networking is new to you, visit as many events as possible and find out if the group will fit in with your business model. When that decision has been made, you then need a strategy to raise your company’s profile at these events by:
- Delivering a short PowerPoint presentation
- Distributing business cards and marketing literature
- Displaying any testimonials from customers
Your accountant can also be a great source of networking opportunities and could help you to connect with other advisers, suppliers or businesses that are aligned with your own objectives.
More widely, many accountants can expand beyond the number to give you a deeper level of advice on the strategies you can take to accelerate growth.
Ready to go for growth? Contact us for advice on expanding your business.