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Whether you are happy in your current position or looking for a new job, having a professional network is extremely valuable. There are many ways you can benefit from building your network ranging from confidence building, sharing ideas as well as career advice and gaining access to job opportunities that you may not have otherwise come across.
Regardless of what stage of your career you’re at or what sector you work in, building and maintaining professional relationships with a wide range of people will help you to grow as an individual and in your career.
What is a business network?
Your network includes anyone who you interact with whether it is for professional or social reasons. A business network therefore, would be all of those individuals who have a connection to your work whether it be a potential customer, industry peers, clients and colleagues.
A business network might also include a number of companies who work together to achieve certain goals. The idea is that a collaborative approach will provide mutual benefits and this is true of all kinds of networks. If you work for a company that’s involved in this type of network you’ll have lots of opportunities to grow your own connections.
Why is Networking Important?
The age old phrase; It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, rings very true when it comes to discussing the benefits of networking. Having strong, reliable relationships with people both inside and outside of your organisation is beneficial for so many reasons.
Perhaps you work in a Dealership and are hosting an event for a new product launch. Having industry connections will enable you to attract a higher volume of potential customers which could in turn help you sell more vehicles.
Maybe you’re just starting your career path in the Motor Trade and want to learn as much as you can about the industry, its customer base and how your competition operates. Immersing yourself in the world of other industry professionals is a fantastic way to do this and to begin building your network at the same time. It’ll allow you to share ideas, get your name out there and improve your communication skills.
Alternatively, you could be a manager looking to take on a new member of staff. Having a strong network could save you costs on job advertising or using a recruiter because it’s highly likely that someone within your network will be able to recommend a high quality candidate.
Equally, you may be happy in your current role and not actually looking for a new job but someone within your network might come to you with a fantastic opportunity. You’ve stood out to them as a talented individual during the time you’ve known them and they hold the key to the next stage in your career!
Growing your Network
There are lots of different ways to network from attending events, communicating with people online or meeting up with new and old connections for a coffee. Find what works best for you and then schedule some time dedicated to meeting new people and growing your network.
Lots of networking groups are specific to a certain sector or region so do some research and find out what’s happening in your area. The best way to start building relationships here is to make introductions, exchange contact details and following up afterwards.
Networking doesn’t always have to be quite so formal. You may start a conversation with someone randomly in your everyday life and discover you could support each other from a professional context.
Professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn are also useful for networking whether it be connecting directly with people or starting a conversation on one of your existing contact’s post.
You never know when you’ll need to draw upon your network but the bigger it is, the more chance that someone will be able to help.
Get in touch today to discuss your requirements.