Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients or customers. Business networking benefits are the intangible gains made by communicating with other professionals in or relating to your industry.
Often, it is the networking efforts of a business owner that yields the most results in small businesses. There are many other advantages to networking—of the many potential gains to be made, the sharing of knowledge is the most beneficial.
To reap the rewards of a network, it is important to understand what business networking benefits you can gain and how they can help your business to boost sales, increase efficiency and morale, and build awareness of your brand.
What Is Business Networking?
Business networking is a term that refers to meeting other business owners, potential suppliers, or other professionals who have business experiences—to help you grow your business. Networking gives you a pool of experts that range from competitors to clients, and allows you to offer something to them; hopefully in exchange for their services, advice, knowledge, or contacts.
Developing relationships as a business owner and offering assistance to others does more than give you potential clients or generate referrals. Networking assists you in identifying opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures, or new areas of expansion for your business.
How Does Business Networking Work?
Networking events or local business luncheons present you with opportunities to find others who are in similar circumstances as you work to grow your business. These events are generally put together for the purpose of introducing new concepts and methods being used while providing a platform for local business people to meet and exchange ideas.
When you meet someone, be sure to exchange business cards, and follow up later discussing points or topics brought up in conversations you may have had with them. After a few conversations, you may be able to bring up the issues you are facing. If they open up discussions first, you might be able to begin exchanging information, seeking knowledge, or exchanging business contacts.
Most business people are optimistic and positive. Regular association with such people can be a great morale boost, particularly in the difficult early phases of a new business. You’ll find that many, if not all, business owners have experienced similar trials of ownership.
You should not only attend the meetings of your networking group regularly but go prepared to offer something of value to the group. Choose the networking medium that’s best for you.
What Are the Benefits of Business Networking?
Business networking might allow you to create awareness of or keep abreast of the latest trends or technology in your industry. A network can also provide you with professional mentors or contacts who might be able to assist you with problems you might need help with.
For example, if your business needs the services of a bookkeeper, accountant, or lawyer you may find the ideal candidate through your network. If your business needs equity financing you may be able to find an angel investor or venture capitalist through networking channels.
Networking is ideal for expanding your knowledge by taking advantage of the viewpoints and prior experience of others. For instance, if you are thinking of exporting your products or services, you may be able to get some valuable advice from someone else who has done similar business internationally.
Types of Business Networking
As you attend events, look for indicators that someone might be in a position to benefit your business, where you have something to offer as well. This could simply be conversations about your industry’s market conditions as well as the trends each of you may have noticed within your industry. You can work together to develop an understanding of the market you both operate in.
Look for and attend some business seminars—cultivate new working relationships with your new peers and business associates, then communicate on a regular basis to help you all stay current.
The best business networking groups operate as exchanges of business information, ideas, and support. There are many groups online that offer networking services and communities—LinkedIn is an example of a large networking group or site that can bring professionals together.
Organizations exist that are comprised of like-minded individuals in similar industries and fields of work. These organizations may have entry fees or other selection requirements, but they can prove vital for small business owners looking to expand their network.
Since we assist our clients reach their target audience, we have since came up with a unique platform to help you and your business called African Networking Platform (ANP). ANP welcomes all senior business people including startups.
We do however invite Prospective Members to consider that we ideally seek relative seniority / preferably decision makers. It is by application only after visiting the Group.
Members should have the ability to help actively forge genuinely useful introductions,
- Members should be of good standing in their field.
- Members should ideally have a broad circle of contacts.
- We particularly welcome Members who have the ability to make purchasing decisions and have a network.
- Membership is by applciation only.
NO SECTOR LOCKOUT
Collaboration is far more effective. We invite prospective members to consider the variety of a group’s membership before applying to join and use their own judgement if there are ‘competing’ businesses. We use common sense when reviewing applications and may sometimes recommend that an applicant join a different group.
PRICING / FEES
The huge benefits of a networking group that meets regularly are very well documented. Just one great referral can easily cover the cost of being part of ANP. for a year.
New Members are asked to commit for 12-months and can be billed every 3-months. There is a one-off joining fee of just R3200 ex vat. However, Members can also be billed R1000 every after 3 months.
The joining fee is a one-off R3200. It’s a rolling 12-months contract and written notice is required 1-month prior to leaving. We encourage Members to provide a substitute on their behalf if they need to miss a meeting.
We will be having two types of meetings;
1. Zoom Meeting – Online
2. Physical Meeting – Which will be done in South Africa, Eswatini and any other country that Africa AD Agency decides on, we will facilitate all meetings, set dates and update all our members ontime in means to help them prepare. Members will be permitted to request special requests like becoming a speaker, advertising and promoting their own businesses, getting featured on a monthly Newsletter getting database of all members in means to network, request for referrals and getting new business.
HOW TO BECOMING A FULL MEMBER?
Please email: email@example.com to request for a 2 page form to fill up. You can also call us on +27665688595 or WhatsApp us on: +26876595341. A website shall be developed soon which will be made easy for members to use.
– A strong friendly support structure
– Establishing lasting connections with other business people
– Access to a database of decision makers and senior management.
– One on One Meetings
– Mastermind Groups: Small group meetings to gain business insights.
– Expert Speakers.
– Sponsorship and Partnership opportunities
Platform Created by Africa AD Agency