Being an SME owner can be lonely or even panic-inducing at times. However, networking and collaborating with others can help you to maintain a positive mindset. Reaching out to fellow SME owners can be especially helpful during periods when you feel isolated while building your business.
Anyone who has ever experienced a team-building exercise should be familiar with the following cliches:
My personal favourite goes to: There is no “I” in TEAM.
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Here are the 7 ‘I’s that illustrate why SMEs should start networking themselves to prospective clients or collaborative partners.
When you are starting a new business, inspiration can hit at any time, such as in the shower, reading an article on the internet or identifying a gap in the market from personal experience.
Sometimes, good ideas come to us from simply sharing what we do with a fellow business owner who offers their feedback or advice. Creative juices may begin to flow when you workshop ideas with another person.
Investment comes in many forms – financial investment in a business, investment of someone’s time and expertise, or simply investment in yourself. A belief in what you are doing and a desire to be successful will attract like-minded entrepreneurial kindred spirits – all of whom you may meet through networking.
Be a sponge! Soak up all the atmosphere of the room and observe and then meet people of differing demographics and industries.
If you do not learn something new from every networking event you attend, you are wasting a valuable opportunity to learn and expand.
Networking events showcase industries and people of all shapes and sizes. Generally, people are there to talk about their product or service that they created after identifying a need.
Networking provides an opportunity to be innovative and to learn more innovative methods that will help your business. This is particularly important for the so-called ‘new economy’ methods encouraging digitisation, further encompassing the need for SMEs to be innovative to stay ahead of their competitors.
When you attend a networking event, it is a great opportunity to see what else is out there and who your competitors are. It might also serve the purpose to identify potential new clients and/or suppliers of goods and services.
Never underestimate the power of insight. Constructive feedback from a stranger can bring to mind things that you may not have otherwise considered.
Many years ago, a mentor encouraged me to make a telephone call that changed my life and the course of my business.
I’m just going to throw out another tried and tested cliche: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Planning arises out of a desire to improve, and this leads me to my final reason why networking for SME is so important…
Networking provides a great opportunity to grow and improve your skill sets to achieve the results you desire. The event may revolve around a particular workshop that provides useful advice and information that is highly relevant to your business.
Expand your network by getting in touch with a Biz Friend to help transform your business to the next level today.