Ramp up your networking


Although the New Year can be a slow sales period, it can be the ideal time to build up your networking relationships.

There are three main types of networking: same-sector, entrepreneur and online. A good businessperson should take part in all these networking activities. You learn from other business owners, enhance the reputation of your business and find new clients.

Same-sector networking

Networking with others within your business sector means sharing experience and ideas. Many business areas have trade associations that regularly meet up to hear guest speakers. These events are ideal for catching up on the latest developments and innovations in your particular business sector.

Entrepreneur networking

There are many organisations where entrepreneurs and executives meet to share ideas. Though these people will not necessarily be from the same business area, all businesspeople face common issues, such as legal matters, regulatory challenges, finance, human resources, customer service, account outsourcing and suppliers, so there are always stories to be told and lessons to be learned.


Traditionally networking has been carried out through events, meetings, seminars and conferences. Nowadays, a great deal of it takes place over the internet. LinkedIn is the most obvious example of a huge online networking community for businesspeople and professionals, but Facebook and Twitter are always finding ways to attract businesses too.

Potential customers

In all networking activities there are opportunities to recruit new customers. In same-sector networking, although all members are in the same business area, your business can often complement another member’s businesses. For example, if you have an IT support business, someone in your network may supply email services for you to sell to your customers for a small commission. Just because a network member is in the same business area doesn’t mean they are your competitor.

In entrepreneur networking, you may find people looking for the service or products that your company supplies.

A protocol in networking is that it is not a platform for heavy selling. From natural conversations, a business opportunity can emerge, but deals are rarely made at a network meeting. All that’s needed is to exchange business cards and follow up with a call or email soon after the meeting.

Online networking can also be used to find potential customers. By taking part in online forums and chats, you will likely come across people looking for the products or services that your company provides,

Networking has its social side, but it is a valuable tool in helping your business be more productive and increasing sales. Why not speak to Sollertia for more ideas on how to start 2017 with a business bang?