The Importance of Networking
By: Portia Wofford
Building a business is tough. There are long days and even longer nights. Financial uncertainty, sacrifices, and insecurity all rear their ugly heads at times you can’t seem to catch a break. Going at it alone is even more daunting. Building a network of like-minded individuals and other professionals will prove to be useful and can save you some grief and business pains. BUT–in a world full of conferences, tours, and brunches it’s difficult for even the veteran entrepreneur to navigate the task of networking. Networking is an art form–as an entrepreneur you should master it.
What’s the importance of networking? Why do you need to master it to become successful? Networking is all about connecting people who can add value to one another. Networking builds your knowledge power. The ability to connect with like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs allows you to learn and obtain advice from them. Expanding your network is an excellent way to gain the expertise and guidance that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to achieve. Reliable information from the right person can be a crucial factor in business success. Often, networking provides opportunities for training, invitations to conferences, and mentorship that you may otherwise miss.
Visibility is an important factor in a successful business. Being seen with the right people can increase your credibility among your peers and others in your industry. It’s not what you, but whom you know holds in the business world, as well. People spend their time and money with people they trust. If you want a successful business, then you need to have a vast network of people and relevant connections. When it’s time for a referral or opportunity, your visibility will help others to remember you. Stay visible.
We’ve all had those times when we just couldn’t win. We’ve wanted to give up and throw in the towel. No one can do it alone! Everyone needs someone who understands and has been there. A good network can serve as a support system. A mentor or an ally can help you
- Overcome hurdles
- Keep you accountable
- Manage challenges effectively by offering advice or referring you to someone who can help
Just as investing in money is important, so is investing in relationships. Networking is all about building long-lasting relationships. Simply handing off a business card or jotting down a phone number won’t suffice. In a recent article for Forbes, contributor Shelley Zalis stated, “When you create connections based on shared interests and goals, you’ll be more successful because people want to work with people they know and like.” Building and nurturing relationships is an essential aspect of building a successful business.
About the author:
Portia Wofford is a nurse, millennial strategist, healthcare writer, entrepreneur, and nano-influencer. Chosen as a brand ambassador or collaborative partner for various organizations, Wofford strives to empower nurses by offering nurses resources for career development–while providing organizations with tools to close generational gaps within their nursing staff. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for her latest