Networking on the Nene
As we ride the rollercoaster of COVID-19 and the ever-changing restrictions it has been reassuring for many businesses that networking has been able to continue (and in some cases grow) online.
Networking has been able to allow businesses to connect and showcase what they do, continue to develop their business relationships or (in some cases) showcase their new lockdown start-up businesses.
Although many businesses miss the face to face interaction that comes from ‘in person’ networking, online zoom sessions have been a successful alternative providing many benefits.
Here are a few of the benefits of online networking we have found:
When you join online networking, you don’t need to worry about the travel time to and from a venue. You can simply sign onto a Zoom call a few minutes before the start time, make sure your microphone and camera are connected and be ready to get connected.
Since lockdown there has been far more understanding if your call gets disrupted by a knock at the door or another member of your household entering the room. You can simply hide your camera view or mute yourself and join when you can.
Systems like Zoom also include features like breakout rooms so smaller groups can meet, recording the session and even live streaming into social media to provide added opportunity for online networking.
Building your connections
Strengthening connections is invaluable when it comes to promoting your business via networking. You get to connect with like-minded people with the bonus that sometimes your ideal customer hears your message.
It is a bit like having a bunch of great colleagues where you get the camaraderie and fun of being part of something. Of course, you build connections and contacts too and they potentially refer you and mention you to other people who may be looking for your skills.
Advice to advance your business
Networking allows you to get new perspectives you may not have considered for your business. You can ask the nagging questions that you spend hours mulling over to get a different opinion. There tend to also be a variety of subject matter experts who you can also get advice from to advance your business.
If you have never been networking before I can feel rather nerve wracking promoting your business in front of a group. Networking groups are always hugely welcoming to those who invest their time into them. It can be a real confidence booster once you have a referral, recommendation or you are asked for advice and online networking is a great place to start.
Networking for everyone
There really is a networking group for everyone the option to join paid or free sessions, industry specific groups and even groups targeting mums/women in business.
Here are several in the local area that we recommend: