Slideshow

Evolve - How your networking community develops with you

by Philippa Constable on 30th Nov 2017

Have you considered how networking can help you at every stage of your business?

If you are looking to start up on your own or have recently delved into the self-employed world, networking is a key stepping stone in helping you through this time.

Being a new start up can be quite lonely. You are constantly coming across new challenges, so wouldn’t it be great to have a group of people you can turn to for help and advice? Your networking community will be a font of knowledge, all your questions can be answered, and if they can’t provide you with what you need they will probably know the person for the job. The first couple of years are crucial when you begin a business & being part of a network gives you access to the other members in the network.  Referrals could be critical with helping your business to get off the ground and grow, so building those relationships will be valuable.

A few years down the line your business is doing really well, it’s growing, but now you are faced with new dilemmas. With your work load increasing, perhaps you’ve decided to employ someone to work alongside you for the first time. Do you know the first thing about employment law or where to begin with recruiting?  Maybe someone in your networking community can help you. Or maybe as your business has grown you need more support and are looking to outsource, your network may have just the people to help you continue working and delivering the incredible level of service that your business has been built on. This stage of business is full of new challenges and as you look to expand your services, you’ll find that being part of a network gives you people to trust as a sound board.

What next? All your hard work has paid off, your business has grown continuously for the past *** years. You no longer have to actively market for new business as your customers are always singing your praises and you aren’t looking to expand anymore. So why would you still want to be networking? Well, you could be the person that all the newbies come to, asking for advice and being a fantastic mentor. You may find that you are able to step away from your business and are looking to venture into different fields - what a great opportunity you would have to collaborate with others in your network. You also never know what the future may bring but you know you can always rely on your network to be there for you. Or maybe, you enjoy going to your monthly meeting to take some time out and catch up with the friends that you have made and who have supported you on your journey.

There is always a reason to network, no matter what your business or what stage you are at. Making time to build relationships will mean that as you and your business are developing, your connections can also evolve with you.