In the digital era and fast-paced world we live in, we spin through life at a million miles an hour, and more often than not we’re trying to get it all done, and all done now.
If you run a business, time is likely something you wish you had a bit more of; more time to work on your business, to focus on marketing, etc, etc.
Networking, and nurturing a network of supportive family, friends and business colleagues can slip down the to-do list, and become less and less of a priority when our businesses are busy and other things fill our days.
But making time to network, to meet with other business owners and swap ideas and build networks can be crucial to business success and here’s why:
Number one! Running a business can be hard and relentless work. It’s long and often lonely hours, and while you may be surrounded by staff, you can also feel isolated when it comes to making the big decisions, navigating the ups and downs of business ownership, and just having someone to talk to who ‘gets it’.
Having time to meet with other business owners can be a great support to you, and can help you problem solve, laugh, or even just be a friendly voice on the other end of the phone when things aren’t going so well.
Jack of all trades, Jill of none
No matter how capable you are as a business owner, you have your strengths and you have your weaknesses. You might work with clients who ask for advice on who to hire in areas outside your expertise, so having a network of people and businesses that you trust and can recommend can do wonders.
And collaboration is a great thing.
We all need to belong to a community, am I right? And the most isolating thing I found when I started my own business was losing that raft of colleagues that you have in a corporate job. No longer is there the people to have a Friday afternoon drink with, or your morning coffee person, or even someone to bounce ideas off. You might have employees, but that relationship can be very different to the one you had with peers and colleagues. We all need a community to belong to, and business owners need to stick together.
As much as we are lucky to have digital technology to connect with people, we still need to take the time to get out and about, meet new people, connect with others, and swap ideas.
So, get involved with a networking group, call up a fellow business owner for a regular coffee catch up, or walk around the block and chat to local business owners. Do whatever works best with your schedule, and I can assure you it will add to your business in more ways than one.
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: