When was the last time you attended a networking event? And by that we don’t mean a coffee with a close friend who sometimes gives you business advice, we mean a focused event to meet and mingle with other business professionals. If your answer to that question is never then you aren’t alone, and now could be the time to change that.

There’s a perception that networking is merely pushy business people exchanging business cards  and building favours. As we touched on in our last article, it’s about building long-term relationships with a like-minded group of people. It’s about making those mutually-beneficial connections to drive the success of each other’s businesses. Here are just a few reasons you should try networking and joining Dales Business Women could be a great place to start!

  1. It uncovers a variety of new opportunities.

As well as opportunities for new business, you can build your own community of professionals with a broad range of experiences which can open up opportunities for collaborations, moral and professional support, new suppliers and so much more! Plus, there is the potential of tapping into your new-found acquaintances’ contacts.  It’s also a great platform to find new employees or contractors you can outsource work to.

  1. It’s a great source of research.

Networking gives you chance to understand other industries better and the challenges faced by the people in them.  This in turn creates opportunities to tailor your work to a wider audience and talk to them in a language they understand.

  1. It can further your career.

Many jobs aren’t advertised, and employers rely on recommendations from their contacts to fill roles. These contacts are only going to recommend you if they know you and even better, like you. Your new connections could be the key to success in your current position or a step towards a new chapter in your professional journey.

  1. Provides mentoring opportunities.

As we’ve mentioned, networking allows you to meet people you never would’ve had chance to before. Within the Dales Business Women network, we have a number of freelancers as well as those managing or working within bigger businesses, plus the range of experience is so varied. This provides opportunities for two-way support and just think, if you’re facing a business dilemma it’s likely someone within your new set of contacts has experienced something similar and will be more than happy to share their advice from a real-world perspective rather than a generic Google answer.

  1. It will boost your confidence.

Walking into a room of people you don’t know for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you work alone. But every person in that room will have been in the same position as you at some point so they’ll be understanding and empathetic, after all, everyone is there to meet new people.  The likelihood is you’ll leave the event full of inspiration and an extra dose of confidence to strike up new conversations in the future.

So do you think it’s time to give networking a go? Members regularly feedback that they’ve benefitted from at least one of these five points. Our events are laid back and everyone is so welcoming. We’re a group of like-minded business women and we’d love you to join us, so if you haven’t already, why not book into one of our upcoming events?  We hope to meet you soon!