When people talk about networking in the business world, they often think of stuffy cocktail parties full of awkward conversations and uncomfortable introductions. However, building relationships in business is one of the most important things you can do—regardless of whether you’re a freelancer, small business owner, or remote worker. Let’s take a closer look at why this is so important.
Networking and Cocktail Parties
Once upon a time networking happened at cocktail parties and deals got made on the golf course. These days, the business world is finding that networking can happen pretty much anywhere, with anyone, and at any time. You might be standing in line somewhere or waiting for the next train. You could also be at an event dedicated to networking. Every time we are next to another person there is a moment to create a connection.
Why Relationships Matter
Relationships are key to success in business because they help foster trust between people. Building relationships with other professionals helps create a foundation of mutual respect which creates a better platform for collaboration and innovation. You can also use relationships to leverage each other’s strengths in order to get more done in less time.
This is especially true if you have access to an entire network of contacts that can provide different perspectives on the same issues. Furthermore, having strong relationships can be beneficial when it comes time to negotiate deals or contracts as well as collaborate on projects together.
How To Build Relationships While Networking
The first step to building relationships in business is to find people who share your values and interests, networking. This could include attending professional events or joining online groups specifically for freelancers, small businesses, remote workers, etc.
Once you've identified potential connections, make sure that you follow up with them regularly—even if it’s just an email or text message saying hi every once in awhile. Don't forget about face-to-face interactions; try to meet up with your contacts whenever possible since these personal connections tend to be more meaningful than digital ones. Networking events and events where people you would normally network with are a great way to build in more facetime.
Finally, always strive to add value by offering advice or resources whenever possible; this will help show that you're invested in the relationship and care about its success!
Beyond Networking – Let’s Collaborate
Building relationships isn’t just about networking – it’s also about collaboration. Working together with other people gives everyone involved the opportunity to learn from one another while also advancing their own skillset. Collaborations have a great way of creating deeper connections and helping participants get to know each other in a different way.
By collaborating with others on projects or initiatives, you can increase your knowledge base while simultaneously increasing your network of contacts, which can lead to even more opportunities down the line! Plus, working together as a team allows everyone involved to take part in successes – something that would never be possible if working alone.
When it comes down to it, building relationships is one of the most important things you can do in business regardless of your profession or industry. Not only does it foster trust and respect between colleagues but it also provides access to a larger network of professionals who can offer different perspectives on any given issue as well as collaborate with each other on projects more efficiently.
Coworking spaces are a great place to find build in networks to begin networking with. Chances are someone knows someone who does what you need or needs what you do. Another great place to start is your local chamber.
So what are you waiting for? Start networking!