How important is building your networks and who you know...?

I think we can all agree 2021 was an unpredictable year, full of numerous personal and professional challenges we might all wish to put behind us.

By Dr Scott King, Pinnacle Growth Group
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 7:00 am
Dr Scott King, Pinnacle Growth Group
Dr Scott King, Pinnacle Growth Group

However, it was also a year that pushed us to become stronger, to re-evaluate our surroundings and step outside our comfort zone.

It is important to remember that within 2021, despite the hardships, there were also opportunities which drove innovation, new partnerships, business growth and genuine positivity.

2021 created a landscape which I believe encouraged businesses to start truly appreciating how important their networks are to supporting and enabling sustainable growth.

Your network covers a variety of individuals and organisations; for example, customers, suppliers, knowledge partners, funders, trade associations and others.

Without a diverse, robust, and continuously evolving network you may miss opportunities to develop new knowledge supportive to your businesses, form new partnerships or secure new sales.

In business, one must always work on building one’s network. However, how does one do this exactly?

At the core of building a network, you are required to do one key action … put yourself out there!

You can do this by starting a conversation with someone you don’t know, presenting at a conference or even having a display/stand at a trade show and attempting to attract new potential customers to your stand for a conversation.

Under traditional circumstances, people would have gone to conferences, trade shows, networking events, training courses etc. which provided numerous occasions for face-to-face engagement and opportunities to build networks. However, under the current and varying business landscape, where attendance at, or even the running of these F2F events can’t be guaranteed, how can this be done?

There are many options that you can explore to build your network!

One effective route is through engagement via the various digital platforms; for example, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok etc.

Across the digital landscape my personal preference for building my business network is LinkedIn. It provides me with the opportunity to make direct contact with other (and new) business leaders and decision makers and allows me to bring information to the attention of various stakeholders. Furthermore, through LinkedIn I can connect with and add value to more people than I may within a purely non-digital environment, and importantly meet potential new clients.

Staying on the aspect of digital, there are various online events that provide opportunities for direct engagement and networking. Whilst this is a new experience for some, online networking events continue to increase in popularity and frequency and can be effective if you attend them with your pitch prepared, an identified target list of other attendees you’d like to engage with and a willingness to put yourself out there.

Go into 2022 with a boldness and eagerness to engage with new people! Explore the various options available and try something new to build your network. Remember, networks are important to growing a successful business, so use your network to enable sustainable business growth!

Dr Scott King is co-founder of Pinnacle Growth Group, a business advisory firm based in Lisburn. Scott is experienced in advising organisations in logistics, aerospace and aviation, tourism and agri to food and drink, construction, renewables and defence.

If you would like further information from Scott about enabling business growth, business and people development, grant or funding opportunities that may exist to help your business, email Scott at: [email protected]

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