Everyone knows that networking is the foundation of growing a business and the process itself is pretty straightforward. The tricky part is ensuring a strong return on investment, whether that’s gaining new customers, finding reliable suppliers, discovering ways to collaborate, or any other goal you have in mind. 
Whilst commitment is crucial, networking can be made easier when you take different approaches and explore unique ways of meeting people. Below are some examples to try out, which could result in you significantly expanding and fine-tuning your professional network. 

Do your research 

In order to attend a networking event, you need to first know that it’s taking place. Chances are there are multiple opportunities scheduled that you haven’t come across, from small get-togethers to large business expos and newly launched industry celebrations. 
There are many ways for you to find out what’s happening in your area, with prime examples being industry publications and online forums, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, and websites like Eventbrite and Meetup. Take a proper look around and you’re sure to find a range of interesting events that offer you the chance to meet likeminded people. 

Expand your horizons 

Let’s say you work in the manufacturing industry. You’ve most likely attended industry events and made new connections through them, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing everything you can to network effectively. There will be numerous other events that focus on subjects that you’re interested in, such as technology, leadership, importing and exporting, health and safety or even workplace wellbeing. 
By attending networking events that aren’t specifically for your industry but complement your career, you’ll forge connections with countless people who share your passions. 

Join a professional organisation 

This is probably the most obvious point but it deserves to be mentioned, as professional groups such as BNI and 4Networking can be a goldmine for acquiring new business. If you're based in Hull or East Yorkshire, we also recommend taking a look at The Business Culture, Humber Bondholders and the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce
Membership of these types of organisation will almost certainly come with a fee, although it can pay for itself very quickly. The key is to invest time, effort and energy into each session and give as much as you gain, making it a mutually beneficial arrangement that can lead to magnificent things. 

Volunteer your time 

One method of networking that many people don’t even think about is volunteering with a registered charity, a community organisation or an educational institution, such as a school board. This can lead to in-depth conversations with others who also offer their time to support a worthy cause, which in turn helps to nurture professional connections that offer significant value to both parties. 

Reconnect with your old college or university 

Alumni associations are a melting pot of creativity, innovation and enterprise. No matter how recently or long ago you studied, joining fellow alumni to give back to the community can easily result in new business ventures. In the process, you’ll be inspiring the next generation of industry professionals and business leaders, so it really is a win-win situation. 

We can connect you with the best people 

We’re not just accountants, as we also help business owners to make strong connections with other professionals in multiple sectors. For tailored advice and support, call our Yorkshire office on 01482 235575, our London office on 0207 885 0605, or fill in the contact form below. 
Tagged as: Small Business Help
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