Networks in business is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients or customers. Business networking benefits are the intangible gains made by communicating with other professionals in or relating to your industry
If you have ever participated in a Voice of the People, you will realize the importance of regulated communication. Where you have about twenty people and everybody talks at the same time, a lot noise, confusion and information over-load will occur, leading to misinterpretation, misinformation and chaos. Businesses have formal or structured channels or networks through which information flow from one department, person or unit to another. Some of these networks have been briefly discussed in article with a broad explanation or description of networks in business.
Importance of Networks in Business
In any business, there are two established networks in business: formal and informal networks. No business organization can effectively communicate and achieve its objectives without a defined, established, structured, hierarchical and formal network of communication. This is because there is usually a line through which information pass from one person or unit to another. All new employees must be briefed on their first day in office about who they will be responsible to, what they must be doing and what they will be expected to send and receive from their subject.
The informal network is usually referred to as the ‘grapevine’ or ‘rumour’. It does not follow the established channel for sending and receiving information in an organization. When people stay together in an organization for a long period of time, they tend to grow informal relationships that do not respect power relations or organizational bureaucracy.
Informal networks tend to be faster and they are very strong to the extent that formal communication networks sometime depend on informal structures to make decisions. This is because these networks reveal hidden secrets and opinions that workers and managers do not openly communicate. Here are some the importance of networks in business:
1. Maintain Positive Relationships
Networks in business help maintain positive relationships with clients and other professionals in the industry. Maintaining a contact list can allow you to share important insights, stay updated on industry developments and achieve business goals. You may also offer and receive valuable career guidance or learn about job opportunities. To create a beneficial network, business professionals often intentionally seek opportunities to expand their list of professional contacts.
2. Business Lead Generation
Lead generation in business is the act of gaining actionable customer interest for your business’s output. This typically involves a customer initiating a conversation or providing you with their contact information for follow-up regarding your business’s products or services.
3. Help you Understand your Industry
Gaining new business contacts can help you understand your industry’s common strategies and best practices. For instance, a new grocery store might learn which vendors supply the most popular fresh produce in a local area.
The main purpose for understanding your industry is know your industry standards which will in return make different products compatible with each other and to ensure customers that they can safely mix and match products from different brands. They drive industry innovation, cost reductions and enable a variety of cost-effective, simple-to-use, holistic solutions
4. Help to Understand Business Trends
Like in any other industry, business industries to witness various changes in the fashion of it’s working over the time. These changes are referred to as business trends. Industries often change over time, so networks help maintaining positive relationships with other business professionals can help you stay informed about the latest news or innovations.
5. Brand Awareness
Networks in business increased brand awareness in the way the consumers recognize and remember your business. The greater the brand awareness you have, the more audiences will be familiar with your logo, messaging, and products. It’s an all-encompassing term for how aware and informed people are about what your brand has to offer.
Brand awareness is important because it helps audiences understand, recall, and become comfortable with your branding and products. If you can build brand awareness among your target demographic, you can help your brand become top-of-mind when these consumers are ready to research and make a purchase. Sharing your ideas and strategies with other professionals can help them understand a business’ mission and values. This may be especially relevant for creative professionals advertising their work to potential new clients, as they may rely on their own marketing efforts to find new projects.
Brand awareness is often seen as the first stage of the marketing funnel. By creating brand awareness, you can cast a wide net across your audience of potential buyers. From there, you can funnel leads towards the research and decision-making processes, and eventually the buying process.
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