Have I mentioned how much I dislike business networking? It’s odd, because I love nothing better than learning about other people’s businesses and gasbagging about my own.
However, business networking can give me that feeling I had as a kid, when I got dragged in front of a distant cousin at a family function and told to ‘go off and play.’ This forced aspect of relationship-building irks me. I imagine it’s a bit like what a blind date might feel like.
And it seems I’m not alone. The image of business owners boldly brandishing business cards does not match the reality, according to our Understanding Micro Business Survey.
Results revealed that 43% of us attend networking functions less than quarterly. Meanwhile, only 13% go fortnightly or more. When we do attend networking events, the bulk of us prefer an informal and unstructured style.
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Having said that, we also strongly identified the need for getting together. In fact, a ‘lack of connection’ and ‘lack of support’ were identified amongst the top ten challenges of being your own boss.
At the same time, ‘partnerships with related businesses‘ was rated the second most effective source of new work behind ‘word-of-mouth’. Both are accelerated by getting out and meeting people face-to-face.
Does business networking work for you?