The Benefits of Open Business Circles
Networking is cultivating mutually beneficial relationships. The goal should be to develop a large and diverse group of people who will gladly and continually refer a lot of business to you. –Bob Burg
Networking helps expand the publicity and profitability of your business. It can also help you to obtain business information and skills from leaders at all levels. Typically when we think of networking we think of business partners within our industry, but there are enormous benefits in opening up your business circles outside of your industry. Open business circles gives you an extra set of eyes & ears. You can double your knowledge in less time just by the company you keep.
Be receptive to how other industries approach marketing or productivity. Just because someone is in a different industry than you doesn’t mean you can not learn from their approach or business practices. Collaboration is the new power strategy that successful businesses use to grow. Diversity within and outside of your industry is a huge catalyst to expansion. With a better view of many business tactics you increase your leverage to reach a variety of customers and your ability to deal with out of the box business situations.
Self-similarity inhibits your network circles
Network with people who are different from you and also different from one another. Participate in activities and events where diverse people come together. Join groups online or within your community. Start having conversations and invite individuals to connect who are outside your industry. Groups such as Toastmasters is an excellent way for beginners to step out of their comfort zone and interact with various professionals. Networking is not always about what someone can do for you or what you can do for them. The best benefit of networking is to learn something that you didn’t know.
What you can learn networking outside your industry:
- Different ways to market or brand your business
- Different ways to tackle problems in the office
- Different ways your services could help others
Your best referrals are outside of your industry
Professionals outside of your industry are valuable to your business circle because they will share your business services with others that you may not have daily contact with. Take the time to build strong relationships with others who do not do what you do. Word of mouth and referrals brings great profits and you never know when someone outside your industry will meet someone who could use your services.
What business perks can come from networking outside your industry:
- Word of mouth referrals
- Business collaborations/partnerships
- Speaking invitations
- Blogging invitations
Regardless of what industry you’re in, you must constantly search for different resources to help learn new skills and concepts of doing business. As you approach expanding your business, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Getting out of your comfort zone and can be a refreshing and enlightening experience. Reaching outside your industry you’ll find new, exciting conversations and possibly new profits that you didn’t even know what there.