Business networking is a very valuable way to enlarge your knowledge, learn from the success of others, and to reach new customers and inform others about your enterprise. Here are the top 9 advantages for business owners of becoming involved in networking: 1. Production of referrals/Increased business This is most likely the most obvious advantage and why most business owners opt to participate in networking activities and join networking groups. The excellent news is that the referrals that you get through media are normally substantial quality and a lot of the time, are even pre-qualified for you. You can then follow up on those referrals/leads and turn them into customers. So you’re getting much higher quality leads from media than other types of marketing. The increase in business from media is a significant benefit, but there are lots of others also. 2. Opportunities Having a motivated group of business owners comes plenty of opportunities! There are always a lot of opportunities that come from media and actually, this is where the benefits of business networking are huge! Opportunities like joint ventures, customer leads, partnerships, talking and writing opportunities, company or asset sales… the list goes on, and the opportunities within networking are really endless. Just be sure you are jumping on board with the ideal opportunities, and do not go jumping into each chance that comes your way. The opportunities that you become involved in should align with your organisation goals/vision, otherwise, you may discover that you are spinning your wheels chasing after opportunity after opportunity and getting nowhere. 3. Connections Networking gives you an excellent supply of connections and actually opens the door to speak to highly influential people who you would not otherwise be able to easily speak to or find. It is not just about who you are networking with directly either — that person will already have a community you can tap into as well. 4. Advice Having like minded small business owners to speak to also provides you the chance to get information from them on all kinds of things associated with your company or even your personal life and obtaining that significant work-life balance. Networking is a wonderful way to tap into information, and experience that you wouldn’t otherwise have the ability to contact. Just be sure that you are receiving solid advice from the ideal person — someone that really knows what you will need to know and isn’t only giving you their opinion on something that they have no or very little knowledge in. 5. Raising your profile Being visible and getting noticed is a large benefit of networking. Be certain to regularly attend social and business events, which will help to get your face known. After that, you can help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, dependable and supportive individual by providing useful information or tips to those who want it. You’re even more likely to get more referrals and leads as you’ll be the one who pops in their head when they want what you offer.