Networking facilitates the exchange of ideas and is a powerful way for entrepreneurs to gain new opportunities. It inspires people to reach for greater goals if done objectively. Networking organizations and groups (both physical and virtual) have played a big role in entrepreneurship and it remains interesting to see what the future holds.
Here's what entrepreneurs and business owners had to say on the role of networking organizations and groups in the future of entrepreneurship.
#1- Strong connections
Strong networking skills have been and will always be a massive propellor for entrepreneurs and their businesses. Having a strong network in your own industry is helpful in learning the ropes initially and promoting continued growth. Knowledge spillover and advice from experienced entrepreneurs who have already perfected their own operations is beyond helpful. But helpful connections are helpful to make outside your own industry as well. You will need to collaborate with other businesses to be successful. Is there someone you can trust for financial advice or assistance? Perhaps you know someone who could fulfill marketing needs you may have. There are so many pieces at play in a business, and having strong connections to experts of those facets will allow you to build a strong organization.
Thanks to Kathryn McDavid, Editor's Pick!
#2- Shared Knowledge
Networking is a great way to share information and ideas. It will help you expand your knowledge and allow you to see things from a different viewpoint, whether you ask for feedback or explain your point of view. Within a group, it's also possible that there will be people who have been where you are now. This gives you the chance to learn from their mistakes and avoid some of the difficulties they encountered.
Thanks to Brian Dean, Exploding Topics!
#3- Decimating typical meetups
I think networking groups have become virtual for good. Many existed virtually before COVID, but the lockdown decimated typical meetups that would occur for the sake of networking. More virtual groups rose up to take their place and Facebook groups really cemented themselves as top networking organizations.
Thanks to Jeremy Yamaguchi, Lawn Love!
#4- Fewer barriers to entry
I believe that networking groups will be responsible for facilitating cooperation among like-minded individuals, allowing them to develop more concepts that will reinvent the field of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs will have a channel via which future collaborations may be created with the help of networking groups. As a result, newcomers will find entrepreneurship less daunting since they will have access to the advice and expertise of professionals in their field. This will make the barriers to entry into the entrepreneurial world more manageable, allowing reluctant seekers to become entrepreneurs themselves. This will eventually result in an influx of entrepreneurs in the near future.
Thanks to Erin Zadoorian, Ministry of Hemp!
#5- Improved access to professional talents worldwide
Gone are the days that small businesses serve local communities alone. Today, more small businesses are interested in dropshipping and developing mobile apps that can serve global clients as well. Networking has helped small businesses scout professional talents worldwide and bring in products that connect well to diverse customers. As more smart devices are developed to serve this purpose, I am certain that networking will help small businesses achieve global recognition and serve the world market efficiently even on a small scale in the future.
Thanks to Stephan Jacob, BestForAndroid!
#6- Boosting standing and credibility
In-person networking will always be a source of support for entrepreneurs seeking mentorship or advice. You can't mentor someone online on how to face business challenges or offer feedback based on similar past experiences to a fellow entrepreneur. Informal physical settings promote human connection and are where entrepreneurs can exchange business notes, insight, customer referrals, and other valuable resources to help move their businesses forward.
Thanks to Haim Medine, Mark Henry!
#7- More growth
As the founder of the NYC-based seomeetup.org, I can attest to the power a professional community contributes to an entrepreneurial journey. Namely, shared passion and a healthy interdependence – the very things that lead to growth within a collective group. During the global pandemic, the entrepreneurs in my organization came together online for support, inspiration, and community, just as in regular times. From my perspective, in the future, entrepreneurs will rely heavily on networking groups and organizations to thrive and grow in an increasingly interconnected world.
Thanks to Ross Kernez, SEO Meetup!
#8- Easier to navigate through changes
Networking organizations and groups are key in entrepreneurship, especially when it comes to health and wellness, an industry where building trust is so crucial. Though founders starting out are often set on their own visions and strategies, they’ll often find that once they start reaching out, many entrepreneurs are willing (and even eager) to help them with open arms. Pausing to gain insights and strategies from seasoned professionals is crucial in avoiding pitfalls and even minor mistakes that can cause major setbacks and headaches. Social networking, in particular, especially this past year, is absolutely essential in building a business while navigating constantly changing environments, protocols, and policies.
Thanks to Nicholas Vasiliou, BioHealth Nutrition!
#9- Fresh collaborations
I believe that in the future, networking groups will focus more on cross-industry collaboration. Gone are the days of only collaborating within your own niche. Over the past couple years, we have learned so much about the potential of possible collaborations due to the constraints of remote work. We are all connected through this digital landscape, making collaboration more possible than we ever could have imagined. I think we will begin to see a surge of not only like-minded businesses, but like-minded industries working together and helping each other grow. Networking organizations will continue to expand and harbour more interesting relationships. This in turn will promote more exciting and unexpected collaboration that could help all kinds of industries grow
Thanks to Jeanine Duval, Edelwyn!
#10- Rise in digital networking
In traditional industries like law, physical networking organizations will always be around. These days, I’m getting a lot of value from networking groups on Facebook, through which I’ve met other lawyers, referral partners, and even potential clients. These groups are easy enough to create, which means more specialized groups than traditional ones – there are groups for specific areas of practice, subject, or location. You can meet colleagues and peers across the country or even the globe, which is especially of interest when you deal in an industry that is drastically different from country to country. With digital networking groups, there is no pressure to be active. You can fit these groups into a jam-packed schedule because you only log on and read when you can, with no extra pressure to participate.
Thanks to David Aylor, David Aylor Law Offices!
#11- Widening horizons and learning opportunities
Building connections is one of the most important things to do when you’re an entrepreneur. It’s essential to form relationships with others, whether in your industry or not. This is how you can widen your horizons and learn new things. Networking organizations are now on the rise. These are created to help people make new connections and relationships. This is one big and important move for entrepreneurship. Having groups that help entrepreneurs make connections and find people they can help or help them will give everyone a wider reach. Helping each other in business is important, so having a networking group allows entrepreneurship to flourish. It will also encourage people to try being entrepreneurs, knowing that they have people who will help and support
Thanks to David Clelland, Infiniti Tracking!
#12- Scaling businesses
Networking was, is and always will be the best way to scale a business. If you know someone and they know you, and you do similar things in business, you are both going to benefit. That's the fundamentals of networking. A referral or business connection can have lifetime value while paying a research company to find a supplier that does not have the same human connection, and really, that's what networking comes down to; making a human connection.
Thanks to Denis Jastrzebski, Hawking Design!
#13- More inclination to seek help and make connections
Due to the pandemic and the increase of unemployment, there has been a surge in entrepreneurs of all ages. With this new interest in entrepreneurship, I also see an increase in networking organizations. People will be more inclined to seek help and make connections. Networking organizations will represent an opportunity to help new entrepreneurs grow and will always be beneficial to the future of entrepreneurship.
Thanks to Deepak Shukla, Pearl Lemon!
#14- Various roles
We are social in nature so online and offline events are great for networking. You can meet prospective clients/customers, employers, employees, thought leaders, etc. For the foreseeable future entrepreneurs will continue to build networks through online marketing and social media especially LinkedIn so that they can be found. It adds credibility and transparency when you know the people you are meeting or working with know people in common. LinkedIn has become more than an online resume or rolodex, it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy. This has helped me grow my business. I think remote networking will continue post-Covid. With Zoom, social media, cell phones, etc. we see that technology does not have to be isolating it can be used to build our real-world communities and relationships too!
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#15- Improving business performance
The more networking entrepreneurs do, the better their businesses perform. Social media lets entrepreneurs network in overdrive, which increases their chances of success. LinkedIn and Facebook allow entrepreneurs to juggle multiple networking activities, such as direct messaging, content posting, connection requests, and group discussions. They can connect with significantly more people than an in-person event in less time without having to pay an entry fee.
Thanks to Michael Scanlon, Roo Skincare!