Networking is about sharing information. It is a great way to meet people and forge long-term relationships with mutual benefits.
Many entrepreneurs are successful in their careers largely due to the connections and alliances they have built up over time. However, the question of who you network with and their relevance to your business matters.
In an effort to achieve business success, Nana Yaa, CEO of Medoba Fashion, forged long-term relationships and partnerships with other industry players, and other business leaders and organizations.
In her interview with Ghana Talks Business, Nana Yaa stressed that it was crucial to her to form alliances as part of building her business. Also, she has mentors who have helped steer her business to the point where it is now.
Here are 4 reasons why networking is important for business.
#1 Platform to exchange ideas
To be successful in a given field requires gathering information. And one way to gather information is to be a part of a network that fosters idea-sharing. Idea sharing opens up the mind to previously unknown information which may shift your business to a whole new pedestal.
#2 Newer opportunities
Networking creates an avenue for newer opportunities through meeting potential clients and/or other successful business titans in your industry. This could be the stepping stone that changes your business model for the better.
#3 Improves creativity
Surrounding yourself with like-minded, career-driven, and creative individuals can send a wave of creative intellect that will cause a dynamic shift to your business development.
#4 Reassessingng your train of thought
Networking helps you meet individuals who challenge your current level of thought or height. This helps to have a broader perspective on a particular subject matter or your current level of success. Through networking, you may realize the current height you have attained is still limited and the prospects of reaching a much higher level still exist.
Where to network?
Nana Yaa in her interview mentioned three main avenues which promote positive networking.
#1 Networking events: Attending networking events such as seminars and conferences particularly in your respective industry can help you meet prospective clients and the right industry players. This can help shape your business models, boost sales, and most importantly challenge you to greater heights.
#2 Social media: Social media platforms are great networking platforms if used effectively. LinkedIn is an especially great tool for reaching out to like-minded individuals. Send a quick message to like-minded peers, industry titans, or your mentors, making sure to list the details as to why you’re reaching out and how you know them.
#3 Organizations and Entrepreneurial programs: Nana Yaa has benefited massively from entrepreneurial programs organised by the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), an initiative of the United States High Commission in Ghana. Her business has also received support from the Young Female Business Support Initiative in Ghana, by the Africa Skills Hub. She, therefore, admonishes young entrepreneurs to explore information and discover avenues and programs that are available to support their businesses.
Additionally, organizations such as the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), The National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (NEIP), and the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs are great platforms for networking opportunities and receiving business support. All you have to do is become a member and partake in the benefits of being a member of such organizations.