A guest post by our partner – E2Exchange
E2Exchange is a community of over 12,000 of the UK’s most established entrepreneurs, sophisticated investors, world-class providers and experienced non-executive directors. Alongside our Honorary President Sir Richard Branson, we work to connect individuals and their companies with opportunities for growth.
How networking can create extraordinary opportunities for your business
E2Exchange’s Founder and CEO Shalini Khemka shows you why you shouldn’t skip your next networking drinks.
“Without taking the opportunities to meet with the people who would share my vision and develop my business, I would never have had nearly as much success. Making the right connections has proven, time and time again throughout my career, to be invaluable.”
Effective networking will help to overcome your company’s barriers to growth in 3 key ways:
- Getting advice from those in the know
Often the largest challenge facing a hard working entrepreneur is the lack of opportunity or time to discuss, share and resolve their issues and opportunities with people who has faced them before. Asking for guidance gives an entrepreneur exposure to opposing, or even devil’s advocate views. With this intelligence, business leaders can evaluate their own strategies and review the way in which their businesses are run.
Asking for advice shows that you are realistic about the state of your business, recognise its limitations, and are making practical steps towards tackling those hurdles. Exactly the kind of entrepreneur that others will want to work with in the future.
- Seeking and obtaining financial support
Many ventures fail, not due to the skills or strength of the idea driving the business, but factors such as the wrong financial advice, poor property or contracts and restrictive cash flow.
Ventures that do succeed have used networking opportunities to encounter as many funding and support options as possible, and can therefore manage the risk of poor finances. The more individuals and companies you meet whilst looking for financial backing, the more likely you are to come across the funding options that will best serve your business’ needs.
Through my work with E2Exchange’s entrepreneurs, I am seeing an unprecedented amount of investment coming from key growth areas to the UK. Notably, entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley have made London their second home, both to invest and work here themselves. Technology is expanding numerous industries like never before, and now is the time to get to know our peers and talk finances.
- Finding people who fit your vision, mission and values
Leaders in companies scaling rapidly need to learn to cope quickly with changing demands, but many struggle to develop their managerial and leadership talent. If your venture is going to be successful, the people working alongside you not only need to excel in their field, but truly fit the ethos of the business. Networking events are my number one way of recruiting talent for your team, and finding the right mix of personalities, skills and experience to make up your Board of Directors.
Maintaining well matched connections, and lending your hand to their causes where possible, is a sure-fire way to stay visible and engaged with like-minded people and ideas. Without these connections, your business will not grow as quickly as it should.
So stop putting it off, accept that Outlook invite, and get talking. With thousands of events up and down the country hosted by E2Exchange and others, the next opportunity for your business could only be an introduction away
E2Exchange is hosting a National Reception on the 16th of June with one of the most influential Entrepreneurs in UK.