A meaningful network of like-minded business people can play an important role in the future success of any entrepreneurial business owner. And, in today’s digital climate, there is no more efficient way to connect with others than through online business networking.

If the model is right, online business networking can bring together a group of business people, to foster significant relationships and business growth. In this article, we’ll take a close look at 7 major benefits of modern day business networking, to help you decide if a structured online business networking group is right for you, compared to the traditional “meet for breakfast” model.

Let’s get right into it.

Benefit 1: Save precious time

Sure, traditional networking is valuable, but it can also be incredibly time-consuming. You’ve got to commute to the meeting place, account for traffic delays, hang around when the meeting runs late, and then drive back to your office.

An online networking group means you can attend from where ever you areusing sophisticated meeting tools and business software, so you can make the most of every minute of the working day.

Benefit 2: Generate referrals and boost business

Every successful business person understands the value of referrals. yThe ROI (return on investment) from a referral network tops any other form of marketing, including digital, social, and print.

Joining an online business network, like Referral Hubs, provides access to a screened, select pool of passionate, talented business people, each running successful businesses. Members have well-established client bases comprised of people who trust their judgement, and will often ask them for advice or introductions to other businesses they need. As a result, once you’ve got to know your fellow members and and they’e got to know more about you and your business services and ethics, the referrals you may receive will be warm leads, not cold.

Benefit 3: Access valuable advice

Having a group of experienced business people to speak to is invaluable. Whatever business challenges you may have from time to time – with customers , IT, legal , marketing, accounting, staffing, regulations and more – it’s good to have a peer group who you can turn to for discussion and advice.

Benefit 4: Open your business to new opportunities

Forging friendships with a group of motivated business owners can open you and your business up to a whole host of exciting opportunities.

Perhaps you’ll strike up a lucrative partnership, gain exposure at an event or in the media, be introduced to a new market sector or business opportunity,  or join forces to create something entirely new.

Benefit 5: Build your authority and raise your profile

Raising your personal profile and establishing yourself as leader in your industry is one of the key benefits to business networking. As you present to your group and provide advice when you can, , you are building your reputation as an expert, maybe even an innovator, in your field.

As your group members come to see you as an authority, they could be mentioning you to other people in their networks.  Multiply that by 9 people in each Hub, and  before long your brand and influence is reaching a wider potential marketplace within your local community.

Benefit 6: Enjoy flexibility

Like most successful business people, no doubt you often have to attend meetings or events and undertake some travel.   With traditional networking groups, this means  that from time to time you will miss out on attending meetings.

You don’t have to miss out when you join an online business network.  You can still attend scheduled meetings, from anywhere in the world – as long as you have an internet connection. And if you do miss a meeting, you can watch the video replay at a time which suits you.  This is what 21st Century networking is all about.

Benefit 7: Be inspired

Success is contagious. When you surround yourself with people who are motivated, hard-working, and committed to their business, you become inspired to make positive changes, and  to set and achieve even bigger goals.

You also enjoy the support and encouragement of a peer group of similar people, and that is invaluable if you don’t have an executive team to assist you with important decision making or problem solving.  It’s so helpful to forge business friendships with others who may very well have experienced a challenge or opportunity that you need help with.

Like to know more?

As you can see from this summary, times have changed.  The old traditional networking model has been replaced by one which better suits the needs of today’s time poor business owners.

If joining an online business networking group appeals to you, find out more about how it works and the criteria here: referralhubs.com.au/how-it-works