The full-time virtual world may be something you have embraced unwillingly, but nobody can deny the opportunities your Zoom rooms and Group Chat have provided.
Face-to-face meetings and human contact may seem like a long lost memory at the moment, but for hundreds of women in business, the development of virtual networking has been a lifesaver.
Isolation, overwhelm, and anxiety are just some of the topics discussed in the Womens Business Networking sessions each month. That need for support is stronger than ever, and if there is one thing women do best, it’s to empower one another.
How important is virtual networking?
Networking of any kind allows you to build relationships with your peers. It presents opportunities to meet like-minded people, discuss business concerns, celebrate achievements, and learn new skills in a controlled environment.
Going virtual has opened the doors to a broader audience. With improvements in technology and the availability of platforms such as Zoom, you can now connect with women in business on the other side of the world.
Research carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)* as published in Forbes, confirmed that 78% of start-ups found networking vital for their success. Our own members have told us how crucial our virtual sessions have been as we’ve navigated the recent changes in circumstance facing the world as a whole.
“This networking group has been a lifeline for me. Sharon and all the ladies in the group have been very supportive during a very turbulent time. There is a variety of talents amongst the ladies, which brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. This group of ladies have all become friends and are not just business associates. I cannot recommend Sharon’s networking group enough!” Alexandra Hugginson, Lumber Jax
Before we explore the opportunities for collaboration, let’s first examine why networking is essential for you and your business.
- Bringing a group of business owners together provides a platform for knowledge sharing, skill swaps, and experiences. As a solopreneur, it can be a hard slog to be everything to everyone. Knowing you have a community on hand willing to share and support, you will help your business grow.
- Working on your own creates a void where brainstorming is concerned. A virtual network offers a sounding board to voice your concerns, try out a pitch, ask for feedback on new products or services, or build your speaking skills.
- Let’s not forget the physical time, money, and energy you save! No need to add an hour or more to your commute, no reason to squeeze your feet into ill-fitting heels, and there’s a significant reduction in your marketing materials as physical business cards become redundant.
Collaboration is the cherry on the top
Within the Womens Business Networking Group, we’ve seen a wide variety of collaboration opportunities. There is so much value in working with ladies from your virtual network from guest blogging and online workshops to community projects and supportive outcomes.
A partnership can mean better visibility for all parties involved. With that boost in visibility comes client referrals, sales conversions, recommendations, and a wider network to promote and deliver your products or services.
By collaborating, you open yourself and your business up to endless potential, but you are also fully supported by the alliance you’ve made through a combination of expertise and effort.
The beauty of a virtual network is the range of industries represented and the variety of business owners attending each session. There will be a collection of new start-ups connecting with seasoned entrepreneurs who can offer valuable guidance. Feeling isolated and overwhelmed is part of life for any business owner, but reaching out to your network will help you turn any anxiety or negativity around. We talk more about this in our post; Everyone Needs Someone to Believe in Them.
Think carefully about the ladies in your network, and the changes you could make by bringing one or two business owners together. The outcome doesn’t always need to be financially beneficial either. Collaboration can be a simple exchange of inspiration, experience, or education.
For example, our guest speakers are a valuable addition to our networking structure. The potential to boost your business profile by presenting a learning opportunity is one of the strongest ways to collaborate.
Need more help?
At Womens Business Networking, we help small business owners to stay connected, thrive in business, learn, grow, and feel empowered. To find out more about our membership or book on one of our networking events, please get in touch via our website.
“A wonderful community of like-minded business women sharing their story, the highs and lows, and supporting each other through online networking sessions, guest speakers, and lots of laughter. I’m so glad I became a member.” Shelley Wilson, Book Coach & Author