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5 Ways to Build or Expand your Business Networks

By Jessica Valdez   |    July 25, 2017   |    10:13 AM

  

Leverage Your Hobbies to Build Your Business Network

Business networking can potentially happen anywhere anytime, even when you are pursuing your own hobbies. You don’t need to attend business events; you can start by leveraging your hobbies to business network out of office hours. You can join a club that you go to on a regular basis or if you’re introverted, you can go online to meet new people and build your business networks. Here’s how to use your personal interests to create an expansive network.

1. Intimate Groups

To business network and pursue your interests at the same time, choose an activity that appeals to you and where you are in a situation where you can easily speak with people around you and get to know them. There are many options for this. You may prefer to meet people and network in an intimate setting. If so focus on hobbies that encourage attendees to aggregate in small groups or engage in one-on-one conversations. Ideal hobbies for forging intimate connections and business networking consist of book clubs, cooking clubs, hiking or walking clubs or gardening clubs, amongst others. Intimate groups will allow you to get to know each member individually and see whether they are a potential business partner, client or can supply you with leads.

2. Large Groups

If you are more extroverted and have an interest in spectator sports, you might benefit from opportunities to engage in enlarged networks by joining spectator sports clubs. Being part of a spectator sports group and attending games with them is an excellent way to business network. At sports events there is a strong sense of solidarity as people supporting the same team join together like one big family; potentially this means one big networking family. Over time you will get to know many members and bonding over your shared love of a sport will constitute the perfect informal introduction to your company.

3. Don’t be a Lone Wolf

Forget sports where you practice alone -  join clubs! Even non-spectator sports which are usually practiced alone have clubs for sports enthusiasts. These provide excellent opportunities for networking. If you love hunting, fishing or running you can easily find a local club where you can meet new people and get to know if they have business needs.

4. Change it Up

Many hobbies can be geared towards business networking, if you just change up your routine. For example, it may be that you like playing squash, tennis or ping-pong and consistently play with a small group of friends on a regular basis. Nevertheless, if they are the same friends week after week you will never meet new people, nor business network. To expand your circle sign up for round-robins, play doubles in local, informal tournaments or go to events dedicated to the sport. This way you can meet new people and expand your business network.

5. Mingle Online

If you prefer the comfort and privacy of your own home you can join an online community dedicated to your interests. It could be a forum or a group on a social media site. Groups that offer chat functions that let you talk one on one to a member or message individuals privately are very helpful for allowing you to build personal rapports and business network.

If you’re looking for other ways to improve your business, Intelligent Office has innovative solutions for your unique requirements. Contact our office to learn more about our comprehensive virtual office services.