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Updated 29 Sep 2020

Why organic networking can be a growth technique for SMEs

Discover how organic networking can become a natural, stress-free boost for your business growth. 

Sibongile Booi, 19 August 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

The numerous business benefits of networking are widely known, yet it is often a daunting experience for many of us. Fortunately, there is a more natural and less hard-hitting approach to uncomfortable traditional networking and elevator pitches: it’s called organic networking.

Networking enables you to create awareness of and promote your services, build relationships and drive sales through more referrals, ultimately growing the business.

In addition, networking with other local business owners and entrepreneurs through local business groups can provide a weekly focus, a matrix to measure business, a support structure for problem solving and a platform to share ideas.  

Related: 8 Quick tips to maximise your networking skills

A more natural approach

For many, hard-hitting traditional networking can feel forced, unnatural or uncomfortable. For others, it may seem old fashioned given today’s digital social media networking platforms. Organic Networking, however, is a sincere and comfortable (even progressive) way of networking naturally, anywhere and anytime.

It is about simply establishing connections within your community and creating value for each other, so everyone prospers. It is not constricted to a specific event, group or time, but rather becomes a natural, stress-free part of your role as business owner.

You simply connect to your clients and other businesses in your community, connect them when they can benefit from each other, and also enjoy business referrals from them. It also provides an opportunity to learn from their business experience, as well as to share your own knowledge and expertise.

Organic networking, therefore, is about a mutual exchange of information and value, which builds a genuine connection and consequently creates relationships that last longer.

Related: 3 Ways (and reasons) why you should be networking for business growth

Tips to help you network organically

  • Enjoy meeting others in your business community, and take a genuine interest in getting to know them and their businesses.  
  • Listen carefully, ask questions and encourage others to talk about their lives, their businesses and their dreams. 
  • Ensure you can explain who you are and what you do in a clear, simple and interesting way. 
  • Good general knowledge, familiarity with current affairs and a few engaging questions will enable you to start or join a conversation comfortably and confidently.
  • During the conversation, find an appropriate opportunity to exchange professional information as a natural, unforced part of the interaction.
  • Stay connected with those you meet by following up with a friendly note or email.
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About the author

Sibongile Booi

Sibongile Booi is the founder of Second Office, the first virtual office solution in the Eastern Cape that offers cost-saving, flexible business and serviced office solutions. She’s been recognised as one of the Top 100 Women in the Border Kei Region and her company has been recognised on various platforms, including achieving First Runner Up in the 2016 Eskom Business Investment competition and becoming a recipient of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Fund. Sibongile is a big life enthusiast, a long-distance runner and a pilot in training. Twitter @sibbooi or email [email protected]

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