Networking is a term that is thrown around a lot in the business world. However, for those who work in the skilled trades industry, networking can often take a back seat to the actual work that needs to be done. But neglecting the power of networking can be detrimental to the growth of a business in the skilled trades industry. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of networking for business growth in the skilled trades and show that it can help businesses improve their bottom line.
What is Networking?
Before we dive into the benefits of networking, it’s important to establish what networking actually is. Networking involves building relationships with people in your industry or related industries, with the goal of sharing information, resources, and referrals. Networking can take place in a variety of forms, whether it be meeting people in person at industry events, connecting on social media, or through online networking platforms.
Networking is a valuable tool that can help businesses in many ways, including:
1. Building Credibility and Trust
Networking can help you build credibility and trust in your industry. By meeting and engaging with people who work in your field, you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable and reliable resource. Through networking, you can develop relationships with people who can vouch for you and recommend your services to others. This can help you build a positive reputation and increase your chances of securing work in the future.
2. Expanding Your Customer Base
Networking can also help you expand your customer base. By connecting with people in related industries, you can uncover new opportunities and get referred to people who need your services. Building relationships with people who work in complementary industries such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contracting can lead to cross-referrals and new business.
3. Learning About Industry Trends
Networking can also help you stay up-to-date with industry trends and new technologies. You can learn about the latest products and techniques in your field, which can help you stay competitive and offer better services to your customers. Attending industry events, joining online forums, and engaging with other professionals on social media can all help you stay informed and connected.
4. Finding New Suppliers
Networking can also help you find new suppliers and vendors. By meeting people who work in related industries, you can uncover new sources for materials and equipment. You may find that networking can help you access better pricing or get access to hard-to-find items.
5.Developing New Partnerships and Collaborations
Finally, networking can help you develop new partnerships and collaborations. By connecting with people in related industries, you may find that you can team up to offer complementary services or work on joint projects. Collaborating with others can help you expand your skills and services, which can lead to new opportunities and more work.
Networking Statistics for Skilled Trades
The benefits of networking are clear, but you may be wondering if there are any statistics to back up the claim. Several studies have shown that networking can be a valuable tool for businesses in the skilled trades industry. Here are a few examples:
– According to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, 80% of construction firms have reported difficulty in finding skilled workers. Networking can help businesses connect with potential employees and fill these gaps in their workforce.
– A survey by the Construction Marketing Association found that 85% of construction professionals use LinkedIn, making it one of the top social media platforms for networking in the industry.
– A study by the International Trade Administration found that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that engage in international business networks have a higher likelihood of growth and innovation, which can help them stay competitive in the global market.
Networking is an invaluable tool for businesses in the skilled trades industry. It can help you build credibility, expand your customer base, stay informed about industry trends, find new suppliers, and develop new partnerships and collaborations. By neglecting to network, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to grow and improve your business.
If you’re not sure where to start with networking, consider attending industry events, joining online forums or social media groups, or getting involved in industry organizations. By putting yourself out there and engaging with others in your field, you can build the relationships you need to take your business to the next level. So, take the time to network and watch your business thrive.