In case any more evidence was needed that the way we do business has changed since the financial meltdown in 2008, take a look at the growing importance of business networking as a way of building new relationships and earning money.
Whether it is networking through social media or even in person, our business relationships now seem more vital than ever before. There are now loads of great ways to network with communities and some of them – like the Enterprise Rockers micro business community – won’t cost you anything either.
Business Network International – one of the largest organisations for business networking with 13,000 members – revealed that although their membership numbers remained steady between 2008 and 2011, the amount of valuable customer introductions passing between members rose massively from £185m to £269m.
Apparently business owners are making the connections initially at these events and then continuing to be in contact with them via LinkedIn and Twitter rather than just forgetting about them as might have been done in days gone by. That’s another pretty big validation for the importance of social media in small business.