Building business relationships has been shown to enhance a company’s effectiveness and visibility. There are several ways in which networking through a variety of media can help a company to establish a niche within its industry. Here are a few tips for connecting with other businesses.

Exchange Services
Similar to an exchange of favors, get acquainted with colleagues in similar organizations and, as the need arises, offer to exchange specializations to help each other. For example, if a colleague’s administrative assistant is out sick for the day, consider sharing your secretary to help out if your workload is temporarily low and the situation is feasible. Another example is if a professional you know who works for a company in your business community is looking for a speaker with your credentials, offer to make the presentation, which will probably be paid or endorsed in some public way, to help out the other business. Your professional relationship will deepen as a result, and you may be invited to assist other companies as well.

Develop a Co-mentoring Relationship
Volunteer to become a mentor at a related company or group of businesses to share your insight with their new employees in your area of expertise, especially in companies that don’t have senior employees to serve in that role. This could be done over a monthly lunch or a casual after-work get-together. Likewise, the other company may be able to offer valuable guidance in a new division that your company is developing or assist in training your new hires with valuable technical skills, for example. Mutual support can foster positive business relationships and build bridges to even more meaningful connections in the future.

Network Via Sponsored Events
Join local professional business organizations like the chamber of commerce or civic groups like the Lions. Attending their range of events, from luncheons to presentations and after-work gatherings, is a great way to meet other professionals that will provide opportunities to extend your identity and influence. In addition, you can benefit by learning how other companies handle challenging situations or set higher standards to help your organization do the same. Making new business acquaintances can be very helpful when a reference is needed or if an advanced career position opens up at their organization. Community festivals, trade shows, and charitable events often provide opportunities to network with professionals and build business connections that will grow over time.

Network Via Social Media
In addition to creating a dynamic website, get involved with social media to make your business presence known. Linked in is the premiere website for displaying your credentials, participating in professional discussions, finding a job, or connecting with other members with whom you may share common business interests. You can post a personal bio along with a dossier or links to publications and presentations. Not only will you be able to meet local business people, but you have the potential to connect with a vast range of professionals around the world. Xyngular is a good example of displaying the information people are looking for. In addition, you can set up a Twitter account and use it responsibly to share industry news, promote company events, and announce new achievements or awards. Many companies maintain a Facebook presence, while some post on Instagram and other social media to gain the attention of those who share their business interests. Establishing an online niche will facilitate others getting to know you and to contact you about shared business issues.

Unlike politicians who traditionally have had to travel great lengths and shake many hands to build a following, business professionals can attend occasional events to meet others in their field. They can also develop a positive public image from the computer through social networking.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.