According to recent figures released by the the world’s largest networking organisation, BNI, web designers are one of the top five professions to benefit from joining networking groups.
The UK Web Design Association currently has over 10,000 web designers and web agencies have realised that networking meetings are one way to beat the recession. Of the top 50 professions in the UK, which includes accountants, electricians and solicitors, in the last 18 months, web designers are now one of the most likely businesses to join a networking group.
Charlie Lawson, National Director of BNI, commented: “Networking isn’t just about meeting people; it is about building relationships with qualified prospects that you can do great business with to help you build a sustainable business. When you create a website, you want people to click through, look around and come back on a regular basis. The same applies in business; you want clients to stay with you for as long as possible and return again and again. BNI’s research has found that networking groups have a proven track record in providing regular work through word of mouth for small businesses. Also, because work comes through referrals, there is a greater tendency for new customers to become long term clients.”
More businesses, specifically web designers, are turning to word of mouth marketing to boost their sales. Although it is often downplayed, networking is one of the best ways for SMEs to win new business, even during an economic downturn.
Owen Williams, Managing Director of web and design agency, sixredsquares, based in Southend-on-Sea, has taken the initiative and embraced networking. Owen joined his local networking group in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since: “Within a few months of becoming a member we secured a very large project with one of our highest profile clients which was worth just under £100,000.”
Like many networkers, Owen believes that being part of a structured networking organisation has helped his business stay ahead. Networking groups don’t just offer members a formal place to meet new business contacts, they also provide powerful training events both on and offline, including how to get more prospects to talk to you and how to convert these into business. Head to the BNI website, find out where your local networking groups reside, start making friends and start winning those elusive contracts.