We live in an increasingly disconnected world, despite the massive amounts of technologies that emerge on shelves every year. Gone are the days when face-to-face or even phone conversations are an integral part of business. Now, instant messaging, email and other somewhat impersonal methods are more appropriate in many industries.
What does this mean for networking, which has always been seen as a crucial element to business success? If entrepreneurs don't have a relationship with others already in the industry when they just start out, how are they going to meet vendors, manufacturers, marketers and dozens of other professionals they need to work with to make their startup succeed and grow?
Innovative accountants and bookkeepers know that it is actually still possible to network, even in the impersonal manner that seems to rule the roost these days. Online connections have served people well in their personal lives, something that's being translated to the business world equivalent.
More leaders taking to social media websites
According to a recently published infographic put out by Manta, around half - 53 percent- of small company owners believe that online networking is easily as important as face-to-face meetings. This sentiment can also be applied to finding more clients, as 42 percent of those polled noted that they have customers that only use online channels.
Twenty-one percent of small firm administrators would go as far as to say that fostering connections online has more importance than in-person methods. For all leaders, 38 percent say that a quarter of their allotted networking time is spent online, followed by 24 percent who up that amount to half of their time.
Networking events do still happen, however
That is not to say that traditional networking events are useless or have gone away. According to Inc. Magazine, these conferences are also evolving in their own way. The news source suggested that business owners should integrate new technologies alongside these meetings - like connecting over social media websites to find common ground. Perhaps they both know the same person or have a similar background, which could result in a deep connection being made.
Moreover, the source advised that leaders hone in on only a few individuals during these meet and greets, rather than trying to work the whole room. This way, not only will owners remember more about the people they spoke to without confusing them, but it can also foster more in-depth relationships.