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There are a multitude of common factors that are important to your business strategy and largely impact it—such as your resources, technology, locational trends, and employees. But have you considered what talking to strangers can do for your small business? It may sound odd, but your networking skills with people not in your direct social or organizational structure can have a major impact on your business’s trajectory.

Find out why networking with unfamiliar faces is important not only for you and your business but your employees and other business owners, too.

Why It Impacts Your Business

Bottom line: you need to be able to talk to people you don’t know. Entrepreneurship is largely dependent upon these new—and sometimes daunting—conversations. If you find yourself shoulder to shoulder with an influential businesswoman on the elevator, for example, you should have an elevator speech ready to go. She may be the next major investor or know someone who’s hunting for a partner.

Not all interactions will be that extreme or life-changing, but there are also numerous other benefits to trying it out.

Increase Your Business Network

Perhaps the most obvious benefit to talking with strangers is how it can directly expand your network and business opportunities. The businesswoman in the elevator may not pan out as your new investor, but she may introduce you to a friend at an upcoming event. You may even use the first few times as practice before things start snowballing, and that’s completely normal. No matter how big or small the direct impact of networking, there will always be an indirect benefit.

Improve Interpersonal Skills at the Office

Networking isn’t just for elevators and conferences. If you make talking to new hires or stop-ins an intentional practice at the office, odds are your employees will catch on, too. This helps the team feel more at ease and united and works to negate any sterile or unfriendly atmosphere. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they’ll voice their opinions during meetings and help foster new ideas for your business.

Help a Fellow Business Owner

Striking up a conversation with a stranger may benefit you, but it can almost certainly help them out, too. You may find that your friends or skills are exactly what they need. In the small business world, it’s important to keep an eye out for each other—especially during networking. And who knows, perhaps someday down the line you may find that they return the favor.

As you network, be sure to make room for them to do the same. Take the time to tell them about your business and give them space to respond about theirs. Creating an interaction that is balanced and both parties are heard can help foster a mutual relationship. It can also keep the conversation flowing and bring out new ideas and contacts.

Learn How to Easily Network

Networking doesn’t come easily for everyone, so small business coaching with Advicoach can help set you up to effectively recruit and strategize for your team. We can also help you train salespeople to engage and network with prospective clients, too. Contact Advicoach today to learn more about effective communicating and business strategies.