Essay On Networking And Entrepreneurship
Importance of Networking to Business Owners
Networking is a social process that creates a conducive environment for exchanging information and new ideas with individuals that have a common interest. The main purpose of networking for a business is to create professional relationships. These relationships may play a significant role in creating new opportunities for business and employment in the future.
Owners of small startups face many challenges in their first years of doing business. Such challenges often make most the new businesses to fail in their first few years of operation. Some of these challenges include: difficulty in making viable sales that can successfully sustain the company. The young entrepreneurs also face a number of difficulties in terms of knowing how to manage and grow their businesses. The entrepreneurs may become frustrated and depressed when they run out of ideas on how to keep their business alive. These are some of the challenges that the young entrepreneurs face when they have no point of reference or someone to emulate (Chowdhury, 2011).
Networking in business plays a significant role in eliminating such challenges. It helps the company owners to increase their sales by a significant proportion. The young business owners can also benefit by learning the best ways of managing their businesses and make them grow into big companies. In addition, networking allows the business owners to meet with new potential buyers or suppliers of goods and services (Chowdhury, 2011). Networking also plays a significant role in stimulating the creativity of the entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, networking creates new avenues for selling commodities thereby allowing business owners to increase their sales. It is possible through referrals made by the people the entrepreneur interacts with during networking events. In the events, a new contact may be suggested to the entrepreneur through whom they can sell their products. For this reason, it opens new horizons and markets for the entrepreneur thereby increasing sales.
Entrepreneurs can also benefit from the networking session by learning better ways of managing their businesses and expanding them to better prospects. The events are attended by businessmen of different ranks; from young entrepreneurs to owners of successful business. The young, inexperienced owners may learn a few things from the challenges the accomplished owners faced and what they did to emerge successfully (Chowdhury, 2011). This way, the young owners can create meaningful ties with other businessmen who may offer them critical advice during desperate times.
Business networking events also play a significant role in igniting creativity of young entrepreneurs. A person who attends most of these networking events continuously updates his wealth of knowledge that he or she gains through other people's experiences that he interacts with at the event. According to Chowdhury (2011), they can foresee potential challenges that may surface in their line of business. It makes them well prepared for handling such challenges or prevent the difficulties from occurring at all. When the entrepreneurs carefully combine and analyze the information after every event, they find out new ways of conducting their businesses thereby motivating their creativity.
Difference in Managing a Service Firm and a Manufacturing Firm
A manufacturing firm is a company that operates by using different components and raw materials and processing them into tangible and finished products. These products are sold directly to consumers or other manufacturing firms. A service business, on the other hand, is a company that earns its revenue by providing intangible products to customers for a given fee. Services offered by the companies are directly consumed by the clients and are not transferable to other consumers.
Managers in these two types of firms have different experiences in their daily operations. Some of the differences are the type of products being produced; tangible or intangible. Another difference is their purpose of production; one is customer-specific while the other is for inventory purposes. The physical configuration of the production places is also different for the two firms.
Manufacturing firms produce standardized goods while service firms produce customizable products. Managers in manufacturing companies strive to ensure that all goods produced are of the same quality and standard (Schieltz, 2014). A manager in a service company, on the other hand, aims to ensure that every customer needs are uniquely catered for as the services are tailored to suit the different needs of every client.
Planning of the environment, where the firms conduct their business, is different as they focus on various elements. A manager in a manufacturing company sets up his environment by focusing either on the product being produced or the processes to be followed; for example, assembly of a car in the factory. A manager in a service firm plans his environment considering how it affects his customers. He focuses on the arrangement furnishing; ambiance and mood brought about by the color, and how best to enhance the client's experience in their firms (Schieltz, 2014).
Managers in manufacturing firms plan for the activities that are followed to produce goods. They focus on planning their operations in terms of how they can save space to store raw materials and how materials can be moved with ease throughout the process. They also focus on amount and quality to produce. Service firm managers, on the other hand, focus on how to train their employees for them to provide their customers with optimal services (Schieltz, 2014).
Value Addition to a Service or a Product
Consider a steel fabrication firm in the manufacturing industry. A fabrication firm may buy pure steel from its suppliers as a raw material. The manager of this firm coordinates the processes of how the steel is heated, cut into different shapes and size. The output from these processes is then used in making various steel products such as steel doors, kitchen utensils, automobile parts, and other steel products.
Consider a hospital as a service firm. A manager at the pediatric clinic coordinates how the consultation rooms are painted, how the toys are placed, and how the lighting is set so as to create the perfect ambiance to make the children feel relaxed. The manager also conducts routine training to ensure that his or her staff can interact with the children in a friendly.
Overcoming Business Challenges
As an entrepreneur, I am most likely to face financial challenges in running my business. Even though I might have some startup capital, it may not be enough to sustain the growth of my business. I will make use of the internet as a technology to help me attract investors to my firm. It is a much easier alternative than using public offerings that are lengthy and tedious.
As an entrepreneur, I might face challenges of taking customers from my competitors in the local geographical market. I will, in this case, use internet to market my products and find new markets around the world and other areas.
Chowdhury, R. (2011, May 26). The Importance Of Networking. Retrieved March 11, 2015,
Schieltz, M. (2014, January 1). Service Operations vs. Manufacturing Operations. Retrieved
March 11, 2015, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/service-operations-vs