As I muse back on my professional journey, my buried pet project looms tearfully at me, as if accusing me ‘Had you given me the right attention and nurtured me, I would have been flying sky-high instead of lying motionless under this tomb’. This makes me cringe because the heart of hearts I know that I gave it my best. The idea was brilliant, my effort was whole-hearted – where then did I lose out? Without hesitation, I would say it was about ‘ALL WORK AND NO NETWORK’. Whether it was for funding or for allied industry knowledge legalities or for client and vendor connects – I was either groping about on my own or googling or was looking up to a set of connections I had – and kept circling within a defined boundary.

It was not that I was unaware of the power and utility of business networking, but it was just that I did not focus on it and worse still conveniently chose to ignore it. Looking back I guess it could have largely been due to the influence of social media. Maybe somewhere down the line I got to believe that ‘friending/following a person on social media was the ultimate of networking. But now I have understood that the answer is a clear ‘No’. Social networks merely facilitate a ‘casual connect’ – whereas physical networking has the ability to build rapport and create long-lasting bonds that lead to fruitful associations.

Now comes my next challenge – ‘How can a compulsive introvert like me ever build a network’. The answer is ‘the simple, popularly growing co-working spaces’ – where hundreds of people like me come to work energetically, build a network and grow business.

While there are several co-working spaces in Chennai, one of them which left a lasting impression in me was – HQ10, a new generation private office and co-work space, promoted by Radiance Realty. What made this place attractive to me were not just the comprehensive business amenities that they offered, but also the right blend of privacy and group work – created by its tastefully designed private office spaces, shared and dedicated co-work spaces, meeting rooms and informal leisure lounges. Allowing you your own space and at the same time giving you access to a network of like-minded professionals

Just take a look at the various ways in which HQ10 Network of like-minded professionals can help:

How HQ10 Networking helps

Generation of referrals/Increased business
This is probably the most obvious benefit and the reason why start-ups, small businesses and freelancers choose HQ10 co-working space as against traditional office spaces. The referrals that you get through networking are normally high quality and most of the time are even pre-qualified for you. You can then follow up on these referrals/leads and turn them into clients.

Opportunities like joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, vendor connect… the list goes on, and the opportunities within networking are really endless.

Pick the right opportunity that aligns with your business and goals and you will find yourself going places.

Networking provides you with a great source of connections, and really opens the door to growth. It’s not just about who you are networking with directly either – that person will already have a network you can tap into as well. So ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know!

Having like-minded business owners to talk to also gives you the opportunity to get advice from them on all sorts of things related to your business or even your personal life and obtaining that important work-life balance.

Self Image and Confidence Building
Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking. When you regularly attend business and social events, you will slowly become a known face. You can then help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person by offering useful information or tips to people who need it. You are also more likely to get more leads and referrals as you will be the one that pops into their head when they need what you offer.

Positive Influence
The people that you hang around with and talk to do influence who you are and what you do, At HQ10 you will find yourself surrounded by positive uplifting people who can help your business grow and thrive

Knowledge Enhancement
By interacting and networking with the like-minded professionals across varied industries at HQ10, you will soon find that you are adding quantumly to your knowledge bank prowess which you could have otherwise never done. This is really important as a business owner because your business growth is very dependent on your overall exposure.

Improves your self-worth
Helping others and effectively contributing your time improves your self-worth. You simply feel better at the end of the day, like you made a difference. That comes about by helping others to achieve their goals. In turn, they look to help you when needed.

Lastly, this one is more personal related rather than business related but is a big benefit none-the-less. Many friendships form as a result of networking because (mostly) you are all like-minded business owners that want to grow your businesses, and you meet and help each other regularly, so naturally strong friendships tend to form.

All you enthusiastic and energetic start-ups, freelancers and small business firms, I reiterate ‘ ALL WORK BUT NO NETWORK CAN KILL EVEN THE MOST BRILLIANT BUSINESS’. So when you want to grow your business by leaps and bounds, JOIN THE HQ10 NETWORK! AND SIMPLY POWER ON!