Insider Networking – The Importance of Building Business Relationships

Last night saw the latest of our Networking Events with took place at Tom’s Kitchen in St. Katharine Docks. Taking over the private dining space, we welcomed attendees working in a spectrum of industries spanning Digital, Fashion and Retail including up and coming Apps Pulsate, ReChannel and Stylect.

The sold out Marketing dinner was the latest of 4 networking events that we at Mangostorm Media have sponsored and organised with Table Crowd. The events bring together start-ups, entrepreneurs and established investors to help build relationships over delicious food in great restaurants around London. Each evening is headed up by a keynote speaker, providing industry insights and insider knowledge, with last night focusing on the importance of developing and retaining relationships at any level of business, from start-up to global enterprise.

Our speaker, Ross Williams, is the CEO and Co-Founder of Venntro Media Group, and was also voted Entrepreneur of the Year 2014. VMG is a £50million a year tech business, currently the largest European privately owned online dating business, started without a penny of external funding from a small shoebox bedroom in Windsor.

Ross founded his first business Rawnet Limited (Ross Alex Williams NET), building websites for clients around his university education, to generate an income to pay for school. After becoming CEO of Global Personals in 2007, Ross helped to grow the business from a £3million annual turnover to £30million a year by 2011.

His career hasn’t all been plain sailing, and has required some serious crisis management needed to keep it afloat, as well as experiencing dizzying heights of success, which is all part of the life of an entrepreneur. But he did share some really important knowledge with the group:

Building strong relationships with partners and co-branding is key – even if you’re working in Digital, meeting people face to face, catching up over Skype and picking up the phone to chat instead of sending an email are really important to develop and strengthen relationships.

Give people your time – similar to the above, everyone likes to be recognised. Taking a little extra time to discuss issues with your clients or connections however busy you maybe will be much more profitable in the long run.

Branding – remember you are an extension of your brand and you should use this to promote yourself and your company. Also have small giveaways to hand out to help people remember you at events, pens, notepads and goodie bags will always be more effective than just a business card.

Network, network, network – none of the above is really possible without building up your connections. Ross credits the majority of his success on going out and continuously networking, whether you’re starting out or part of a developed company. Ross has the innate ability to connect with people, build dynamic teams and provide excellent service, all of this has enabled his success in helping people to succeed in find the love of their life online. A win-win.