Networking is crucial for the businesses of tomorrow

Three out of four business leaders (75 per cent) believe no business can survive today without a professional network.

Indeed, 92 per cent of business Leaders of large businesses believe a business need professional networks

According to the Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow Connections Report, by Lonergan Research, business owners and managers think that about a fifth of their revenue actually derives from their business networks.

It reveals that business Leaders attribute 17.7 per cent of their revenue to business contacts and professional networks.

The report was released on Friday ahead of nominations opening for the second year of Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow program.

The Businesses of Tomorrow program is a competition where businesses nominate on the Westpac website. The judges select 200 which are whittled down to 20.

These are put on a program at the Melbourne Business School and given mentorship with the likes of former Westpac CEO Gail Kelly in the broader business network. They are also sent on a study tour of the United States which could include a visit to Silicon Valley. 

The Lonergan research showed that business leaders and managers felt the ones who had made a real contribution were those they had worked with previously or had done business with at another time.

“I think what this research is saying is that there are very successful lone wolves in business,” Bernard Salt, Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow program advocate told Business First. 

He said that required special skills. 

“The skills you need is not only being good at what you do whether it’s farming or manufacturing or whatever but you need to be good at creating relationships and leveraging relationships. 

“That to me is the skill that is really required here. 

“I think the people who have been successful in business are not the rocket scientists who shot ahead in their 20s but the people who had those broad emotionally intelligent type skills that got on with people.

“They were able to articulate their vision, make friends and connect with people.”

Business First is a peer-to-peer magazine: written by CEOs and other high level executives, with interviews with some of the country’s best leaders.

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