The Importance of Industry Networking

When home improvement companies share knowledge and create relationships with others in the industry, everyone wins.

Networking can happen through workshops, in classes and conferences, or online. Becoming a member of home improvement networking organizations, like the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), also gives manufacturers and retailers an abundance of opportunities to network and gather knowledge.

Here are a few ways you can leverage networking to not only support your team, but the future of your business. 

Look to Others for Insight on Your Own Organization

Networking is essential for any business, from retail startups to the well-established firm.

Home improvement networking is essential because it gives professionals the opportunity to see the industry from other perspectives. 

Networking, even with your competition, gives you a new perspective and a healthy way to evaluate how you’re doing business. Your company’s competitors might have better success selling some products than you do. You can network to learn more from them and to share your own knowledge. 

Make Sure You’re Connecting Online 

You can’t effectively network if you’re not where your colleagues and competitors are. And most of them are online. 

Social networking has become a more necessary tool for staying in touch with friends and family, but sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn offer professionals a way to connect with others in their industry. 

Home improvement is a hot topic online, so there are plenty of ways to jump into the conversation! Have team members take photos of samples or new products and post them on Facebook, or start a Youtube channel for videos that feature your customer’s projects or favorite products to work with. 

“There are also thousands of groups devoted to practically every aspect of the construction industry where you can join in or start your own discussions,” says Kendall for ConstructConnect. “One of the best features of LinkedIn is the ability to find new people you’d like to network with and having a shared connection introduce you to that person. Online networking should not replace face-to-face networking, but it is a valuable tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Have your product development teams join these types of groups to get feedback on current products and services, and use the information to enhance future products. Or have your marketing team network with other marketing teams to be up-to-date on how current tactics are working for other companies, and how they can adapt it for yours.

Working Together to Improve the Industry

Working in the home improvement industry means working on teams to help solve problems for clients.

Networking makes it possible to extend that help even further, and when your goal is to collaborate with others, you’ll build deep and long-lasting connections in your network. 

Remember to network within your team and company, too. Have team members partner with employees in other departments to help with a project or learn a new skill. Bring in product reps to offer workshops to educate employees. Collaboration and connecting teams this way will help bolster relationships within your company but ultimately helps your clients.

Working through collaboration, rather than competition, can help with any labor issues you may face. Engaged team members who communicate well with each other are more likely to work well with each other

“Employees who are engaged consistently show up to work and have a greater commitment to quality and safety. Understandably, these employees also help their organizations improve customer relationships and obtain impressive organic growth,” according to Gallup

These highly connected teams can “achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales.”

Go Big: Join a Home Improvement Networking Group

There are a few organizations that serve the home improvement industries. From annual conferences to workshops, professionals have some great ways to network and connect with each other. 

The Home Improvement Research Institute offers membership to firms and professionals who need to stay on top of industry trends, product innovations and other research. Members of HIRI are given access to over $850,000 worth data and resources; plus, HIRI contains some of the biggest names in the industry (such as Home Depot, Lowes, 3M, Ace Hardware, Kohler and more). Being a member allows you to connect with these companies on a common subject.

HIRI also hosts an annual Industry Insights Summit, a networking event where some of the brightest minds and leading organizations in the industry gather. This educational event exposes members to knowledge, trends, new products and industry experts to help them improve their business. 

Build a Better Business With Networking

Through networking, you’ll get access to mentors, learn new techniques and grow your expertise. And that’s a great way to build your business. If you’re ready to become part of the growing community of HIRI members, check out our benefits here

Or sign up for our monthly newsletter​ so you get the latest news on our upcoming virtual Summit (being held September 22-24), home improvement industry trends and more valuable data

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