3 weeks ago
Ok hands up, how many of you attend any local networking events?
Now I know you’re busy growing your business, but you never know who you’re going to meet.
It may seem like ‘2 hours that you could spend planning world domination’, but believe me, you might be pleasantly surprised.
So I’m not saying your going to necessarily meet your next big contract at your local networking event, but the people you meet there may well be in contact with your next big client. They may have a friend who works in the industry they may have an email address of someone they recommend you speak to.
If you go to the event and the network of people isn’t right for your business, you don’t have to return, but don’t let that put you off either. Try a few different events and see the kind of people you get to meet.
There are plenty of like minded business people in your area who are interested in growing their network of contacts. We have met some amazing people – We found a much better quality printing firm, we managed to secure some great business premises and also were given the names for some great contacts for some businesses we are wishing to target.
We have also been asked to speak at business events, networking events, executive dinners, College’s and Universities. This has been great for not only building our brand, but also our personal profiles as well.
To find out about your local events, check with your local Chamber of Commerce or check Google for your local meetings.
3 weeks ago
How many networking event did you attend before your business took off (Also, well done for getting your business off the ground, keep it up)?
2 weeks ago
I think you hit the nail on the head, however I would offer a little caution.
For our business we have looked at & attended many different network events over the past couple of weeks. We have had many breakfasts, some good and some bad but for the most part the events are all very similar.
There is BNI (Business Network International), BOB (Business over Breakfast), Active Business Network, 4N... I could go on.
The caution I offer is take a look at what the network does, who are the members (most have a member list) and decide is this actually for me and my business. Take it from someone that has heard close to 200 'Hi my name is.. from so and so company.. give me your wallet' pitches, you need to know if you will benefit from the event, because you can be rest assured that those sort of networking groups will definitely benefit from your cash. If you are in the health food business such a networking group may not be for you.
Our product works for all appointment based small businesses, so trying to promote that to a group of 12 is not a great use of our time. However, we are members of our local Chamber of Commerce and have attended a few of their events. These have not only been useful but educational - we got something out of them and are now giving back. Plus they run free events for non-members.
As I have said on a number of my replies, do your homework before deciding where to splash out your cash. Are you going to see a return on your investment, will you benefit before committing. By all means go have a slightly expensive breakfast & gauge the audience but be selfish, you are there for your business first.