If you are already actively networking then you will know how effective it is at delivering an ongoing business.
If you are not networking and you are a business owner then quite honestly you are bonkers.
It doesn't matter what your business is, a florist , accountant or a garage networking delivers business.
I have talked to businesses who have said that 'they don't do networking' and there are all sorts of excuses and all sorts of reasons.
My guess is that they just don't know how effective it can be.
I admit that some busineses have reported bad experiences with the hard core groups like BNI where you can be made to feel really uncomfortable if you aren't actively working as part of the group. If you join a group like the BNI then expect to have to commit yourself to it every single week and if you don't want that level of commitment then look elsewhere, there is plenty of joice.
I am not personaly into the hard core networking any more. I did my stint at it and made some good friends but realised that my time was better spent on focusing on my own business priorities and my business members. I felt that it was a conflict of inerest to be expected to refer business to businesses who either had no track record or which actually weren't very good.
With any network group you mustn't expect it to work instantly for you. Networking is a bit like a building site which you pass every day. Nothing seems to be happening for weeks and then suddenly it shoots up. All that time you thought nothing was happening the foundations were being built.
You have to give other business owners the chance to get to know and trust you before they either give you business or refer someone to you.
I am not a great fan of the '60second pitch' either. I am sure that most people in the room are thinking about what they are going to say rather than listening to the other business representatives. I see more networking being done in the coffee break than the hour of 60 seconds.
Our own 'Evenings with the best of' are what I would call soft networking.
We will invite a business to share some valuable information which can help other businesses, so there is always a good reason to come along other than to meet other businesses.
Networking should NEVER be an opportunity to sell yourself. That's not how it works and if you are what is called a 'hunter' you will soon find yourself on the edges of the group pretty quickly.
Networking is about building trust, realtionships and developing a reputation for good work. Only when this is accomplished will you start to see the real benefits.
So if you aren't networking then I would strongly suggest that you think again and give it a try.
If you are interested in coming along to an evening with the best of Telford and Wrekin then just give me a call on 07738302699.
Our eveings with the best of Telford and Wrekin are on the last Tuesday of every month and start at 6pm.
If you would like an invitation then just e-mail me with the message 'I would like to come to your next evening with the best of Telford' and I will send you an invitation.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Our full contact details are here.....
I look forward to seeing some new faces.
Member since: 10th July 2012
I champion the best businesses in Telford and Wrekin, businesses recommended by you. If you run a local business or know a really great local business that you think deserves to be known by more local...