Whether you’re new to business or long in the tooth, networking has been around longer than you, and it’s been proven more times than we care to imagine that it works, so why don’t you give it a go? Here’s why;
1. You haven’t got time
You understand that it’s important to work on the business as much as in it, but right now your business demands that you work on billable and don’t have time to give anything to non-billable.
2. You’re not into crowds and shouting small talk
Meeting people is fine, you’re happy to talk about your business and your passion, but you just don’t like people and the competition to be heard! Maybe you find the energy tiring, or you find there’s too much bravado from certain personalities in a room.
3. You hate public speaking
You’d much rather have an informal chat with some people than stand up and present to a room of eyes and ears, all focussed on you!
4. It’s too expensive
Some networking groups do ask for an annual membership fee and a regular monthly payment for venue/breakfast. When Lucy started Push Start Marketing, the first thing she did was to go networking. The next thing she did was join one of the exclusive, high commitment networking groups. The cost of which was offset by the gain of two clients within the first year. If your network works the way you need it to, you will recoup the funds. And not all groups charge like that, some are a few pounds on the door if you decide to go…
5. There’s too much commitment
Once again, the level of commitment you are held to depends upon the group you choose. If you don’t want to link in with someone or drop them an email to say, ‘nice to meet you’ after a meeting, then you’re right, it is too much commitment.
6. It clashes with your timetable
OK, that might be an issue, but once more – it depends on the group you choose. You might find that the high commitment type group would work for you as it becomes just another part of your business that you do on a regular basis. Once it’s routine, it’s habit and you just keep doing it. And if the weekly habit is too much, can you manage a couple of hours each month, or every other month?
7. You don’t know what to talk about
8. You’ve got enough clients
Great! You never need to meet another business owner or anyone that might need your help again…
All the rationalisations are perfectly good excuses reasons not to make it out to a networking group, but in the minds of seasoned networkers, Push Start Marketing firmly believe there is one solid reason you absolutely should give it a try…
1. Relationship building
Push Start Marketing have been networking since the day of inception. Lucy began with trying out a couple of groups before she came across BNI and just knew that was the organisation for her. Hilary took a turn at membership for a year, and discovered she wasn’t as good a fit and prefers Networking Women, Business Buzz or the local secondary school’s quarterly group.
Not all networking groups require annual membership, weekly commitments, personal presentations or large fees. Whatever your business, whatever your personality, there is a group out there for you somewhere.
The relationships you will develop will benefit you no end, whether that’s socially, providing a revenue stream or a source of inspiration and reality checks, business thrives on relationships, and so can you.