The age-old mantra is not what you know, it’s who you know. From the golf clubhouse or the old school tie network, people used their connections to get ahead. But in the past couple of decades there has been a major proliferation of business networking groups levelling the playing field for small local businesses to get ahead and to get involved in their business community. Some are commercial ventures, others not for profit, but what they all have in common is that the people attending want to grow and expand their business and are looking for opportunities. It is also no coincidence that the people who help other business owners, get the most back from those same groups, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” or “givers gain”.
With the advent of social media everyone’s networks are at the touch of the keyboard and tapping into other people’s networks can be very lucrative. Networking is about meeting people, seeing the whites of their eyes and getting to know, like and trust them so you can recommend them with confidence to your contacts. There are groups meeting for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and even without food involved).
You may have seen recently online Caterham based nurse Lucy Gillett tapping into the business community network with great success to acquire PPE for the local medical profession at a time of national shortage, even getting school DT teachers to make it with their 3D printers. Networking is powerful and should form part of your business strategy. So due to current conditions, all networking groups are meeting via video conferencing instead of at a venue but that makes it even easier to dip your toe in the water, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your sofa to get to know a huge range of local businesses from all walks of life who all want to help you succeed. Give it a go and try a networking group this week, during these times when it’s hard to do business, it’s even more essential to be seen.
If you want to try it for yourself, send me an email and I’ll put you in touch firstname.lastname@example.org