There is no doubt that networking is a hugely advantageous tool to any and all business owners. Now there are many groups, clubs networks out there to choose from but which one is the right one for you? How do you go about deciding which one is the right fit for your business?
Networking definitely forces you out of your comfort zone but It can generate referrals and increased business as well as creating connections. These sessions give you the opportunity to rub shoulders with highly influential people in the business world. These are opportunities that you might not normally have. It is also a great way to get advice from like- minded entrepreneurs/business people and make new friends in the process.
It’s tough not to drown in the sea of options but you have to keep your head above water. Talk to friends, friends of friends, do your due diligence and research and find the right one(s) for you. I know I am currently struggling with this exact dilemma right now and am trying to figure out a couple of more avenues to explore in order to expand my network.
I currently belong to the Toronto Board of Trade and this is a great organization. Business owners from all walks of life are members it’s a great place to meet people BUT you have to put in the time, do the work and that I think is part of the reason people have a tough time with this type of thing. These connections don’t get built overnight, you have to nurture them they take time and let’s face it you’re not going to connect on an organic level with everyone that you meet at networking events. Sometimes, you just need to walk away as there will be nothing mutually beneficial so move on, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Relationships are the catalyst for success. People tend to do business with people they like and trust. Be a resource for others and help them succeed. Just because there might be nothing beneficial for YOU doesn’t mean you can’t help someone out in the process if you have the capability to do so. Remember, this networking thing ISN’T all about YOU! It’s a two way street.
Image courtesy of accelerateplaces.com