How to find the right networking groups for your business

Wondering which networking events to attend or which groups to join?

People often ask me  – Where should I network?  Of course the answer depends:  “Who do you want to meet and why? “

With those questions answered it becomes that much easier to find the right events to attend and the right groups to join.

Here is a handy guide to the different types of networking groups to help you get started.

1 minute read

Business Networking Groups tend to fall into seven broad categories

  1. Professional associations and organisations.
  2. Business mastermind and support groups
  3. Referral Groups (E.g. BNI)
  4. Community Service Groups (E.g. Rotary)
  5. Local Area Networks (Traders Associations and Chambers of Commerce and events run by your local council)
  6. Privately run networking groups catering for a specific niche or demographic – typically their events will either have a speaker or be run in a particular way.
  7. Casual meetup groups – usually started by someone who sees it as a great way to build their list and credibility.

Within these categories you will find a huge variation in structure, membership, commitment required etc. Make sure you pick groups that are a good fit for your personality and your lifestyle needs – Don’t join groups that you can’t or don’t want to fulfil your commitments to. E.g.  – if you can’t do weekly breakfasts don’t join Business Networking International (BNI). If you are shy and retiring chose a small and intimate group with plenty of structure.

At the least you will need to join at least two groups as well as regularly attending other non- membership events to help you further expand your network

  • A professional association or a business mastermind group – depending on your needs.  This is where you will further your professional or business ownership expertise.
  • A group which focusses on helping you achieve your business goals. Depending on your business objectives and your personal goals and values you may also choose to join a business referral group, a community service group (e.g. a Rotary Club) or a local area network such as a Chamber of Commerce, or a privately run group which can specifically assist you with your business objectives.

The decisions will be much easier once you know exactly what it is you want to achieve. So make sure to start with a networking plan.

Plus – if you know what you want to achieve then you can measure the effectiveness of your networking efforts.

All networking opportunities are not the same. Find the ones that are right for you, your business and your goals. 

Brenda Thomson

Are you a business specialist, advisor or service provider?

  • Are you tired of the lucky dip of traditional networking events?
  • Would you like to be part of a community of experienced, quality business owners who want to do good things together?
  • Do you love connecting and collaborating with other business owners like you? (Because together you get stuff done.) 
  • Are belonging, results and impact ALL important to you?
  • Are your ideal clients small and medium businesses?
  • Do you share our core values of professional excellence, collaboration, contribution and integrity?
  • Do you want to help make the world a better place?

If that's you - you're in the right place!

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