With all the advances in technology and the ability to network online these days, it is easy to overlook just how important local networking groups are still. This old school way of meeting other businesses in the area and helping each other out is still a very effective method to grow as a company. It all comes down to finding the right groups that provide the most benefits.
For some, just joining the local chamber of commerce is a good first step to get a foot in the door. Each city has different options, but here is a closer look at why they are worth joining.
Benefits of Joining a Local Networking Group
For any business owner, the bigger their professional network is, the more trusted referrals they will have. It can be extremely beneficial to network locally in just about any type of business. Those who provide a service can grow to become the #1 option for people in the area. Those who sell goods can become a trusted supplier.
Another advantage is that building relationships can set up potential needs down the road. There might be an opportunity for two businesses to join forces or simply partner up. Building strong relationships can really be beneficial even if it only happens years later.
How to Use a Local Networking Group to Grow Your Business
There are definitely benefits to join local networking groups, but a person has to use the right strategy to get the most out of them. The first thing a person should focus on is to be memorable to other business owners without being obnoxious. One way a lot of people accomplish this is to come up with a unique and creative card for the business. Not only is it memorable at the moment, but a person is more likely to hold onto it as well.
When starting a new local group, it is important to be at least somewhat frequent with visits. People are not going to remember the business owner who stops by just once or twice in six months. Go weekly or monthly, and an impact will be made. If it seems beneficial, continue going.
However, after visiting a group for a while, don’t be afraid to assess the situation in general. If the group is simply not as effective as you were hoping for, try to find another one. There are only so many hours in the day, so wasting time on visiting certain groups that just don’t work shouldn’t be done.
Popular Local Networking Groups
Each city is going to offer different types of groups for businesses to join, but as mentioned above, almost everyone will have a local chamber of commerce. Other popular networking groups on the local level include:
LeTip meets once a week, and only one business per category is allowed in any of the local groups. This is to help avoid any type of competition within. Businesses must continue to do business with others in the group to stay. It is a really helpful community, but a business owner must be active to really get a lot out of it.
BNI stands for Business Network International, and as the name suggests, they have groups all over the world. They operate in a very similar manner to LeTip. Both groups are very beneficial if a business can get in.
Biz to Biz
This is another option for people to consider, and in many cities, it is the easiest of the three to get started in. It takes a lot of effort to be active in Biz to Biz, but the benefits without question are there.
If you need quick capital to order business cards, pay networking group dues, or just are in a pinch, reach out to us to learn more about your options or apply today!