Finding Your Business Networking Group
The most important thing to remember when searching for groups where you can network is that you need to diversify your options. You want to find a mix of activities in order to find a mix of potential partners and clients.
Sterling Women (VA)
Yes Circle (DC)
Your local Chamber of Commerce is one of the best places to start when you are building a networking group. They often hold mixers, breakfasts and other events where you can meet other business owners and discuss what you can offer each other. If there is a local Convention and Visitors Bureau, they may also offer events that cater to the tourism industry in your area.
There may be an organization related to your industry as well where you can meet others in the industry and develop partnerships with similar businesses. Many towns have local merchant’s associations, such as downtown merchants or Young Professionals.
Clubs, such as the Rotary, Kiwanis or Optimists are other organizations that offer networking opportunities for businesses. There is also a group known as the Women In Business Networking that allows you to work with others to achieve goals. Joining women’s groups in your area are the perfect way to develop a network of women-run businesses in order to grow partnerships.
What to Look for in a Networking Group
A good networking group should provide you with referrals and business opportunities. In addition, you should be able to obtain advice, support and learn the experiences of others with a trusted group who understands your industry.
In addition, a good networking group should help your own personal development by providing learning experiences and the ability to develop new skills.
A networking group should also provide you with social contact. When you work for yourself, you may miss the social interaction you had when you worked in a larger company. A networking group should provide you with that interaction.