I am a member of The Business Network, Banbridge, which comprises of a group of business owners, freelancers and employees, who meet on the last Thursday of every month to network, learn more about topics of interest to local businesses and to eat breakfast (we meet from 7.30-9am, so a bacon butty is very welcome!). I really enjoy my time at these meetings each month, and even though there are familiar faces there, we’re pleased to welcome visitors and guests every month too.
Networking, getting out there, spreading the word about your business is essential to be seen and grow. Not everyone knows about you, and even if your business grows by word of mouth, attending networking events will speed that up too. You never know who will need your services. They might not be in the room that particular day, but the people who are there might know of others who could use your services. It has happened many times within the group that we refer each other to our contacts, and that has resulted in them getting new clients.
One of the things I like most about this particular networking meeting is that everyone gets to give their “elevator pitch” – one minute for each person to talk about their business. Yes, there are some overlaps with others in the room, but there is never any direct competition. We all know that each person has skills and abilities that even someone else in their field doesn’t have. It is a very supportive group, and we have fun while we network.
I highly recommend you find a local networking group to go along to. Most give you the chance to go without being a member first, but membership can have its perks too. If nothing else, it will get you out of the house (essential for freelancers and small business owners who work from home), you’ll get to meet new people, and you could generate new business. What have you got to lose?