Here at Biz to Biz, we believe that belonging to a networking group is one of the most vital moves you can make for your business’ success.  Networking groups have a lot of benefits, including helping you increase business referrals, make new friends, and gain entry to opportunities, and to help you practice building your confidence and improving your sales and leadership skills. 

It’s possible that you are new to networking, or you’ve just decided to get serious about joining a networking group.  Either way, it can seem tricky.  There are a lot of options out there.  How do you know which one is right for you and your business?  This article will list things you can do to narrow down your choices, and pick the right group for you.

Research Group Types, and Decide Which Ones Would Suit You Best

One of the first steps you’ll want to take is researching what types of groups are out there, and narrowing down your choices by deciding the top one or two that may work best for you.  

There are several different types of groups: local groups, virtual groups, free groups, and paid groups.

If you are interested in networking with your local community, and the businesses there, you’ll want to look into local groups. Our chapters that meet in person (when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic), fall into the local group category.  If you want to network with business owners from all over the United States and world, a virtual group (which we offer as well) would be your best option. We also have virtual chapters that help a wide variety of business owners and entrepreneurs. 

Do your research, and find what is out there.  Create a list of potential groups to narrow down. 

Attend as a Guest for a Variety of Groups

After your research, you may have an idea of which type of group you’d like to join.  That’s great!  But there’s also a chance that you’re not sure.

Attending meetings as a guest is a great way to test the waters without making any commitments.

See what the atmosphere is like, how the people are.  Go to as many groups as you like to get a feel for what kinds interest you, and what ones you feel the strongest about.  After that, consider going a few more times before committing yourself to that group.

It’s also a good idea to attend at least one meeting for every type of group.  Even though you may already know what kind you want to join, it may surprise you to discover there’s a virtual group you get just as much value from as a local face-to-face group.

You may instinctively know you’d like to join a local networking group, because your primary goal is to connect with the local community.  Getting clear on your objectives and goals is important!  

You can attend a Biz to Biz group as a guest one time to see how the group is and what it is like in the group. Our groups are full of business professionals that are very committed to their communities and one another. 

Don’t stretch yourself too thin, you should only seriously commit yourself to one or two groups.  You want to make sure you have time to devote to these groups so you can build genuine connections and relationships or trust. This means you will be able to provide value and receive value in return.

Connect With Group Members and Find Out Who Runs Them

While visiting these groups, don’t feel like you should sit in the back row and observe.  Even if you’re visiting a group that isn’t high on your list, it’s important to mingle and see what kind of people are in the group, and what they’re all about.  

Ask questions about: 

  • What they’ve gotten out of the group?
  • What is their why as a group? Why is this group working together? 
  • What industry they are in, and ask about what the culture is like?
  • Where has the group been successful? 

You want to join a group that cares about you, and to be a place where you feel welcome and part of the community, even as a visitor. 

Making sure the group you join has the same value system as you is also important. Be sure to investigate the people or organization behind the group itself.  

Find out who the leaders are, and ask them questions about what they’re motivations and values are. Get clear on their intentions, and what kind of commitment you need to make to have the group be successful for you and your business.  

Because your networking group will play a huge role in shaping the future of your business, it’s essential that you make sure you, the people in the group, and the strategies they use to support you are compatible.

The strategy groups implement determine your group success. This is why we have designed Biz to Biz networking chapters with entrepreneurs and professionals in mind, because we want you to have the structure you need to be successful as a group. 

Consider the Value of the Group.  Is it a Worthwhile Investment?

When deciding if a potential group is right for you, it’s important to keep your goals for joining a networking group in mind.  

Ask Yourself: 

  • What are you hoping to achieve with this group?  
  • Do you want to meet new people and establish connections in your community or in your industry?  To get advice for career progression?  To exchange referrals? 
  • Are you joining to only receive referrals? 
  • Are you willing to pass referrals and come from a give to give mindset? 
  • What would make this group worth your time and energy? 
  • Are you coming from a giving mindset? 

Most businesses want a mix of all of these benefits, but it’s best to prioritize one or two and see which group will meet your needs, and empower you to be successful in your business. 

Don’t join a group until you KNOW it’s an environment that will empower you to reach your goals, and that you are committed and ready to invest in building the community. 

Especially if it’s a paid group.

Joining a group, and having it be successful is not only a commitment of money, but a commitment of time.  It takes effort and time to cultivate and build relationships and gain the benefits of a networking group, so you have to make sure it’s a good fit. . Once you commit, dive into the deep end and play full out for your business and the other members of your group with a give to give mindset, it will return back to you tenfold.

Here at Biz to Biz, we offer networking groups that are paid and provide a significant amount of value. We have helped over 10,000 members since 2007 and our groups help generate millions of dollars each year in business. Our strategies are built for you and your business to be successful, particularly if you don’t hold back and you commit to the success of your chapter. 

Our main goal is to help you and your business grow to its fullest potential, and we believe that networking groups have the greatest ability to empower the success rate of small businesses.  

We would love to share what we offer with you, and why we are a great option for business owners looking to expand and nurture their network. Feel free to reach out to us here, and let’s talk about what our chapters have to offer, and help you reach your fullest potential. You can also register to attend as a guest to any of our active chapters here. And find open spots in our groups here