Networking has always been a part of life. We are told that it isn’t what you know, but rather who you know that counts. And who you know seems to affect most areas of your life. But this is especially true in business.
When you think of networking, the first thing that probably comes to mind are networking events. In these events, you meet a bunch of people, business cards in hand, with the hopes of making some profound connection that will take your business to the next level.
Usually, these are day events but they can last longer. While these events or conferences are important, they offer no guarantees of making any connections that will stick.
The Power of Networking Groups
This is where networking groups come in. Networking groups are powerful because they are established through a sense of camaraderie, and strategy.
If you are looking for a service, would you go with the referral of a friend or the word of a stranger?
Easy. You’d go with your friend’s referral, because you and your friend have established trust. Imagine a group where everyone in it refers each other to their clients and social circles whenever they need a service.
Sounds like a good deal, right?
Networking Groups Are Built on Trust and Support As a Business Community
Unlike events, networking groups allow you to create connections on a deeper level. Instead of going to one event a year with different people every time, you establish trust with the same group. This level of trust evolves into friendship, and a system of support.
Sometimes, you just need some reassurance or advice when stuck in a situation you have never been in before. Being able to turn to a community that will be there to listen and help guide you is invaluable.
The right business community can also provide training to refine your sales skills, professional development, mentorship, and increase your confidence.
Network groups also offer support by helping promote your business. This is done through the power of word of mouth referrals. By promoting each other’s businesses, you are helping everyone in the group succeed. Essentially, your networking group is like your sales team, and strategic groups will empower them to sell for you, and give you quality leads that are ready to say yes.
Sounds like a winning combination, right?
The Business Community Found in Virtual Groups
While in-person networking groups offer a lot of value, it’s no secret that a lot of networking has moved to the internet. With more resources and options for community available online, it makes sense that people are favoring virtual networking groups instead of meeting in person.
What are the Benefits of a Virtual Networking Group?
One of the best things about networking is the ability to learn and trade information and expertise about different skill sets and areas of business with others.
Virtual networking groups allow people to establish connections with each other without many barriers. This offers a lot of freedom to find a community that best suits the needs of you and your business, as well as the opportunity to learn from many walks of life, and business expertise.
Be sure that if you join a virtual networking group, that your group is committed and has the right structures in place for you to be successful, even if you don’t have the chance to meet and get to know each other in person.
Where to Find Networking Groups?
For in-person networking groups, you can find a variety of chapters on our website. We also have non-compete industry spots in each chapter, which means that we only allow one person per industry. If we don’t have any chapters in your state, or area, and you want to build a group be sure to check out our certified business partners program.
If you can’t find a Biz to Biz group nearby, Google is your best friend. See if there are any quality groups where you live, and find the dates and times to go check them out. Also, if you know anyone who runs their own business, ask them, they might have some ideas!
For virtual groups, we are building a variety of groups, and you can find more information about Biz to Biz Virtual Groups here. These groups meet weekly on zoom calls to connect, grow, and succeed and implement our proven strategy to bring you and your business success.
As far as other online networking groups you can find a variety of options on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Some groups on social media are more laid back than others, so it’s best to look at the rules and mission statements from these groups before making a decision on which may be a good fit.
Oftentimes, they will ask you questions about your business before joining, so be prepared to fill out a quick form before being accepted.
Are These Groups Free?
While a lot of them are free, there are some you’ll have to pay to join. With the right group, in person or virtual meetings via zoom it can be a worthwhile investment. Paid groups tend to have more structure, success, and a commitment from each group member to pass referrals, learn, and build quality relationships.
Paid groups also tend to give you more opportunities to get to know one another, and make it seamless for you to give and receive referrals. Joining a paid group is a viable option, and only you can decide if it’s the right fit.
Does it Matter Which Group I Join?
Choosing to join a networking group is a great option for a business owner, or entrepreneur. Of course, like any community, it’s important to check out your options to see which one is the right fit for you. Make sure to join a group that aligns with your values, and your mindset, because that will empower you to have more success.
You can join an in-person group or a virtual one. Maybe you want to join a couple. This is fine, but just remember that the best way to succeed in building a community in these groups is to be present. Be active, give value, and watch those connections form.
There is no right or wrong way to find the right networking group. And there are a lot of kinds of groups out there. Some are focused on a particular industry, masterminding, business style/model, or personality. You may want to find kindred spirits, or find a group where everyone offers a unique service. Some are tight knit, and others are large communities with hundreds of people.
Most Biz to Biz groups focus on bringing around 30 members in different industries together to create referral partnerships.
No matter what, finding the right business community for you is like finding your tribe. When you find the group that fits, you will know.
Currently, we have Biz to Biz groups in over 5 states, and we are working to add more chapters both virtually and in person. You can learn more about our groups, register as a guest, or contact us to learn more.