As a small business owner, you know first hand that running a business can be difficult. It can often seem like an uphill battle with minimal support. You don’t have the security of supervisors, company policies or guidelines.
This lack of security also means a lack of restrictions, and it can be exciting. Perhaps it’s one of the reasons you decided to start your own business in the first place.
However, you may find yourself starting to feel alone and desire a connection with other business owners who can relate to your struggles and offer advice and support. If this sounds like you, joining a networking group may be a good next step for you and your business.
What is a Networking Group?
A networking group is a group of individuals looking to share and expand their knowledge in the business world. Sometimes these are groups of people in the same industry exchanging knowledge of trends and job opportunities, and other times they are from different industries altogether.
However, the main objective of a networking group is to exchange referrals. Referrals are when someone recommends your product or service to someone they know. Groups can create a valuable word of mouth referral process, where you have a group that sells for you and gives you referrals that are ready to purchase and move forward.
A networking group is an organized referral network to help expand and promote your business, while doing the same for the others in your group.
Who Are Networking Groups For?
Networking at its core is about connections. Building relationships and establishing connections with like-minded people is an integral part of growing a business, so networking is essential for any business owner.
Networking groups are for business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their network, and find a community of business professionals that care about your success. Instead of only networking with a bunch of people that you only meet once, or going to a convention once a year, you develop and build close relationships with a group of people.
As a solo entrepreneur, this can be a good solution to feeling lonely or stuck in your business.
If you are a business owner and you want more camaraderie, referrals, and advice from other powerful businesses, and professionals that you respect, then networking groups are right for you.
What Kinds of Groups are There?
When considering groups, there are several options to choose from. There are local face-to-face groups, local paid groups, virtual paid groups and virtual free groups.
Local free groups tend to be a bit more casual and laid back then paid groups. They also tend to be face-to-face. These are a good option if you’ve never attended a networking event or group before, and want to test the waters. They’re also good to meet the local business community, especially if you are relatively uninvolved in your community.
Paid networking groups can be an extremely valuable tool for your business, depending on the quality of the group itself. Since you are investing your time and money for paid groups, you want to make sure they prioritize referrals and support, and show a track record of a ROI. The best paid groups are the ones where everyone inside has gotten more business as a direct result of the group’s referrals.
It is also important to look for a group that aligns with your values, and is focused on providing a positive environment where you can grow and learn.
Biz to Biz is definitely a good option to consider. We offer a paid networking group that is all about your professional development and potential, while you give and receive referrals. This is perfect if you are a small business owner who wants more hands-on involvement and training for your business.
While you might run your business alone, that doesn’t have to mean you ARE alone. And that is the beauty of a networking group.
How Do I Join One?
For a lot of groups, joining is simply a matter of showing up. However, every group is different. If they have a website, it should tell you any restrictions or rules for becoming a member.
If it’s a paid membership, you’ll have to submit a payment and application to become an official member.
Some groups also have a vetting process, where you have to get approval to join a group. With Biz to Biz, it’s simple, visit as a guest, submit your application, and pay your dues.
What if I Can’t Find a Good Fit for Me?
Maybe you have tried your local networking groups, and gone to a few online meetings, but you can’t seem to find the right group.
Don’t despair. It can take time to find a good fit for you and your business. Because networking groups are a more intimate form of networking, it’s important to not settle for a group that doesn’t meet your needs or challenge you as a business owner.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, we may have just the thing for you, we partner with entrepreneurs just like you to help build networking groups in person, and virtually. If this is of interest to you we would love to talk to you about what this looks like, and help you create a group that will empower your business and your community to be successful.
Biz to Biz: A New Approach to Networking Groups
Here at Biz to Biz, we take pride in our unique approach to networking groups. Referrals are essential to any successful networking group, and we value them.
However, we see and recognize the validity and power of small and micro-small businesses. Micro-small businesses make up the majority of businesses, yet have ten or fewer employees and make less than $1 million in revenue each year.
You probably ask yourself, “Who is fighting for me?” We are. As a small business owner, there is a lot of pressure to stay open and be successful. It can be draining and lonely. But you don’t have to do this alone.
Biz to Biz is not only focused on your professional development, but personal as well. We believe in the empowerment of personal integrity and responsibility. In fact, those are two of our core values. Some of our other core values include knowledge, commitment and contribution.
Biz to Biz is different because we focus on the underdogs. We believe your business is powerful and special, and you deserve all the support you can get. We don’t just believe in your business; we believe in YOU. Which is why we designed our networking groups with your in mind, we have a tried and tested strategy that brings growth, and success to our members year after year.
We have served over 10,000 members in over 4 US States, and we would love to invite you to learn more about who we are and what we stand for.
We can’t wait to get to know you better, and have you join our powerful networking community.