Networking is an essential part of any successful business. It can help you find new customers, build relationships with potential partners, and gain valuable advice from experienced professionals. But with so many networking groups out there, it can be hard to know which ones are right for you. In this article, we'll look at the 10 best networking groups for small businesses, so you can find the one that best suits your needs. Your Local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start.
Most cities have one, allowing you to start networking regardless of where you live. The Chamber of Commerce helps promote community policies that help small businesses thrive. They also offer networking events for small businesses, mentoring opportunities, and other tools to help your business grow. While every chamber of commerce is different, many small business owners say participating is a great way to build a community that's there for you and your business for the long term.
Business Networking International (BNI)is a reference-based networking group.
This organization works best if you can afford the fees and time commitment. However, many small business owners claim that they have earned great referrals and established strong relationships through this group.
While you can usually use Facebook to receive updates from family and friends, it's a great way to find business-oriented Facebook groups. For example, the Facebook group Small Business Networking aims to connect companies and share knowledge. It currently has more than 200,000 members, with hundreds of new publications every month. Another example is the Small Business Support Group group, with more than 20,000 members. It describes itself as a positive, non-promotional space to help other small business owners overcome difficult situations.
SCORE, the Retired Executive Service Corps, has been a valuable resource for small businesses for more than half a century.
The organization is a U. resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and offers free business education and mentoring. Depending on where you live and what line of business you are in, you can find a local association related to commerce, commerce, or industry in your community. For example, if you are a general contractor, there may be a local association that focuses on your craft.
Rotary Club Internationalwas founded in 1909 and is not a traditional networking group. Instead, it's a global services organization that focuses on hyper-local projects.
However, it tends to attract a lot of entrepreneurs who want to contribute to their community, so it can be a great place to meet like-minded small business owners, as well as retired entrepreneurs who can offer advice and mentoring. If you prefer to create your own network and, at the same time, help your community to thrive, Rotary could be a great option for you.
The Kiwanis Clubwas founded in 1915 by a group of Detroit businessmen. Like the Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club is a service organization that can be a great opportunity to network with small businesses. Kiwanis focuses more on projects that serve children and is slightly smaller than the Rotary Club.
Many entrepreneurs say that they have established great business connections and, at the same time, have contributed to their communities.
Chieffocuses on supporting women in business with an exclusive member network and is dedicated to women executive leaders. This organization provides a list of vetted professional colleagues, whether they own a Fortune 50 company or a growing startup. Chief offers peer support in the form of community groups and member meetings, masterclasses and exclusive access to the ideas of business leaders and cultural icons.
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)focuses on the economic prosperity of all American business enterprises. The MBDA offers programs, services and initiatives designed to help minority entrepreneurs grow and prepare them for the business world of tomorrow. By joining a small business networking group, you can take advantage of the group's collective wisdom and experience to help your business grow.
Of course, not all network groups are the same, and not all groups are right for every small business. If people get real value from a business network or an event, they'll be happy to share it with you, so be sure to ask like-minded entrepreneurs to know how and where they make their contacts. Get ready with a promotional speech. If there's something specific you're hoping to get out of an event, prepare yourself with a keynote speech - that is if you are looking for a job; starting a new business; making a career transition; etc. The local Chamber of Commerce will also organize its own events and networking groups and should also be able to inform you about other events taking place in your area. Many co-working spaces offer opportunities to establish formal and informal contacts. Working in a shared space offers an opportunity to meet other small business owners from a wide range of sectors. If you don't want to commit to working from a shared space all the time, some groups offer a single day of coworking - often with a group lunch - such as Colleges on Tap. Professional bodies usually offer a member area where you can establish contacts with people in the same professional sector as you.
Providing helpful advice and guidance to other members of the group can establish your reputation as an expert and build good will among people who may one day need to recommend your work. Executive director peer counseling groups are comprised of 12-16 CEOs or local business owners from different markets - all working together towards common goals. By joining one or more of these networking groups for small businesses - whether online or offline - you'll be able to make valuable connections that will help your business grow.