Business networking – a long term investment or a time-sink?
You can group business networking into three types – casual contact (just getting together – places like the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary or Lions), strong contact (whose purpose is overtly about passing referrals to each other) and a third whose name I forget but which is about groups with a specific purpose, like a professional group where members support each other.
They are all good – all have value and any business owner should consider all three types a serious contender for his or her time.
In fact, join more than one – they will all help you grow your business if you do it properly – which is the key, of course.
Small Fish (Jon) is involved with Pittwater Business Limited – an excellent business networking and education group in Sydney’s north. Members meet to network, socialise and learn from the carefully selected breakfast speakers. It’s been a boon to Jon’s personal coaching business – it’s helped him meet people, build relationships, get some local profile and also enjoy himself (which also counts)
Lately, all of us at Small Fish have become enthused about BNI – a strong contact group (www.bni.com.au) whose purpose is for members to meet, build strong relationships and get to know and trust each other enough to be able to pass real referrals between each other. They boast millions of dollars of business passed between members and a global franchise.
I’m still new to it (Jon) but very enthused. I’m expecting most of Small Fish’s coaches will be joining a BNI Chapter, too.
We’ll let you know how it goes for us.
Verdict – networking good, BNI looks good but the jury is still out.
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