Being part of a networking group like Venus, is definitely great for a business owner.
Whether you're a start-up business or been around for yonks, the connections you make can last for a very long time.
When I launched My Virtual Assistant, back in 2009, I hadn't ever heard about networking groups, and if I had I didn't give them much thought because I'd never need to find my own clients before.
One of the main objectives for networking is to ultimately increase sales. However, the purpose of networking should be to focus on building new business relationships and solidifying existing relationships.
After all, the core outcome of networking effectively, is that people will do business with people they like, know and trust.
Effective networking means building brand awareness, exchanging quality business leads, obtaining industry information and developing new business skills.
When people get to know you and learn more about your business, they will eventually get to like you and trust you. If they trust you enough, they will want to refer business to you or even work with you.
Teaming up with other businesses, known as collaboration, can be a very powerful business tool and enables business owners to reach goals they may not have been capable of achieving when working on their own.
I strongly believe in the ‘digital’ age of networking and find email and Social Media pages invaluable for keeping in regular touch with people. My Virtual Assistant receives lots of referrals from local Facebook pages via my networking associates and friends, which is fantastic - it’s like having my very own marketing team out there!
The value of face-to-face networking is important too. Making physical connections with people is huge because actually meeting someone in person will take the relationship to the next level and it allows people to connect in a way that is simply impossible from a distances.
I feel that people who are willing to actively participate in a networking group are usually people who really keen to ‘go for it’ when it comes to business.
And of course, the people you hang around with and talk to can greatly influence who you are. So, one of the reasons I enjoy being part of this Venus Howick networking group is because I am surrounded by a wonderful bunch of positive, uplifting ladies, who are all helping me to grow and thrive, not only as a business owner, but as a person.
Whether it's giving or receiving referrals, we all helping each other in some way. Helping each other become more confident and maybe forming lasting friendships which could affect our futures. Being part of a dynamic networking group with other like-minded, focused business owners provides a fantastic source of making business connections, and really opens doors when it comes to connecting with influential people that you might not usually be able to make contact with in the outside world.