7 reasons to join a business networking group
In the cold winters in the Antarctic, penguins will huddle together in large groups of up to 5,000 to share body heat and keep each other alive. Those that get separated from the group in the extreme cold can freeze and die if conditions are bad enough. By unifying and working together they are better off than if they try to fend for themselves.
Owning and operating a business is like being a penguin the Antarctic. A business owner can choose to be completely independent from those around him, or he can choose to be part of the community he’s involved with and succeed together with the other businesses around him.
When you join a business networking group you’re unifying with other penguins—it allows you an opportunity to join forces with like-minded individuals who are seeking the same goals you are. In this case though, it’s creating a successful business venture rather than freezing.
Groups come in all shapes and sizes. You can find one that fits with what you need, whether a business organization, a professionals association, a community service club or a contact network. Here are the top reasons to join one:
1. Stay on the cutting edge of your field.
Networking group meetings often involve trainings, presentations or lectures from experts about specific aspects of your field. Seeing and hearing about them in a setting with other professionals will give you the opportunity to learn about changes and trends before it’s too late. By asking questions and understanding the new developments that arise in your industry, you’ll receive an informal type of continuing education to help your business thrive.
2. Find people who can support you.
Being in a business organization instantly creates a sense of comradery that can lend itself well to finding people who are willing to help you with things you can’t do yourself.
3. Have customers sent your way.
When those who you’ve met and networked with come in contact with someone who is looking for a product you deliver, they’re more likely to recommend you because they have a personal relationship with you, which gives you a leg up on your competition.
Being involved in your industry will give you credibility with your customers, partners, investors and suppliers. If they know you are dedicated enough to your craft or industry to get involved outside of your own venture, they’ll be able to detect your ability to innovate and grow with them as a client.
5. Membership benefits.
Oftentimes those involved in a business group will offer discounts, coupons, swag or other perks to members of the group as a way to unify and foster good relationships within the organization.
6. Exposure for your company through sponsorship.
Networking groups are often looking for sponsors to support and maintain the group. In return they offer exposure for the brand before, during and after the event. Using these events to show off your brand to thought leaders will spread your brand message farther than you could do on your own. For example, Divvy sponsors a local Franchise Business Network. Not only does this allow our team to meet people in the industry, all event information comes from our reps, and all signage includes our logo, exposing us to a more targeted audience.
7. Contribute to industry/community.
Those involved in business networking groups are often those who are making a difference in their industry. They are thought leaders who look for solutions and ways to improve what already exists. Being involved with that will give you an opportunity to make a difference and give back to your community.
In whatever organization you may join, remember that it’s called networking because it’s work. Talk to others, join the conversation and spread your brand message to others to really get the most out of your membership. To join into our network, send us a message and we’ll be happy to start a conversation.