Are you looking for a place to meet new people in your area? Are you interested in learning how to improve your professional skills? Do you need a place to relax after a long day at work? Then networking groups are the place for you. In this blog, we’ll outline some of the best business networking groups for small businesses, and how you can access them.
LinkedIn isn’t just about individuals sharing content in an isolation bubble. There are literally thousands of business networking groups on the platform. You can find them by searching for "business" or "professional." If you're looking for a more relaxed environment, try one of these groups:
- #SmallBusinessChat - A community of small businesses who share tips, tricks, and advice.
- #Entrepreneurship - A community of entrepreneurs who discuss topics related to starting and growing a business.
- #Startup - A community of startups who share ideas, tips, and advice.
There are also similar groups and spaces on Facebook, if that is where your target audience spends more time. Just search for the niche area of your choice (e.g. mums in business) to find the right groups for your business, or Google “Facebook group <your niche>. Once you find a group that interests you, click the Join button at the top right corner of the group's cover photo.
Local Chambers of Commerce
Many local chambers of commerce offer free events where members meet to talk shop. These events often feature speakers who provide insight into the local economy and trends, which can be very useful if you are looking to make local connections or are geographically bound as a business. The Chambers often have information and access to funding an grants, which you may not always know if you’re not connected.
They also host social gatherings where members can meet, mingle, and find fellow business owners in the community for support… or even just people to grab a coffee with! Owning your own business can be a lonely adventure if you don’t find the right tribe to share it with.
Business Networks (Online and In-Person)
There are so many different type of business networks. Monthly meet-ups, weekly breakfast or evening session, those with business learning included, speed networking… it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the choice on offer. Especially when the costs differ so widely.
To decide which network is the best for you, you first have to work out what your goal is for attending a networking meeting. Do you want to meet the same people each week, in a sorta club, and build a referral train.
Or do you want to learn something new each month from members who are experts in their field, as well as networking with the people in the membership?
Or do you want to meet new people every session, to network whenever you have a gap in your schedule, and really expand the number of connections you have and the potential client-base you can access? (Spoiler, this one’s meeow on-demand networking)
There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s all about the goal that you have for your business development strategy. So, before jumping into investing in a membership, make sure that you take advantage of guest invitations or free trials. That way you can ‘try before you buy’ and get the most suitable group for your business.
Best Business Networking Group for You
Whatever networking groups you decide to join, there’s only one piece of advice that really matters – you have to go! There is no point in having a membership of a group or platform and not making the most of every single opportunity you are given.
New business doesn’t just appear on your doorstep. You need to get out there and get visible, whether it’s online or in-person. Make sure that you get connected.
If giving your ‘elevator pitch’ in public makes you feel a bit bleugh, then just download the Network Genius Kit from meeow. In it we give you all the tools you need to have a successful networking session every single time – from the Pitch Perfect workbook to our Networking Planner. And the best bit? It’s totally FREE.