What are Business Networking Groups?
The economic shutdowns in the past two years have hit businesses big and small. Evidence shows that joining business networking groups is a key strategy to building business resilience and seizing opportunities that emerge as the economy opens up. Networking is defined as ‘an activity by which entrepreneurs obtain information about new entrepreneurial ideas.’ In the years following the pandemic we will still have an ever-changing economy. Success in change relies on being informed. Becauase of this, networking organisations are essential to knowing what is happening where you are, and importantly, how to seize on emerging opportunities.
Networking is defined as: ‘An activity by which entrepreneurs obtain information about new entrepreneurial ideas.’Birley, S., Cromie, S., & Myers, A. (1991)
Why join Business Networking Groups?
Research suggests that for smaller and larger businesses networking addresses the unique problems they face. Small businesses cannot rely on global internal networks. Instead, they must use their freedom to their advantage. Your awareness of surrounding stakeholders is key to moving effectively in your commercial space. Do this by building your own networks through business networking groups. Networking habits boost employability by enabling the exchange of feedback and advice. Just as important however is the sociable role they play. Boosting how related small businesses owners feel to one another is an important contributor to job satisfaction, and social resources, the same research found.
Larger businesses emerging into new localities lack the local knowledge of operating in the area. This means networking with established businesses is key. Investment in a new area is a risk. Without a good understanding of local commercial traffic, investments run the risk of failure.
Opportunities in front of you
If you find yourself in either situation, joining a business networking organization will connect you to local knowledge and supercharge your commercial opportunities! Our MD Dan Caruso runs such an organisation. Pet Owners in Business meet bi-weekly. Here is what an attendee can expect.
A chance to introduce yourself and your business (we call it the 40 second round).
An insightful presentation from a 4N member – no sales pitch (we call it a 4Sight).
Three 10min conversations in breakout rooms with another attendee (the 1-2-1s).
Sign-in early or stay a little later just for a chat or some banter (open networking).
Do you have an animal companion and operate in the Surrey area? Consider coming along by finding our next event on Linkedin or Facebook.
Better business life
A strong amount of contemporary research proves that membership in a business networking organisation provides a lot of benefits at once. One study finds that opportunities to access local knowledge correlate 99% with opportunities to socialise. It’s no surprise therefore, that participants identify the role of the network as ‘providing a wider collective voice within the local economy’. One business owner explained that “all activities are directed towards the overall improvement of trade through the promotion and improvement of the town as a trading environment”.
Business networking organisations provide a unique space for small and larger businesses to benefit from one another. Larger businesses looking for new local knowledge can access it through networking with small businesses in the area. In exchange they act as a pool of mentors, a source of advice, knowledge, and contacts for newer and smaller businesses. Such a relationship boosts the small business’ employability enhancing competencies whilst giving the larger business the kind of knowledge that minimises risks taken with local investments.
“All activities are directed towards the overall improvement of trade through the promotion and improvement of the town as a trading environment”.Newbery, R., Gorton, M., Phillipson, J., Atterton, J. (2015)
Your next steps
As a potential leader in your field, find a more cost effective solution than that provided by international business networks. Look for the local option! If you are trading in Surrey why not take the first step and sign up to the next event for Pet Owners in Business?
Hosted by 4N networking, Pet Owners in Business sparks that social connection over the love of your animal companion. This leads to to an exchange of business ideas and creates a pool of local knowledge and mentorship that businesses of any size enjoy.
See this process first hand by attending an event. Be part of the amazing value generated through business networking groups.