analyzing-brainstorming-business-people-1124062.jpgFirst what is a Business Networking Referral Group?
Business:  An organization/person which provides a product or service to sell.
Networking:  A place to exchange information with people that have a common interest.
Referral: Sharing/referring a service, product or person to someone
Group:  People who have regular contact and work together to achieve common goals.
A business networking group can be one of the most valuable tools that you use to grow your business both personally and professionally offering you:
  • A place to meet and build relationships with like-minded people.
  • A team that is ready to help, support, share ideas and brainstorm 
  • People that want to exchange referrals contributing to each others success

With so much choice it’s hard to know which one’s the right fit for you.    

There are business events based on one of’s, Gender, Cultural, Race, Age etc. but it is my belief that if we want to grow as a true community, with no prejudice, we need to build groups that are inclusive to all, bring everyone together. 

Being an entrepreneur, owning a business, offering a product/service to help others that you are passionate about is wonderfully rewarding, but make no mistake, we all have the same challenges whether you are running solo or leading a large company.               This is why it’s so important to be part of a TEAM – when things are going good and when  business presents challenges.  It works both ways! 

Here’s 3 key points to consider when participating in a business group

When the group is diverse it opens you up to people you normally wouldn’t meet, that are not in your circle, gives you an opportunity to learn from your peers, become better at your craft and enjoy a well rounded business.
  • men and woman, all age groups, cultures, education
  • start-ups and established businesses, mentors and mentorship
  • professionals, tradespersons, entrepreneurs and business owners
You need to have the “Go-Giver” mindset,  and be all in.  That means being an active participant, sharing, educating and opening your doors as well.  You need to be the member you want others to be and it needs to feel good.
  • people you feel genuinely want to help each other and are welcoming 
  • format that allows for sharing and presenting to really get to know each other
  • members that volunteer/fundraise/non-profit//teach/help others
A group or team will thrive when you have commonalities.   Creating a community environment cements relationships, there really is no division between personal and professional relationships, it’s just all about your Relationships.
  • What can you learn and what can you give to the group to have a team that thrives?  
  • What is the mission or common thread that keeps you together?
  • Do you have similar interests such as hobbies, sports, kids, favourite causes.   
What is the best choice for you?  Where do you start? 
Consider your time, although it can require a financial commitment it is more about the investment of TIME and having a PLAN that leads to success in networking. 
It’s important to commit and send the right message, what message are you sending?

Are you participating in a business networking group? Consider this an invitation to Connect at an upcoming meeting at Connect Ottawa. Jot me a note and mention business network.  

Building relationships one conversation at a time.
Let’s Connect!

Margaret-Ann Davis
Business Connector

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