Everyone’s been harping on at you for months to join a networking group. You keep hearing they’re a fantastic opportunity to build relationships, work with others, and of course increase referrals and therefore income. However, with so many different groups available, you don’t have a clue how to decide what group’s the right one for you.
It would be really easy for us to say “Bury Business Group” is the answer; however, the reality is it might not be. Not for you and your business.
The only thing we can really say with any degree of certainty is there are a few things to consider, some of the most important ones we’ve outlined below.
#1 – How big is the group?
It’s important to consider how many members there are in any group you’re considering joining. Whilst everyone has their own ideas on what constitutes a “small” group versus a “large” one, it’s safe to say that a group with only three members is likely to yield little in the way of returns. Of course, groups grow, but how much pressure is there going to be on members to ensure that’s the case?
For some their preference will be to have a more intimate group instead of a larger one with 30+ members. The larger the membership, the harder it can be to establish meaningful relationships with everyone. However, even if you only did one 1-2-1 per week, you’d still get through everyone over the course of a year. So, is it really that big a deal?
#2 – What are you signing up to?
When you become a member, what are the Terms and Conditions you’re agreeing to? Are there going to be any upfront costs associated with being a member, and what are the ongoing membership fees? Is the cost of breakfast (etc) included with the membership fees, or is that an extra cost? Will you be tied in to a 6 or 12 month contract? Do you have to arrange for a substitute to attend in your place if you can’t make it? Are there penalties for non-attendance, or not passing a certain number of contributions?
These are all things that you will need to consider before signing on the dotted line. If for no other reason than to ensure there are no nasty surprises later down the line.
#3 – How often does the group meet?
Some people prefer a weekly networking group, which allows them to forge relationships quickly, and ensure they are in very regular contact with their fellow members. However, there are others who prefer a fortnightly meeting to allow enough time between sessions to build referrals and contributions.
What you prefer will be down to your own circumstances, and how you prefer to network, but this is something to consider. Is a weekly meeting going to eat into too much of your time? Is fortnightly going to yield enough in terms of return business?
#4 – Who are the members?
We don’t mean specifically who, as in names, but what industries are already represented at the group? Is there anyone there that is a natural collaborator or referrer for your business? For example, if you’re a mortgage advisor does the group have an estate agent, architect or conveyancing solicitor in the group? What about an independent financial advisor?
There are many industries that logically work well together, and occasionally overlap. Look at who is already a member, and see what synergy there may be that will have the opportunity to quickly give you results.
Remember, if you haven’t already been along to BBG, then you are welcome to do so at no charge. Get in touch with us to book your place, or find out more – CLICK HERE