Business Networking with #Thirdthurs – A New Group Starting in January
If you think business networking is all about upping your ‘likes’ and collecting followers, you’re missing a vital part of the equation. Social media has revolutionised the way we connect with fellow business owners and customers alike, but that’s only a small part of the marketing mix.
Making face to face friends and connections in the business world is what joins the dots. In the busy, practical world of balance sheets and profit margins, we sometimes forget that without people we wouldn’t have any business at all, so personally knowing people (and being known in return) is vital for a healthy, thriving business.
Investing in Relationships
Network meetings are fun, informative and entertaining. They’re places to make new friends with shared interests and concerns, and they’re fertile breeding grounds for creative new ideas.
If you’re new to business networking groups, you may think they exist solely to help fill your order book. In fact, they’re far more about developing relationships, building friendships and becoming part of the local business community.
Here are 5 of the key benefits of business networking:
#1 – Profile Raising
Getting known and recognised are two of the hardest tasks facing business owners, and network meetings make it just that bit easier. The more people who know about your business, the more business comes your way. Making friends with fellow business owners also has a nice bonus — if your name springs to mind when someone they know needs your service or product, yours is the business they’ll recommend. It works both ways, as you’ll be able to make referrals for others.
#2 – A Deeper Knowledge Pool
Whatever challenges you face in business, you can be sure someone has been there before you. When you belong to a networking group, you can learn from other business owners, avoid pitfalls, learn shortcuts or get new ideas. You also have a chance to help others facing problems you’ve already overcome.
#3 – Wider Connections
The potential for business growth extends far beyond the four walls where the meeting takes place. Every new person you meet knows others who are new to you, so you’re also building connections with everyone else’s network too. For new business owners, networking groups provide an informal, non-pushy way to reach out to the community.
#4 – Open Opportunities
Face to face networking opens up all kinds of opportunities, from event invitations, client referrals, partnerships or social engagements. You never know when they’ll present themselves, which is part of what makes network meetings so valuable.
#5 – A Confidence Boost
A little confidence boost goes a long way sometimes. Networking and meeting new people gets you out of a rut and puts the fizz back into business. You could practice your public speaking by giving a short presentation in your area of expertise, or build a reputation as a supportive and knowledgeable member of the business community.
#Thirdthurs – Your New Local Networking Group
Pontefract & Castleford’s what’s on guide has joined forces with Castleford Tigers, Gap Personnel, Eitex, Michael Lewin Solicitors and others to start a new, free, networking group in Castleford.
The #Thirdthurs group will meet on the third Thursday of every month, and we’ll also use the hashtag to promote on Twitter during our already popular #pontcashour.
The first meeting is on 21st January, so there’s plenty of time to register your interest and mark your calendar. The venue is Castleford Tigers RLFC Ltd between 7.30am and 9am.
Daryl Powell, the head coach of Castleford Tigers, is giving the first presentation. There will be a free breakfast, and plenty of time to meet and mix with fellow business owners. Further details are here.
Bring your business cards, leaflets or brochures to help us get to know you. We look forward to meeting you!