There is networking, and there is networking. Most business owners belong to quite a few networking groups and organizations. Pretty much any networking you do will benefit your business as you are sure to meet someone and hopefully a few people who do not know you exist.
As we have mentioned before, you can get networked out - meaning there are so many events to attend, you will need to pick and choose the events you attend carefully. Each group has their own idea of what networking is, their own group of attendees and will represent different benefits to you as the business owner.
We regularly attend many events - some to learn, some to meet new people, some to say hello and remind people we are out there. But we also run our own networking group every Friday afternoon called Clients and Cocktails. It is a small group and rather unique in that we meet every Friday afternoon from 3:30-6:00 pm. What is unique is that we are in a different city and a different pub/restaurant each week. We have a rotation schedule throughout the region in order to share the wealth to the local restaurants as well as make it more convenient for those attending.
The past two weeks have been particularly successful, the first being Halloween at Moe's Place in Port Colborne and yesterday's at Gord's Place in St. Catharines. We had 17 businesses out for casual networking. We chatted about upcoming events, business practices, ideas to help grow a business and met quite a few new friends. Leads were shared, helpful tools and ideas were shared and the best part - all over drinks and food at Gord's Place. Marketing, web design, a hair salon, cottage rental, aerial photography, another pub, business management consulting, published author, virtual assistant, computer services, financial and insurance representatives. It is an open group, anyone can attend - visit our website for details of where we are next. November 14th we'll be in Welland - place to be determined - usually available by Tuesday of each week.
It is a great way to get out of work early on Fridays, still call it work and kick the weekend off to a great start. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us.