It’s probably a well-known fact that networking is a vital part of running a business. There are so many different groups out there and any literature you read on successful businesses will often tell you the key factor is knowing the right people – who you meet through networking!
A couple of years ago Tony joined BNI (Pathfinder Huntingdon chapter) while Clare joined WIBN (Cambridge West group) and 4Networking (Huntingdon, Cambridge, Ely & Peterborough) and, as the saying goes, we’ve never looked back!
Yes, the first couple of events felt daunting (although upon arrival, you realise there’s nothing to worry about!) and there were no immediate business contacts made or business generated but after regularly attending these events, relationships are built, as is trust and that is how business grows. Ours certainly has.
Of course there are times when it’s easy to say “I haven’t got time today” but we’ve learned to be very strict with
scheduling it in – placing the same importance on networking as on a client meeting – and now we love beingp art of these groups. We’ve even participated in team roles at the meetings, so fully immersing ourselves in to the groups.
This year Tony won a “Notable Networker Award” at his BNI meeting, which recognises his contribution to the group. We’ve also received some fantastic testimonials from our fellow networkers, who have become our customers, and we’ve been to some great social events too – we’ll be enjoying a couple more Christmas parties this month!
Networking is a two-way street – yes, we’ve got a lot of business out of it ourselves which is great – but we’ve also met fantastic people that we now use in our business. It’s a good opportunity to find out more about different and interesting professions too; especially the ones that you may have never realised existed!
We are true networking converts and wish we’d explored it years ago!
Do get in touch if you want to find out more about the networking groups or get any tips, we’d be happy to chat!