How do you choose your networking groups?

There are issues or areas to think about, when deciding which group to attend, or join. These will vary from person to person and business to business. However, there are a few common areas to consider before you start and certainly before you commit and invest your time and money.

All groups have websites – with varying degrees of information, contact details and booking procedures, so see what you can find out first, then call them. Any group leader/owner should welcome a call from a potential new member.
The Quality of the People – who else goes? Choose a networking group which attracts decision makers and business leaders. Bear in mind if it’s filled with mainly salespeople then they could have a quota they have to meet.
The Quality of the Businesses – Will you be able to do business with the other members?
A Time that Suits You. You need to choose a group which meets at a time that suits you.
The Right Frequency  – Is weekly is too much? You do have your own business to run and the weeks seem to fly. Fortnightly seems good with me.
Flexibility – Does it matter if you miss a week or will you be getting a letter from the team leader or made to walk the walk of shame.
What Is Expected of You? – Do you have to do a short pitch? Do you have to bring a referral every week or is it a bit more relaxed than that? If it’s every week, I guarantee that the referrals will be of low quality.
What is the cost structure? As well as the physical cost, you need to consider your time. Is the subscription paid monthly or annually and what guarantees do they make?
Who is the member? – Is your business the member or are you?
What Else Do You Get? – Getting referrals is OK, but how else will they help you grow your business. What else are you getting for your investment?
Exclusivity – Will you get exclusivity for your profession within that group?
The size of the group ­ Quality or quantity? You want a good mixture of high-quality businesses because you have to be recommending their services to your contacts.
What it feels like when you get there? You will be meeting up with the other members on a regular basis. Are these people you could work with and get to know and like better?
Location – How convenient is the meeting location? If you’re driving is there easy parking? Can you leave after the meeting and not get stuck in traffic?
Formality? How formal are the meetings?
Lorna Burroughes
Thrive – developing connections for growth

If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email enquiries@thrive.buzz or ring us on 01603 597727