As a small business owner there are so many things to do when starting a business and knowing how to network with various groups is important to spend some time doing until you feel your business is going in a positive direction. I feel that you need to do a lot of networking to help get your business noticed in your community. But one of the most important things you need to remember is that you will not immediately be able to gain business. Most people who start a business think they can just walk in the door and everyone will want to do business with them immediately. That doesn't generally happen, you need to cultivate a relationship with each group.
Several places that any business owner should consider joining are:
- Your local Chamber of Commerce
- A networking group such as Master Networks
- Look for groups that you can find a synergy partner
- NextDoor (neighborhood groups)
You will find that the more you get involved with networking groups the more fun you will have and enjoy the people in those organizations.
I believe that joining the local Chamber of Commerce is a great return on your investment. My business grown every year by being a member of the local chamber of commerce. as a member, I can have a website on their platform and that gives me more visibility in the community. You can add specials on their site and point them to your own website. But the relationships with other members have helped grow my business, and meet new friends in the process.
Each chamber has various committees that you can join and find the one you feel comfortable in or that meets your business needs. They have a networking group, and other committees to help you get involved and get noticed.
The cost to join a local chamber may look overwhelming, but the return on investment is something you need to check out every six months or so. If you are a niche company the chamber is a great place to get seen by many people. Don't limit your networking to only one group. Check out Meet Up and their various groups around the city. There is something for every type of business, from photography clubs to how-to clubs (Linkedin, Google+ and other type groups.)