What makes a good networking group?
There seems to be so many groups springing up just as I am expanding my network offering and I have seen people post which are the good networking groups? And here is my advice on that subject.
Look in the mirror
Seriously, what I find great about one group might be something you personally hate, the business world is like the rest of the world it is full people a huge variety of people. Some like precise structure and order, some like no structure. Some people spring out of bed at 4 am ready to conquer the world some people are not worth talking to before 11 am. Are you getting the picture?
There are many factors to consider
Where, when and how often does the group meet.
Where: The right venue for you in terms of distance and ease of journey and not to mention how easy it is to park or get there via public transport
When: If you teach Yoga on a Monday night it does not matter how good The Sparkling Business Club is you probably are not going to make it.
How often: groups could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly… How does this fit in to the rest of your work cycle?
What commitment does the group expect?
Do you have to commit to attending all meetings or sending a substitute? And if so how often are the meetings. Or can you just attend meeting as and when you wish?
What are the financial implications of joining this group do you have to pay up front? For a year or 3 months? Do you just pay for what you attend?
How is the group structured?
Is every meeting the same? Does it have a strong structure? A formal agenda?
Is there a group that attracts your target audience?
Selling rubber stamps to craft shops I was very unlikely to meet a craft shop owner at a local networking event so at that time in my career there was little point in trying to find a local business network with people I could sell to. Selling Offices Supplies just about any meeting was full of potential clients. For The Sparkling Business Club I would be looking for groups that had a high proportion of women.
Look for a group with “Like Minded” people in.
When you think about it this is probably the KEY thing to do. IF you find the right group of people they will have already chosen a time and venue that also suits you. They will be running a meeting that suits you and it will probably have a price point that suits you too. So having created a long list of things to look for maybe just maybe all you need to do is find the right people to join! So Look in The Mirror then look for people like yourself.