The Importance of Networking in Your Business
Welcome to episode number 73 of The Determined Mom Show. Today I want to talk to you about networking for your business. It is an essential part of growing your business, but it needs to be noticed, and we often shy away from it because we may not want to be around people or figure out what to say.
We didn’t get us. Business cards yet. There’s a list of reasons that could go on and on, and many traditional networking groups like Chambers of Commerce and b and I groups often are male-dominated. It makes going there as a female feel intimidating.
It tends to be a breeding ground for unwanted affection, whatever. I’ve experienced that myself, and I also know that many women tend to experience that at those types of places. Not saying they all do and not saying that all of those places have that environment, but it is important to note. Feeling comfortable wherever you’re networking is critical to success and business growth.
My business has grown tremendously this year from the connections I’ve made through business networking. I’ve made amazing partnerships. Many of my business moms’ summit speakers were from networking that I met either through virtual networking or in-person business networking.
So it’s a critical part of your business and growth and all of those things. With that said, I have some tips that will help you understand how to find business networks you can flourish and get started and know how they work.
So, Let’s talk about how to find them. There are many networking groups online, especially on Facebook, and they often hold weekly or monthly, or sometimes even three times a week, zoom meetings. And those Zoom meetings allow you to interact with other businesses. They allow you to introduce yourself to other companies and let them know what you do and how you help.
And then, you can also create amazing referral partners with those businesses that you’re meeting. I have made quite a network for referrals and things like that through meeting people in the real estate and web design industries. Just many different industries that I wasn’t expecting would be profitable or lucrative to connect with.
It ended up being an excellent connection for me. So my second point is always to appreciate the power of a relationship. Let’s say you’re a florist, connect with a home inspector, and you’re like, ah, this guy, you know, it’s not going to. Lead anywhere. So I won’t pay that much attention, and I won’t set up any one-to-one time with them because it doesn’t benefit my business.
Don’t think like that because any connection you make is also connected to dozens of other businesses if not hundreds, and they may be able to refer someone to you for your service. So definitely always appreciate the power of a connection and don’t dismiss it. I would search on Facebook in your industry for different groups.
So also in your area, there may be local networking areas groups in your area. There also may be regional and statewide, there are a lot of things that you can do to find them; and in this time that we’re living in, in which everything is now virtual, there is no better time to be networking with other businesses like absolutely no better time because you don’t have that investment of time to get ready, time to drive to the networking event.
You don’t have to the investment of putting on pants; you can do pants and optional Zoom meetings. I don’t, I don’t recommend that, but you have so many different options now, and I love this particular part of the pandemic because I’ve been doing this since before the pandemic. Still, it’s forced everyone to be able to learn how to do Zoom and learn how to communicate on Zoom.
Could you do it effectively and run meetings and get things done? And it’s a huge blessing for all of us to have that time back that we would normally be investing in, getting ready, driving, driving home. A lot of times, we would eat out, you know, lunches. So many things have been recovered in this pandemic with the shift to virtual meetings.
That’s an essential thing as well. If you are looking for national networking groups, I do have them—a few that I would recommend, or at least two, that I would recommend. The first one is Mob Nation. So it’s mob-owned businesses, and it is a nationwide networking group. There is a sizeable free group on Facebook called Mob Nation, and you can go on there and join, and it’s a free group.
You can network with others. There is also something called the Alliance, and what this is is it’s a paid membership group that gives you access to all of the meetups, which are virtual meetings, and you can attend any that you want. You also get access to their monthly mob talks, which are presentations by different experts in their industry.
That is a free benefit too. So I happen to be the Olympia Meetup leader. Although we’ve never had an actual in-person meeting, I love being a leader, and I love the organization. And Aria is the founder, and she is just an amazing person. So I highly recommend that especially if you’re a mom and a business owner; the other is N W Networking group.
So now it’s called, now we are networking, and this is a nationwide networking group that meets thrice weekly. Monday morning, they have coffee. They have a business lunch on Wednesday, and Friday evening, they have a happy hour. So they have many things going on, and there’s about. A thousand people are in there right now, but I highly recommend joining this group because the people here are nice.
They’re amazing, and they can give you some amazing referrals and help you expand your business and understand what it’s like to be a business owner in the time of Covid 19. So definitely join that one as well. And I will tell you a cautionary tale of joining networking groups without knowing what their founders stand for.
I am a huge supporter of Black Lives Matter because I’m, you know, out of five people in my house. I’m the only white person. So any discrimination or anything like that profoundly affects my family daily. So I’m very passionate about that, and I was part of a networking group that was very white, and it seemed, you know, as the George Floyd events, after his death unfolded, it seemed that they were obvious in the fact that they were not supportive of that.
So I ended up leaving that group. It was not a good fit for me professionally, and personally, it was a good fit because I got a lot of referrals and business from there. However, it didn’t align with my personal values, so I also suggest you make sure that whatever networking groups you join align with your values and are run professionally and all those things.
You’re a business owner, and you know how to decipher that or determine that, but it’s really important because you don’t want to be; I don’t want to do business with people that do not align with my values. You may disagree, but that is one thing that I would like to share.
So I would challenge you to do as I’m recording, this is the end of October, and you can join any of these groups for free, and I would challenge you to join. This upcoming week, some networking groups and also attend a meeting. Introduce yourself to the group and attend a meeting to network with other businesses. Make sure you make at least one solid connection at that meeting because you don’t need to have many links.
I just wanted to let you know that you need to. You know, a handful of really good connections. People you can talk to like you feel comfortable talking to may have a parallel business to yours. Their niche may be similar. All those things are the kind of people you want to connect with. So make it a focus when you attend the meeting to communicate with one person.
So if you do this, I would love to hear from you. So go ahead and. Post about it in the Determined Mom community so we can see how your networking is going, and looking forward to talking to you soon. Have a wonderful week.