By Behind the Brands
Let’s face it, as much as we sometimes hate networking, it’s an important part of growing your business. The even harder part is finding the right networking group for you and your business! There are so many of them out there in Perth, so how can you be sure the one you’re joining is the right fit! Here are our top 4 tips.
- Go Along to Events Casually Before Joining
Most networking groups have events you can attend as a guest/visitor. It’s a great way to get a feel for the people that are members, what they offer to businesses and if you’re going to get bang for buck.
If you’re attending an event and majority of people are guests/visitors, ask yourself, where are all the members!
- Ask for Recommendations
It’s a known fact that people trust recommendations and reviews from people they know. Ask your network if they are part of any networking groups or have been a part of any you’re considering and ask for their honest opinion.
Also ask people you know who have been previous members of groups. This is where you’ll find your most valuable information and advice. Why did they leave? It could be something as simple as financial reasons or there could be underlying issues with the networking group, which you want to find out about before you join.
A red flag is a mass exodus of people from a group!
- What’s the Value!
What can the networking group do for your business! Compare benefits and this should include membership costs, monthly vs annually etc. Networking shouldn’t cost a fortune. Does the group have an annual fee/monthly fee and what is it compared to other groups? What value are you getting for this fee? If it’s just a directory listing then don’t bother. Unless they can prove that the directory listing is getting 1000’s of visits each month then it’s not a value add.
Different groups work for different people so you need to identify if the value offered suits you and your business.
- What are the costs beyond membership
Events are the key component of networking groups. Do they have a variety of events to attend and is there a discount for being a member? If you’re paying a monthly fee to be a member of a group then to attend events the cost is quite high, I’d be considering not joining that group.
For example Business Chicks annual membership is $199 (great value) with a lot of value adds. Their events are higher priced around $40-$150 but the quality of speakers at these events and the fact that they have a low-cost membership option make it worthwhile. And remember they are a national group.
Are there any other extra costs you have to pay for along the way?
Ultimately you need to invest time in any networking group you’re a part of to maximise the benefits. Just make sure you do your research before joining. And if you’re looking to join a networking group in Western Australia, here are our top picks.
District 32 http://www.district32.com.au
100 Women www.100women.com.au
Ok technically not a networking group but does have amazing events throughout the year where you can meet some great people. For a small annual donation, you’re creating a positive charitable impact.
Linking Ladies https://www.linkingladies.com.au/