Business networking isn’t only about lead referrals and direct sales. Networking can be viewed simply as a marketing tool for your business. Joining a networking group offers a variety of professional connections, builds trust and increases your knowledge. It can give business owners a chance to promote their services and brand awareness through face to face advertising. Here at The Beacon Center, we have adopted a 4 pillar system to accomplish this – networking, business education, coaching sessions, and mastermind groups.
This is an obvious one. In order to spread the word about your business, you need to “hit the streets” so to speak. In short, start attending networking functions. The base of this pillar is Attendance, you are your business’s best salesperson. Most networking groups allow you to attend one or two meetings before you commit to joining. Take advantage of this free opportunity and look for a group that fits your needs and goals.
Obviously, the base of this pillar is Learning. Education can come in many forms. Expert speakers, online classes, Adult Continuing Education and college courses are just a few of the ways to grow your business education. Never stop trying to learn as much as you can about all the different facets of business operations. Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, and Product Improvement are just some topics to consider. Start with improving your knowledge in your weakest area and then move on down the list.
Every small business owner and entrepreneur should have a mentor and a coach. The base of this pillar is Business Clarity. A coach or mentor is a key facilitator that can help inspire you and assist in implementing strategies for success. A business coach can help you identify areas where your business model is succeeding or falling short. Indeed, an outside set of eyes can help you see things more clearly. A coach or mentor can help create a culture of accountability, measure progress and provide valuable feedback to ensure business goals are consistently being met. In return, perhaps you can assist your coach or mentor with those facets of their own business or job.
When networking, education, and coaching aren’t enough, perhaps consider taking advantage of a Mastermind Group. The base of this pillar is Co-Operation. In a mastermind group, members get a chance to sit in the hot seat and benefit from a mega brainstorming session of other business owners. A smaller group than normal networking events, the members of a Mastermind Group generally focus on one member each meeting. Enabling a variety of feedback, tremendous insights and professional peer support to help tackle specific problems that prevent your business to new heights in their market. Two heads are better than one, and in this case, several business minds are better for your business’ growth and success.
All of these are networking in a different manner. In fact, The Beacon Center was born from a networking group’s need to have a place to meet. We encourage all networking groups, business professionals and entrepreneurs to visit our website, take a virtual tour and then schedule a time for your personal visit. Come see how we can provide your group with a home or perhaps provide a venue to start your own networking group.