Paul Turner of Twiggled Ltd highlights the importance of networking.
So I have been in business for some time now. Well, if you take into account my original start as an entrepreneur, then I have been in business for two decades with a few 9 to 5 jobs in-between.
Throughout that time I have done different types of networking and been a member of different organisations, some that worked a little and many that offered me nothing but more commitment and a bill every month.
In my recent business life I have found two things that work and I must say work well.
Firstly, in 2016 I joined the Greater Manchester Chamber Of Commerce. Since then we have had more exposure and made what we have received in the extra services, like the Members' Lounge and the networking events, more than pay for our membership each year.
To actually benefit from being a member of an organisation was new to me after not benefiting in the past. Maybe that was my fault or maybe they were just not the organisations for me.
Then during 2017 at a BizExpo I met someone offering membership to a Networking group. At first I thought, ‘no not again’. Greater Manchester Chamber was working for me and I did not think any other event would be worth while. Then I thought, ‘well, it will only cost me £15 to go to one and I get a meal out of it so what do I have to lose?’
After attending a few events I thought, ‘well maybe’. So I used the services of one person I had met who did me a really good deal on business insurance. Then a few months later I decided to bite the bullet and pay for 100 days membership. At £15 an event and 5000+ events to choose from around the country, so when I am travelling I can always try to do some business and meet like minded people. To date that has made me more than the membership cost. I have made some great friends and some of the members I have met have helped me with tax issues I was unsure about, got me better Business Insurance for a better price and service and even got advice that helped my family.
It’s amazing the people you meet and it fits around my busy business schedule.
Greater Manchester Chamber Of Commerce is, and will always be, a great place to do business and get help and has allowed me to get support as and when I needed it to help promote and support my business. But 4Networking allowed me to do more and make more contacts in more areas and get more business in. I have only been to four meetings as a member when writing this due to work and it has more than paid for itself and I am just about to renew for another 200 days.
I now believe in the power of networking even more so that I want to do more with this relaxed networking practice. I have now worked with others in the Network to bring one to Tameside as I felt there was not enough networking events in the area and I have been lucky enough to become the Marketing Co-ordinator for this event. Whilst I know marketing, this is now challenging me to reach out in ways I may not have necessarily used in my own business and develop skills I may not have used in a while.
So if like me you want to succeed in business and your clients are businesses then two things I will say right now. Pop along to a Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce's Pure networking event and try out one of the A4B meetings. But definitely sign up to 4Networking website for free and find a meeting near you and visit. You get two visits as a non-member and it just costs £15 and that includes your food. You may not get a sale there and then. But if you do not see the benefit of it then for me you are not looking at the opportunities around you because they are definitely there.
These two organisations will improve your business exposure and help and support your businesses development. Make sure you take advantage of everything they have to offer on-line and off-line and you will never regret joining either.
I have supplied some links below for the Chamber and for 4Networking and some up coming events. Last piece of advice: ENJOY. RELAX and BE YOUR SELF!
For more information on Chamber events, click here.
For more information on the Tameside networking events, click here.