5 tips to selecting the best networking group for you

02 Feb 2018
Bydebbiediggle

There’s a wide variety of networking groups available, both online and offline – so much so, it can make choosing the right one for you a difficult choice to make. However, you can make the choice a simpler one, if you know what you want from the group and what you’re willing to put in, in order to get the results you’re after.  Here are five tips to ensure you’re selecting the best networking group for you and your business. 

Tip #1: What do you want to achieve from a networking group?  

You can’t make an informed choice on the best networking group for you if you don’t know what you actually want to achieve from it. So what are you after? Do you want general business support and/or advice? Maybe you’re looking to build contacts – such as potential customers or referral partners? It could also be that you’re looking for something more personal to you, such as building your confidence. 

Tip #2: Will you get value for your investment?  

Different networking groups have different payment options. Some will require an annual or up-front monthly payment, whilst others are on a pay-per-meeting basis. You also need to confirm whether there are other costs involved, such as beverage or food fees or a donation towards the room hire charge.  

Tip #3: How are the events formatted?  

Another criterion to clarify is what type of structure the meetings use. Do they have structured meetings, which include guest speakers and ‘A Minute’ to introduce yourself, or do you simply turn up and are left to your own devices? 

Tip #4: Does it have the right type of people attending, to fulfil your needs?  

Depending on your needs, the type of meeting format will dictate whether it’s suitable for you, but you also need to know what type of people are attending. Some networking groups are an open forum, so any type of business is covered – whereas other meetings are on a strict one person from each business sector policy. 

Tip #5: Are you willing to give it your focus and attention?  

Finally, are you willing to dedicate your focus and attention to the group? This can simply be a case of getting the most from your investment, however, there are also groups that have strict criteria to fulfill – such as committing to weekly groups and the requirement to regularly pass referrals etc. If in doubt, make sure you clarify, before joining.

If you’re thinking of joining Athena and would love these questions answered please contact Debbie Diggle on 07733 076775 or email debbie.diggle@theathenanetwork.com

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