“For some it’s ‘the old boys’ network’ – the kind of thing that’s worked in the City of London – and other places – for years. As the old saying goes – ‘it’s all about who you know rather than what you know’.
Networking can mean different things to different people.
Paul Beck, an estate planner and will writer with his business Applied Legal Services, helps people put in place key documents such as wills and lasting powers of attorney. He has also been a long time member of Chiltern Business Connections and has recently been asked to share his thoughts on successful networking. He started by reviewing some of the comments he has frequently heard:
“For others it’s about social networking – creating contacts with all sorts of groups – family – friends – people with similar interests and more.”
“Networking in business can take many forms. Often it’s a group of local business people who get together to swap ideas and contacts. Some of these groups become formalised.”
“One of the features of a networking group is that of ‘referrals’. Members are able to recommend to their own clients/business contacts/family and friends the services offered by other members of the group. For them to do this they need to get to know other group members well. This can be by direct experience or by hearing from other members of the group how good they are – i.e. ‘testimonials’.”
“Spreading from the USA the idea of formal business networking groups has become an established part of the scene. Some of these groups are run for profit by large organisations. Often there are substantial joining fees and significant on-going membership fees.”
Paul also said that as a business networking group, “Chiltern Business Connections (CBC) is different. It’s run by its members for the benefit of its members. Costs are kept to a minimum. “
“I joined CBC 5 years ago having been involved in a number of networking groups previously. CBC runs in a way that has been ‘distilled’ over the years to provide a balance that works. The emphasis is on mutual support. By getting to know other members well it’s possible to help them with their businesses – and often be helped in return. “
“For anyone setting up in business for the first time or someone wanting to grow an existing business I would recommend them to check out what local networking groups there are. Visit them and see how they work. Chemistry can be important – how you feel about other members of the group – whether they’re ‘cliquey’ or open and friendly.”
CBC works as a non- cliquey, friendly and supportive group. It’s well worth a visit to one of our regular Tuesday morning meetings ( 7.30am every Tuesday at Wycombe Heights Golf Centre) or to one of our guest days which are run every three months or so. Our guest days are also a little different to our regular meetings – often with more formal presentations – but the same basic openness applies. If you’d like to know more, please contact us either through our website or via any of the group members.