Why networking is good for your business…
1. Quite simply the more people that know about your business the more business you are going to get and networking is a great way to tell people about what you do. Remember too that you are not just telling people at the meetings about your business – you are also “talking” to everyone they know and are connected with
However, networking is not a quick solution and you will not walk away from a Coffee and Connect meeting with lots of referrals or new business after your first visit. People take time to get to know you and understand what you do, but if you attend regularly and get to know people when they need your service, or get asked by one of their contacts if they can recommend someone, you are going to be the person who immediately comes to mind.
2. The people that you meet at networking meetings (and especially at Coffee and Connect!) are special. People that network like to help other local business people that they know. So, when you come along and tell everyone what you do your audience are interested and they want to help you i.e. they have a very proactive mind set.
3. To grow and maintain your business you always need feedback to find out what customers really want and to shape and refine your service / product and marketing activities. Networking groups are great places to get this feedback, especially if you go regularly so that people start to understand your business.
4. Networking is also useful for when you need to find someone to help you; perhaps you need a new accountant for your business or a physiotherapist to sort out a sports injury. How great to be able to pick up the phone to someone you already know?
5. Networking events are great places to “Ask an Expert”. The most effective networkers share their knowledge and expertise and you will find your help reciprocated generously in return when you need advice.
5. Finally, running your own business is fantastic (most of the time!) but it’s really good to meet up with other people in a similar situation and have your own “chat at the coffee machine”.
Why Coffee & Connect
What’s special about Coffee and Connect?
There are lots of networking groups around and many of these are good meetings that I also attend but I am pleased to say I do get great feedback about Coffee and Connect. There are two reasons for this.
1. Most importantly it is all about the people that attend – they are genuine, friendly and very welcoming toward new visitors (we don’t do cliques). We all have a professional approach to our businesses and work very hard, but we are not pushy or aggressive.
Above all we are very positive and enthusiastic and everyone always leaves Coffee and Connect meetings with a smile on their face – enthusiasm is infectious! Oh, and we celebrate our birthdays properly – with cake!
2. Our relaxed but positive approach is backed up by the structure at our meetings – organised but not pressurised.
We sit in a circle – no tables – and everyone has thirty seconds to introduce themselves. This session is very relaxed and if you have a product or prop to hold up that is great. Everyone is very good about keeping their introductions brief and to the point but if you go on for too long I’ll just give you a gentle reminder that your time is up!
At the end of the introductions we go round the circle again just with everyone re-iterating their name and business name – I know how difficult it can be to remember who everyone is and what they do! – then we stay and chat informally.
So please do come along and meet us. I’m sure you will enjoy our meetings and it could be just what your business needs.
I look forward to meeting you.