Published by Motivational Steps
How To Choose a Networking Event That Works For You
When I first entered the world of business networking I was quite lost. I had no idea whom I should speak to or whether I should run round the room introducing myself and handing out my shiny new business cards to all the people in the room who were - strangers to me.
Over the years business networking has become an art form to me; I love every minute of networking and I enjoy meeting so many wonderful people I come into contact with.
One day I had an idea - why not form a business networking group, primarily for small business owners who were situated in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and Cambridge. I voiced my thoughts to a couple of friends and small business owners, Marilyn Haid, Stephen McLachlan, Dave Ockwell-Jenner, my husband, and we decided to form a committee and brainstorm our ideas.
Our first committee meeting was held at the Stanley Park Zehrs Community Room; the four of us were very excited and planned the first open to the public network meeting for the following month and crossed our fingers people would come along to see what the network group was all about.
That was 2 years ago - November 2003 and we have now become an established business networking group: The Small Business Community Network Group, www.sbcncanada.org. Two of the original committee members are no longer active members of the committee due to their own business demands, but we are lucky to have taken on two new committee members; Adam Smith, My IT Guy, and Melissa Stephens, a first year student at Conestoga College.
The SBCN now has a membership of 25 small business owners, 3 levels of membership are available and all the information can be found on the website www.sbcncanada.org. We will shortly be making public the name of our first official sponsor who will help support some of the costs incurred running the SBCN.
- Group support for small-sized enterprises facing similar business challenges.
- Access to business education through special interest workshops conducted by outside speakers and internal group experts.
- Relationship establishment amongst other small business owners.
We believe that we offer a friendly networking environment, with more focus on support and relationship building which in turn takes away some of the stress of networking. Obviously, in time, networking leads to referrals and consequently more products or services are sold. All networking groups and events are beneficial to everyone and each different network group compliments the other. The key is to find the group or event at which you feel a comfort level and which may be of benefit to you in some way.
The SBCN meets once a month at the Stanley Park Zehrs Community Room, for which we would like to thank the management of Zehrs for the use of their excellent Community Room. Registration is from 7:00pm - 7:15pm informal meet and greet networking until 7:30 when we have announcements and 30-second commercials, guest speaker/workshops 7:45pm - 8:15pm followed by networking until 9:00pm. Refreshments are provided along with a prize draw. Guest pay $10 - members $5.
I had a thought, a dream some might call it, what a difference taking action can make! The SBCN might have stayed a thought, pushed to the back of my mind, if I had not decided it was important to offer a different kind of networking opportunity to small businesses. Networking can be fun, networking is a big part of being successful, and meeting new people means a better chance of selling our products or services. Why not try it? Contact Linda 519 893 1598 or email email@example.com to find out more information.