Running your own business can feel a bit isolating. Not always, but certainly at times of stress, it can feel like you are carrying a big weight around and that you are doing it by yourself.

But you’re definitely not alone in feeling like this – highlighted by the variety of networking groups, specifically designed for small business owners.

Getting involved in one or more of these groups can not only deliver potential business opportunities, perhaps just as important, they are a great source of advice, sound-boarding, and support. Most small business people – regardless of business area – encounter similar issues at similar times of development.

Whether it is client relationship management; accounting and administration; new business processes or staff management, there is a wealth of experience to tap into and gather insights from.

Networking groups come in all shapes and sizes – from the regular meetings with structured agendas, to more informal evening events and Conferences. There are benefits of all types of structures but the one common thread that makes them successful for attendees, is knowing what you want to get out of your time and regular attendance.

Take some time to pick a group or structure that suits you – frequency, meeting/event objectives, the people you are likely to encounter – and get involved. As Michelle, the owner of a small marketing company says:

“Joining my networking group in the same week I registered my business was the best thing I could have done. It was a bit nerve-wracking to begin with as I will still formulating how I presented what I do to a bunch of people I didn’t know. But as I got to know them I was surprised by how many were happy to have a coffee and talk about their experiences and offer suggestions when I spoke about some of the challenges I encountered along the way. I picked up business but perhaps more importantly, also a lot of insight that would have otherwise taken longer to figure out.”

 

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