How do I choose what “business networking group” to join?
How do I choose? What are the variables? What should drive the ROI evaluation?
What are your Goals for your Networking? What do you want to achieve? If you cannot answer these you may well have a tough time choosing.
Here are a few tips for choosing a group.
1. Time and Location - you have to make sure it fits your schedule.
2. Know What you want from the group - support, prospects, referrals, every group is different. If you are looking for Business Referrals you might want to consider joining a closed contact group, for support a mastermind group, for prospects a chamber or association, and for connections and relationships that give back to the community also, service groups like Rotary.
3. Do some research. What are the rules, how long have they been around, how can you get involved, what are the fees, is there exclusivity for your profession.
4. Visit several groups, decide if you like the energy and the people. Ask them questions, like how long have they been members, have they been successful, ask to be introduced to others in the room.
5. Check with others in your personal network and find out where they are networking and ask if you can be their guest.
6. If you join, get involved! Don't join and wait for something to happen, make it happen.
No Richard Branson does not go to those groups listed. But he does indeed have a powerful network. When he was starting out, he too networked and connected, the most powerful and valuable item that Richard Branson or any other person owns is their Network. Develop in when you don't need it, and it will be there when you do.