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Networking: Not Just A Computer Term

Through the art of business networking you can expand and grow your business. Networking builds contacts which open doors to new resources.  Resources that can lead to new customers and make you more valuable to your existing ones as well.

BizNet Magazine is proud to promote the idea of customer service, and trust we are giving you, the business owner, the information you need to intelligently expand your business.

BizNet Magazine is proud to bring you our Networking section.  This section will constantly be expanding to bring you an ever-growing list of contact information for Networking opportunities in California.  To a business person not already taking advantage of Networking, finding local resources and groups can be very difficult.

It takes time to get to be known and to get to know your fellow Networkers, but the rewards are well worth the effort.  After developing a reputation of offering service and care for your customers, you will be amazed at the number of business opportunities that will come your way.

Like pursuing any business opportunity, Networking is still working.  The old saying is, "That is why it is called Networking not Net-setting".  Part of that work is to participate in Networking events on a consistent basis.  Don’t be afraid to make yourself known.  Talk to people.  Learn about them and they will learn about you.  Set up meetings with them to learn more about each other.  Have lunch with them.  Remember, it’s not just the business you’re getting to know, it is the individual.

If you’re good at what you do (care about your customers, and take care of business), Networking will be great for you. If your a flake and do not follow-up, or do not know how to say thank-you, or leave unhappy customers in your wake, Networking is not for you.  Word will get out.  You and your business will be "black-balled."  Do it right or don’t do it.

What follows are the various types of networking  groups:

• There are groups like the Lions Club, Rotary, Kiwanis Club, etc.  These groups are primarily community involvement groups.  A lot of business opportunities exist, and networking does take place within these clubs, however, it is not their main focus. Do not get involved if you’re not looking to give time to help out in your community.  If you’re looking to give to your community and grow your business this may be the route you should take.

• The next category is: your local Chamber of Commerce.  Most chambers are extremely active in business networking.  Your local chamber can also be a good source of local business information and assistance.  Chambers do not have restrictions on who can join, and any number of the same types of business can belong.  Generally speaking, if you pay the dues you’re in. Remember though, there is more to being in a Chamber of Commerce than simply putting the plaque on your wall.

• In the "pure" Networking category, the main distinction from the chamber is competition.  In the Networking category, almost without exemption, only one business of each type is allowed to participate in each chapter.  If you are a plumber, you are the only plumber in the room.  No other plumbers can join.  So, you have no competition. In fact, anyone you feel is in direct competition to you can not join without your OK.  You can block out your competition. In the pure Networking category you have three main types.  Large, national and even international groups like: Le Tip, and BNI (The Business Network International); smaller, more regional groups like: The Woman’s Referral Network, and the Consumer Business Network; and then there are the independent self-governed groups like: The V.P. Network, in Northridge, California.  The main difference between the big national groups and the small regional groups is usually size and location. If in a small group, your category has been filled, your blocked from joining.  In a large organization, if one chapter already has someone that does what you do, you can usually find an opening in a nearby chapter.

• The last Networking group is trade groups or associations.  Not the one your business belongs to, but rather the one your customers, or potential customers belong to.  Many trade groups and associations allow venders to attend their meetings, and even help support their organizations.  What could be a better than a room full of trades-people that you know use your services? Ask you customers if they belong to any such groups.

Different groups for different personalities.  If you don’t like the flavor of a particular group, you my wish to try another.  Experience will show you that each group has its unique personality and agendas. Even different chapters in large groups can provide completely different experience.  When you find a group you like, stick with it.  Give a group three to four months — time to really get to know you.  Talk to other members about other networking groups. You will find that a successful Networker will be active in a minimum of two groups — with three and four not uncommon.

Networking works, So work it.

As stated above, Networking groups can be hard to locate.  The list below is not yet complete, however, BizNet Magazine will ad new groups to the listings as we find them.  BizNet Magazine is proud to provide, without a doubt, the most complete list of Networking opportunities on the Internet!


BizNet Networking Links

Chambers Of Commerce WWW Address's
Complete List Of Networking Groups

Don't Miss Our Networking Article Of The Month
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber Of Commerce


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Last modified: November 08, 2002