Blogs - 07 September 2015

Business networking for SMEs

Building relationships is vital for businesses, whether that is relationships with clients, competitors, associates, or your target demographic. Building and nurturing these relationships will help your business to learn, grow and succeed.

Business networking events come in all shapes and sizes; some are weekly, monthly, or less often. Some are free whereas others require a monthly or annually membership fee, and some just require a one off payment for each event you attend. There are morning, afternoon and evening events. The key is to find the events that are right for you and your business.

Businesses from all kinds of industries can benefit from networking. Depending on the sector that your business operates within, it might also be worth looking at industry specific business networks. This might sound to some people like you’ll be fraternising with the enemy and giving away all of your inside secrets to the competition, but there are many benefits of being involved in these industry specific business networks:

  • Share advice and experiences from working in your sector – mistakes you have made along the way, what you have learnt from them and how to succeed in that industry
  • Some networks have guest speakers presenting at their events – learn from the experts in your industry
  • It is easy for businesses that complement what you do to refer business to you
  • Work together to increase the exposure and awareness of your industry, and therefore increasing awareness of each individual business
  • Collaborate or outsource – especially if your network is made up off sole traders or small businesses. They may have taken on more work than they can handle by themselves, or be dealing in a specific area that they don’t specialise in, so may need to outsource some of the work to someone else with a similar area of expertise
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Business networking can provide great opportunities for businesses of all sizes

It can be hard to know which events will suit you, it’s all a matter of finding what there is available to you and trying them out to see what fits. Here are some examples:

  • East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) offers a range of member only and non member events
  • The Amber Valley Business Club – An informal networking group of businesses across the Amber Valley. This group meets one a month at different venues in Amber Valley.
  • Construction Leaders Club – just one example of an industry specific business network. The Construction Leaders Club organises events for like-minded professionals from the construction industry and its various supply chains.
  • Mansfield 2020 Business Club – host regular monthly breakfast meeting on the last Thursday of every month
  • Ruddington Business Partnership – an informal group that meets once a month and helps connect businesses from Ruddington and surrounding areas.
  • High Peak Networking – High Peak Networking is an informal networking group that meets once a month at different locations around the High Peak.
  • Glossop Business Networking – helps businesses to meet together in a relaxed environment to exchange information, hand out promotional materials and learn more about each others’ services.
  • Business Peak District – a voice for businesses in the area covered by the Peak District National Park, High Peak, Staffordshire Moorlands and Derbyshire Dales.

So, whether your business is large or small, there is a network out there to suit you. Business networking can help you gain connections which will provide more leads, increase your client base, and gain knowledge and expertise.

If you would like to find out about more networking events in the D2N2 area then take a look at the D2N2 Growth Hub events page or give one of the Growth Hub Advisors a call on 0333 006 9178.

D2N2 Growth Hub – Power up your business!

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