Let’s make an assumption that you have started your own Networking group and you have got people to join that. However as the days passed, you see a lot of them backing out from the group or maybe not happy with the functioning of the group. Wfhat would you think the reason could be?
Lets make another assumption, you have joined a networking group with a purpose and are really looking forward to get some leads. However for some reasons, you aren’t satisfied or are not getting what exactly you want from that group. What could have possibly gone wrong?
Well the answer is, the group may not be providing with the necessary objectives that it is particularly required to. Hence Networking groups should run on certain goals and conditions for the benefits of their group members. Talking about it, below are the top 10 goals for a Networking group.
1. Aid to Business
The main goal of a business networking group is to aid the budding entrepreneurs and even to the established businesses. It should strive to bring about all the like minded people from the same industry together so that it becomes handy for the group members to look out for information, ideas, current happenings in the industry and means to expand their business.
2. Bring about Collaboration
Networking group is all about a collaborative approach. The group should aim at getting multiple people to collaborate and plan the expansion for their businesses. Encourage them to work on a number of businesses they come across in a group, it could either be getting involved in sharing services or complementing new products.
3. Generation of contacts
It is the goal of the Networking group to help its members with the necessary referrals they require to expand their service or business. Find them an associate who can help them in complementing their business or can build a partnership that allows them to boost their services. Maybe you could arrange for specific networking events that could help them generate referrals.
If the group is spread across internationally, then it must focus on helping its members to find international opportunities for their services or businesses. This would help them to make their place in the oversees as well.
5. Provide access to different resources
May it be funding, providing space, vendor introductions, capital access, marketing, advertising, human capital or finding leads for referrals, networking groups have all of them sorted. The goal of the networking group is to provide access to different resources that the members require to boost their businesses. Along with it, groups also should help members to get access to the information and knowledge about the current trends, market, do’s and dont’s of a business.
6. Members interaction
Networking groups must encourage peer interactions. This will not only help them find contacts in their industry but will also strengthen their bond as camaraderie. And a good friendship can help them a strong foundation of help, ideas and collaboration of businesses.The group can opt for organising various fun events and activities where people can personally gel up well. It could be as small as organising a movie event or a coffee chat catch up.
7. Continuous activity
People often start a networking group with a high spirit but fail to continue it for long. One of the reason could be less of activity in the group. To keep a group going, it is must that there are continuous activities running along and different types of events keep occurring. Highly engaged members will be the ultimate decision maker for the group’s shelf life. However a key point to remember is that the events should be valuable and spread across uniformly. It shouldn’t be a case where a month sees three events and some months sees none. Hence let the activities flow evenly and constantly.
8. Personal Growth
The group should also focus on the overall personal development of its group members. Because networking isn’t just about expanding your business or services, it is also about horning your personal skills, soft skills, behaviours, business skills, etiquettes and manners etc by learning from your peers and being open to new ideas and ways of doing things.
9. Provide opportunities
Networking groups should give its members access to several opportunities in terms of mentorship and consultation. It should give opportunities to individuals wanting to share their fears and challenges and who seek help for their businesses. They must act as a one stop point of opportunities for all the several requirements of its group members.
10. Feeling of oneness
It is a mandate for a group to make its people have a feeling of oneness. Meaning each one should be ready to help others in case of any requirement or challenges come up in their particular service or business. Help and support should be the prime focus and not merely taking advantage of people.
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