There are a lot more benefits in networking than just receiving introductions to potential customers or clients.
LBBC has a membership drawn from a wide number of businesses and professions, most of whom have many years experience of the trials and tribulations of running a small enterprise. I have found it an enormous benefit to be able to have an informal chat regarding an opportunity or issue with a fellow member.
Running any business on your own or with a team can be scary. It’s really helpful to be able to ask for advice or use other members as a sounding board. Other members also look for advice from one and it is through this process, and the feedback from other members, that confidence in each member develops.
People buy from, and recommend, those whom they know and trust, so it can be a slow process. But, business I have found, is a marathon not a sprint and long term associations usually bring the best long term rewards.
One of the powers of any business network is the sum of the networks of all the members. Individual members are understandably cautious and protective of their contacts, but over time will usually make referrals in appropriate cases.
We all make judgements by association so aiming for the highest professional standards in all our members is important to our club. We generally expect to receive high value contacts from high value associates, and of course the converse is true also, so care is taken on who is invited to become a member. Most new members are those who have been invited to a meeting by an existing member, but we do also welcome other visitors from local businesses to come to one of our Wednesday morning breakfast meetings at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club.
Another enormous benefit is access to the products and services of existing members and their networks of suppliers. One should never underestimate the value of a recommendation to a reliable supplier!
I joined LBBC for the above reasons and as a way to enhance the standing of my accountancy practice; Holmes and Company, based in New Road, Linslade.
We are a team of six and although we have been established there for nearly 20 years it is still important to promote our service and not rest on our laurels!