Networking, what is it and why should we do it?

In common with us at Freshbinz Ltd I’m sure there are many of you out there who are small business owners or freelancers who rely on finding people with a need for their service or expertise.

But how do you go about that? Of course, you can advertise online, with flyers or on social media, all things that can and do work depending on your business and the service you’re offering.

At Freshbinz Ltd we have used or do currently use some or all of these methods. But one of our big successes has been networking groups where you can meet up with other owners of small businesses and freelancers to support and advise each other, but also to recommend each other and do business together.

There are many different types of networking group, some are huge franchises  with the onus on referring members, and various penalties of you don’t reach the required number of referrals.

We are lucky enough to belong to a lovely networking group called Stansted Business Breakfast. Before Covid we met every other Friday at the Radisson Hotel at Stansted airport. We all took a minute or two to say what was going on in our business at that time, then there was a 10 minute presentation by one of the members about their particular business before we all sat down to a very healthy breakfast, and when I say healthy I mean healthy sized!

The 10 minute presentations were without exception always an eye opener into a business that either we didn’t know much about or maybe we thought we knew about but found there was so much more to it than we’d imagined.

Of course, Covid saw an end to all that when lockdown prevented us from meeting, but did we give up? Did we stop meeting? No, we didn’t and thanks to good old Zoom we do still meet once a fortnight but from the comfort of our respective kitchen tables, and I can honestly say that being part of SBB albeit remotely during this time, has been a huge source of support and reassurance to us at Freshbinz. To hear how our friends in other businesses are fairing and know that we have the continued support of such a great group of people has been a huge boost.

So, if you’ve thought about networking but just never got around to it, or if you’ve never thought about it and you are a freelancer or have a small business maybe it’s time, because face to face networking is opening up again, there are plenty of groups to choose from and it works.

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