I spoke in my last blog that you should go to a networking group.to get your name out there.
Here's a thought why not start one of your own. "Now why would I do that?" You ask. Well let me tell you. You can invite the businesses that you want to associate with; allowing one business (per category) i.e. only one Notary or only one hairdresser and you can make money. That's right you can be the one to make money.
Now starting a networking group may sound easy but I found it a bit daunting when I started, so I can teach you my mistakes. But before I do you must make sure, first and foremost, that you will be committed to this venture for at least a year. If you are ONLY in it to make money move on. Yes, I know I just said you can make money. You can but there are other factors too. You get to make solid connections, referrals if you will and those can sometimes be more valuable than money. If you believe in yourself, your business and know you can be successful then others will do the same. You know they say the best form of advertising is word of mouth...this network is the perfect opportunity. As I go along you will see what you need to accomplish and why doing things in order (or as close to it as possible) will set you up for a great experience.
1. Name: You will want to establish a name for the network. We were a group of women owned businesses so we were NOW (Network of Women). You will also want to establish a trade name (if you plan on having a separate checking account). You will also want to have a name for business cards and a domain name for a website....now before you balk about why does your group need a website...think about these points:
a. You can get sponsors (or local business owners) to advertise on the site for a small fee which means more money for you (or the network).
b. A great way to highlight your members and their business. You can add a page for each business (if you need assistance with that email me and we can talk).
c. A great way to communicate, post meeting schedules, give referrals, etc.
d. Legitimizes the network.
2. Membership: Think about who you want as a member. As I stated we were a group of women owned businesses and only had one business per category. This was a great thing for those businesses fighting a lot of competition; they were the only business in the group. This allowed the referrals to go to one specific business and meant more revenue for the particular business.
Your membership can consist of both men and women, all men, all women but make sure you know who you want before you start to recruit. You can choose how many people you want to join and the cost to join. That's right you charge a membership fee. I might repeat myself later in figuring the costs of running the network, however; for now we will continue. You can charge annually, or semi-annually (two times a year) or even monthly. The fee should be reasonable and I will let you know how I charged and what the "membership" came with. I will also touch on having an agreement, member application, etc. in the next blog.
Thanks for tuning in.
P.S. If you are interested in speaking about the cost of a website please feel free to contact me. I do offer a reduced rate especially if you allow me to promote my business on your site....plus you get more free marketing advice. You can't beat that.
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