OK, so you’ve finally taken our advice and decided that business networking is they key to taking your company forward. So where do you start?
The first thing you need to do is identify which type of networking you need and what you want to achieve from it. Confused? Don’t worry – that’s what we’re here for! In this blog post we’ll take you through the different types of business networking and how each one could help your business. This should help you to quickly establish which type of networking is best for you and will help to guide you on your way to future business success.
Many networks often set joining criteria so it’s worth doing your research before applying. The main types of networking include:
- Education/research organisations: These networks have been set up to explore development initiatives or research into products, markets or customer preference.
- Learning networks: These networks offer training and support to employees and staff. Courses and events are tailored to particular markets and industries and often have great speeches from key speakers, which can really help to inspire SMEs and start-ups.
- Trade: Trade networks are similar to learning networks. Approach trade bodies and unions for news of upcoming events.
- Employers’ Federations: These networks give you the chance to catch up on business and employment news and changes.
- Regional/local organisations: These events give local businesses the chance to catch up, share advice and get up to date with local news e.g. local Chamber of Commerce.
- Community organisations: These networks consist of action groups representing social, ethnic or local interests.
- Virtual networks: These are online networks which are great for businesses who don’t have the time or money to attend actual networking events.