If you’re thinking of starting to attend networking events, or even branch out when it comes to the type of events you go to, it can be tempting to look further afield.
Perhaps there are some big, well-attended networking groups outside your area with lots of new people to meet and potential new clients to sign up.
But although it’s always beneficial to widen your pool of connections, it’s not always a good idea to go too far outside of your local area. By all means, make links with people in other parts of the country but when it comes to building up your core list of trusted contacts, here’s why it’s good to focus your efforts on your local area.
1. Supporting local business
By networking locally, you’re supporting other businesses in your community which has a direct effect on your local economy. That not only positively impacts your own business but the area in which you live too – which can only be a good thing!
2. You need connections who are close at hand
It’s great to have a list of trusted suppliers who you can call on when you have a problem, or recommend to others if they’re in need of assistance. Although many services can be provided digitally, there are some that can only be done in person. Our plumber, electrician and surveyor can’t work remotely! It’s much more convenient for all involved if you’re within a few miles of each other rather than a two-hour drive away!
3. It’ll strengthen your expertise
Knowledge of your area and the other businesses operating locally helps you to really get a good understanding of the needs and issues facing clients in your locale. By networking with others nearby, you’ll pick up lots of tips and ‘inside’ knowledge that could help position you as a local expert.
4. You’ll become quickly recognisable
By concentrating your networking efforts in one area, people will start to recognise you as they see you at more events. Which means you’re much more likely to come to mind when they’re in need of the type of service you provide! Although you might find that you see many of the same people again and again at events, that’s a good thing – it gives you more opportunities to get to know each other and build good relationships. It’s not just about passing business cards – it’s about getting to know people and trusting them to people you refer them to.
5. It saves you time!
Although a lot of networking takes place online, there will always be a place for a face-to-face meeting and many prefer interacting in person. Networking is always a good idea for growing your business, but half a day spent travelling is not! You’ll find it much easier to include networking in your day-to-day business if it’s easy to get to.
Are you looking for a new local networking group?
Pop along to our next ABG event – we’re a friendly bunch and always happy to welcome new members. Take a look at our membership here…
Book your free visit today – we’ll treat you to a breakfast and would love to meet you.