Having spent many years in the IT industry, networking has been part of my life for a very very long time. Back in the early days the simple act of making two computers talk to each other could take many hours, but now, a simple password to connect to the wifi and you are good to go.
That first paragraph doesn’t even scratch the surface of the complexities of networking, but its a technical problem, I get it. Until I discovered that I didn’t, because I needed to get to grips with a different type of networking. Last year, I started Small Business Web Support,, creating my brand, building my website and taking the tentative first steps towards self-employment, I am now fully open for business. I just need to find the people who need my help..
I am way outside my comfort zone, I have to think about marketing, social media, and Networking, with a capital N. I don’t know if it really has a capital N, but it feels like it should. 18 months ago, I had no idea that Networking was “a thing”. All over Milton Keynes, and I assume most other towns and cities, small businesses meet up for breakfast, coffee, lunch, and dinner to talk.I have tried two groups so far, and met some very nice people. The format for the groups is quite similar, coffee, chatting and food, a few words about yourself, a talk, and exchanges of business cards.
I think the main thing I have learnt , is that its not just about the people you meet at the groups, its about the referrals you can all make to each other. Its about getting to know people, and getting yourself known. And coffee, a lot of coffee.
I am still undecided as to how I feel about the process, does it work? There is a financial cost involved, and it takes time, so is it time well spent?
I would love to hear opinions, does networking work for you? what is the best form of marketing you have used? And most importantly which networking group in Milton Keynes has the best coffee?