What is the real power of networking? Friday I visited a local networking group and got a fresh look at Power Networking. The group meets for ninety minutes each Friday morning at 7:30, and it was quite an eye-opener for me.
I had been invited to this group before, but I always had an excuse for not attending. Time was the reason I usually gave, but honestly, it was a lack of motivation—I didn’t see the benefit of getting up early to make a 7:30 AM meeting.
Since launching Flags Bay several months ago, Busy has been my middle name, but things are settling into a normal weekly hum. A few weeks ago, I was invited again to the weekly event by another person singing the praises of this group, so I made plans to attend.
I had forgotten how much fun networking with a group of business people can be. I know that sounds funny, but before I left my previous job, I attended five to ten meetings each month that could be described as networking. Activity in several Chambers of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation fed my need to congregate around people and discuss business.
Bay Area Network Group
B.A.N.G. hosts up to twelve meetings Monday through Friday, in as many locations throughout the area, and I know a few people who make the rounds attending all the meetings. There were 60 businesses represented at the meeting I attended on Friday morning.
B.A.N.G., Bay Area Network Group, is different than joining a Chamber of Commerce. There is no fee to join and the only ongoing cost of membership is referring other members of the group to customers and prospects when the opportunity arises. This is something I have always done, so this is easy.
The Real Power of Networking
So, what is the real power of networking? Here are ten lessons learned from attending one meeting of B.A.N.G..
- Energy recharges
- Enthusiasm is contagious
- Unique gets you noticed
- Sincerity is felt
- Friendliness never goes out of style
- Class shows in actions
- Competing Businesses can co-exist
- Volunteers work & benefit
- Barriers are artificial
- Conduct is important
- Relationships are vital
If you have to opportunity to get involved in a networking group, don’t hesitate. It’s good for you.