When starting a new business you have to find customers and really get out there to get your business more exposure. For me, I started networking right away, using the Torrance Chamber of Commerce, Mixers, Meet ups, and joining a Networking Group.
A networking group is a bunch of business owners or representatives of a business that meet up once a week to pass referrals to each other. In the Los Angeles area, you have hundreds of different networking groups. The bigger the organization the more chapters a networking group can have. Since I network in Torrance a lot I found a group that fits my needs.
Here are the different networking organizations that I have heard of, this doesn’t account for the smaller ones that aren’t part of a bigger organization.
Other Groups that are more community based but are very similar to networking groups in my opinion are:
You can find a lot of networking groups in your are if you just search for it.
For new to small business owners, I think it’s worth checking out different networking groups. The all do the same thing really is pass referrals out to each other. Also, they can’t have two of the same business category in a group, this prevents competition within the group. I recommend finding a group that has people you can partner up with and gives quality referrals too. So when I was looking for a networking group I had a list of criteria that I wanted for the group. Some of the criteria I had was that the group had 20 or more people, they had a website developer, graphic designer, and other people I can really refer too.
Go out and visit some of this networking groups and see which one you like. It really doesn’t matter if its BNI, Letip, Kiwanis, etc just find one that meets your needs and go network. Just remember networking is about relationships so you have to really be committed to building those relationships.