It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of networking, particularly for women in business. A networking community with the right people is the perfect place to grow your biz reach and impact. You can make valuable connections with like minded people, discover educational opportunities and level up both personally and professionally.
Networking is no longer confined only to the ‘corporate jungle’ or professional women. There are all kinds of business and online networking groups out there. You don’t have to stick to an ‘ordinary’ networking group either. Each has a different vibe and different goals so you’re bound to find one that has exactly what you need! And when you find the perfect-fit group of women, you unlock the power of community and just what it can do for both your personal life and business growth.
1. The sense of validation and shared experiences
Ask any entrepreneur – running your own business is a unique experience full of challenges and highs that only other business owners will understand. Add to this- identifying as a woman and there are distinctive experiences that men in business just wouldn’t understand (ahem, gender pay gap, anyone?)
The power of community
As supportive as our close family and friends can be, sometimes they just don’t understand the roller coaster that is being an entrepreneur, and that’s OK! It’s important though to find those peeps who just get it. Because being able to share your experiences in safe spaces with the right people, creates a sense of validation and togetherness that you may struggle to find elsewhere.
And feeling less alone helps boost inspiration and motivation to keep going, even when times are tough. When you know that you aren’t alone in your struggles, you’ll feel energised around your biz and are more likely to take imperfect action towards your goals… Winning!
Local business owners are also some of the most supportive of other small businesses and are so helpful in boosting word of mouth marketing and referrals. They have a common goal and understand the value of a solid recommendation. So making connections with them means they are more than likely to put your name forward when someone is looking for something they can help with!
Think quality over quantity when you’re building business connections
It’s also not all about how many hands you shake in the business world. I know a lot of women that have benefited even from intimate networking groups like my Honest Biz Brunches. Some have gone on to sell out of products, become fully booked and have an influx of enquiries simply from sharing their story with other women around the table.
2. An opportunity to learn new skills
Networking brings together business owners from different backgrounds and businesses – each with their own areas of life and biz expertise.
This means there are some freakin’ amazing educational opportunities found in networking events. At my biz brunch events we’ve had the privilege of hearing from women who are SEO experts, copywriters, content creators and marketers, just to name a few, about best practice and the latest trends from their industries.
Often networking communities or events will also have guest speakers who host workshops or masterclasses to teach us the tangible business skills we need. I’ve attended marketing workshops, learnt all about things from Google Analytics to Human Design through these kinds of things.
It’s not only about business-related skills
As well as business development, networking creates a community of women who can play a key role in your personal development too. I’ve met mentors through networking that have led me down my own path of personal growth. And sometimes you don’t need a business guru or expert, but someone that has valuable years more life experiences to share. You can’t replicate that kind of wisdom!
3. Making new friendships
As we grow and evolve as adults, it can be really hard to meet like minded people and make new friends. Surrounding yourself with ambitious women with similar interests means organic friendships can easily blossom.
What can start with a mutual interest in all things business can turn into the most fulfilling of friendships. I’ve made some amazing, valuable connections through networking and met women who have gone on to become some of my closest friends. And as we know, our friends are often our biggest supporters and more than likely to refer business your way!
I often recommend to people who are looking for new friends to consider checking out a relevant business networking event as it’s such a great place to form new connections.
4. Feel more connected in the online space
Although social media is a wonderful business tool, it continues to contribute to women feeling more isolated and lonely than ever before. Attending in-person networking events is not only a place to meet new people, but inconsequentially it enhances the satisfaction of our social media connections too. Winning!
In fact, one of the (only) things I love about social media is catching up on what other women I’ve met through networking are up to in their lives and businesses. It becomes a place to start or continue conversations – which is what social media was meant to be all about! This also applies to things like an online membership community or virtual events. If you’ve had the opportunity to meet face-to-face, it can elevate the online connection and make it more satisfying and cupfilling.
Even though I’m super biased, you can see why in-person events and networking specifically for women can be just so darn beneficial for small business owners. For Perth-based business owners who want to dip their toe in the networking pool – check out the Biz Brunch (and soon to be Biz Lunch!) events page.
Wanna experience cup-filling business networking?
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