What is Networking?
Networking is a great way to meet face-to-face possible future clients, suppliers and business advice in an informal way. It’s a great way to expand your customer base, market your brand, and win more business.Before you attend a networking event, work out the types of contacts, connections, support and suppliers that you need to meet. See if you can go with someone you know for the first time, so he or she can introduce you.
How to Network
A networking event is not like cold calling, it is a friendly social event, where you not only talk about your business. It is not as formal as a job interview, but a great informal way to promote yourself, as a person and gossip about business.
Networking is about building contacts and relationships that might be useful to you in the future. If you can demonstrate your usefulness, it is likely that the people you meet will recommend you to their business contacts.
Before you go, work out the following:
- A short simple way to describe your business.
- what it does and think about who will be there.
- Also, ensure you have plenty of business cards to hand out with your correct contact details including website, telephone, mobile and Skype numbers, together with information about your business does.
In addition, see if you can obtain a list of who might be attending and then look up their LinkedIn Profile – mine is at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/nicnewmanoxford .By doing so, you might discover something you have in common, like attending the same university or share the same interest.
One point to remember, often at these events you will find food on offer and drink. I suggest you ignore the food as it gets in the way of you talking.
After the networking event, I suggest you ring the people you have found useful.As to gauging your success, I suggest obtaining three or four good contacts is better than a hundred possible, then I suggest you look at other networking events to try out. If you have time at one or two a month, and remember networking can prove a very effective form of marketing your business.
A List of Networking Events and Organisations In Oxfordshire
Here is a list of some useful Oxfordshire based business networking groups, that may prove useful in networking, obtaining business advice in expanding your business. Contact Us if you wish to be added to this list.
Oxford First Tuesday
A media networking group that includes journalists, professional writers, independent filmmakers, corporate communication and marketing experts, copywriter and editors, producers, directors, public relations experts, web designers, directors etc. Oxford First Tuesday provides a range of social, business development advice and networking events for its members. It is also a good way to meet local members of the media face to face. Meets every first Tuesday of the month from 7-30 onwards at the Lamb and Flag Pub, St.Giles Oxford.
The Informal Drink
An opportunity to socialise and networking with fellow small to medium sized businesses once a month, usually the first Monday of the month at the Victoria Arms Marston from 6-30 onwards.
The Oxfordshire Project
A small to medium-sized local business networking group that also provides useful services to developing one’s business.
Digital Remit holds a variety of events across the Thames Valley including business social events, book clubs and professional training
Meet and Mingle
Meet and Mingle networking group is an informal and friendly group of sole traders, business owners and open-minded individuals in the Oxfordshire area, who gather together to build relationships, establish trust and help each other to promote our service and products. Meet and Mingle holds regular meetings in Oxford, Bicester and Thame.
Oxfordshire Business First
This is an Oxfordshire based networking and a good source of business development help.
United in Business
A local community of business interest both small, medium and large that network and learn from each other, at the Oxford United Stadium.
The Late Breakfast
Provides a series of breakfast time meetings that include sometimes seminars, mini-workshops, general networking and keynote speaker presentations – there is something for everyone. Speakers come from both local organisations and key business professionals.
Thames Valley Chamber Of Commerce
The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group works with businesses across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Swindon to help them achieve their full business potential.
An opportunity to network whilst enjoying a game of golf with fellow business people.
A business mentoring networking group for business leaders
Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP)
Working with businesses, academia and the public sector OxLEP is driving economic development across the county.
Federation of Small Businesses
As experts in business, we offer our members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in government. Our mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.
Oxfordshire Business First
Provides business help and networking opportunities for its members
B4 – Business Networking for the Thames Valley
A networking site for small, medium and large businesses based in Oxfordshire
A forum and networking group for anyone involved in the energy sector living and working in Oxfordshire
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