Are you thinking of running your own business networking events? If you are you might want to take a step back to consider your reasons carefully so that you ensure that your events really are a success and don’t, like so many, fall at the first hurdle. Have a look at Houston Business Spotlight.
Firstly here are some reasons you might want to run your own group or event:
Earn an income
Run an event which offers something not currently available
Expand your own network
Do some thing you enjoy
Raise your personal profile of that of your organisation
Do something you are good at and be better than the competition
For me the reasons for running networking events were a combination of all of these and which helped me make the decision to buy a business networking franchise. And for me it was great decision – I did make a profitable business out it at the same time expanding my network of valuable business contacts and raising my personal profile in the business community.
However running your own business networking events isn’t always a bed of roses …
Whilst I considered that I made a success of running business networking groups it didn’t come without its difficulties and there are many who really do struggle to make a viable business from this industry.
Firstly like any business it requires hard work and if you are running another business in parallel you need to consider how you will balance the two. Because my primary business wasn’t fully up and running before I bought my business networking franchise and since I was the only one in my business, I found my focus shifted. I had to make a choice and chose to put all my efforts into my new venture, putting my coaching business on hold until I had the structures and processes in place to allow it to manage itself.
Many people fail to realize what does actually go into making a successful networking event and think it is as simple as inviting a few people along to a venue and expect them to mingle. But effort is required to get those people along – events like any other product or service needs to be marketed so there is good attendance by the ‘right’ people who can all benefit from each others’ attendance.
And slick organization both prior to the event and on the day, with immaculate attention to detail is vital – attendance lists, name badges, ensuring the event is fully resourced to ensure there are people available to meet and greet attendees and facilitate introductions. Attention should be given to the structure of the event – getting an appropriate balance of informal and formal networking, relevant talks and opportunities for attendees to really meet who they want to meet.
The other misconception is that running networking groups is an easy way to make quick money. Too often the costs are ignored – the costs of advertising and promoting the event, the costs of your own time in administration and marketing, the costs of the venue and refreshments and all too often the costs incurred by those saying they will attend but do not turn up.
As with any business it isn’t just about being good technically (in this case good at networking) and having a passion for what you do, you have to be good at running a business and this means ensuring that all aspects of the business are covered – marketing, finance, selling, human resources and operations. So if your primary reason for running a networking business is because you enjoy networking think on – to be successful, this won’t be all you have to do in order to be successful.
Another reason for running you own networking events is to raise your profile and yes this can be a great way to do it…only however if you do it well. You are in effect putting yourself in the spotlight and if you don’t succeed then consider the impact this will have on your own image and that of your business.
Finally running networking groups is a an increasingly popular industry with more people than ever before engaging in this form of business marketing and with it an ever increasing number of events, groups and clubs meeting these needs. It is therefore getting extremely competitive so if you plan to be successful in this market you need to do your research carefully and ensure you not only are meeting a real need but what you are offering really is the best there is.