You’re running your own business. You’re trying to juggle the million and one things that come with the territory (plus family and other life commitments too!). We get it. Both of our co-founders are there with you. Right now. So why should you add another task to your schedule? Why should you join a networking group?
We’ll start off by saying that Tabono isn’t one, by the way – but more about that later!
What is a networking group?
Before we get into the ins and outs of why you should join a networking group, we need to consider what they are. Put simply, they are groups of people with a common (usually professional) interest who meet regularly to develop their businesses and broaden their networks and connections. Often the groups are organised on a regional basis, much like the networking events we run in Marlow, High Wycombe, Wokingham and Henley.
Some times, they have an ‘open door’ policy, where anyone with an interest in the group can join. This is very much the stance that we take with our own events – everyone is welcome at Tabono, regardless of profession, experience or location. Others operate a ‘lock-out’ policy, where groups only allow one representative of each industry. Both have their benefits, but our philosophy is to welcome everyone! More about that later too.
Why join one?
What then, are the benefits of joining a networking group? Why should we take the time away from our businesses and our customers to get involved? Here are three of the key benefits:
- Connections. This does what it says on the tin. Joining a networking group in your local area is a great way to meet like-minded people and broaden your connections.
- Reputation. People buy from people, there’s no denying that. You might not meet someone in your networking group who buys from you directly, but they just might know your next client!
- Learning. When you attend a networking event, often you will hear from a speaker – either a fellow attendee, or someone who has been invited.
Why Tabono is not a networking group
It might seem strange for us to be writing a blog post on networking groups, but then state in the same piece that we ourselves, are not one! Well, it’s true – we don’t consider ourselves to be a networking group. The reason being that we strive to be so much more than that. Tabono is an holistic support system for women in business, and networking is only a part of what we do.
That said, we do run ‘networking’ events every month for women in Marlow, High Wycombe, Henley and Wokingham. They are very informal, and deliberately designed to be welcoming, supportive and non-pressurised. The only criteria for entry is that each woman should either be running her own business, or be interested in doing so.
But Tabono is about so much more than just bringing people together to ‘connect’ or ‘network’. Tabono is a team and a tribe. A community of women who really ‘get it’. It’s a place to go, both on and offline, to share the highs and lows of running a small business. It’s a source of comfort and support, but also of encouragement, challenge and accountability.
So why join a networking group? And why network with Tabono? We hope this blog has started to answer that question, but if not, come and try it for yourself? You can also read more about the importance of building your tribe in our Definitive Guide to Starting a Small Business.