When you start a small business, it’s easy to think that you are on your own. After all, you’re the one who came up with a name, a business plan, a budget, and a home office!
But what you may not know is that your small business can benefit a lot from partnerships and networking with other small businesses. Read on for three important business networking groups you should consider joining when you start a small business:
Business Networking International (BNI)The first step a small business owner should take is to join your local BNI group. The main benefit of the group is right in its name -- BNI groups allow you to network with other businesses in your area, providing a unique point of view and business opportunity. BNI groups focus heavily on increasing referrals, passing around business, and increasing exposure to many other people and businesses. You can locate a local BNI group by performing a location search on the BNI webpage.
Chamber of CommerceYour local Chamber of Commerce is a great group to know for a number of reasons. First, unlike BNI groups, Chambers of Commerce allow more than one representative from the same type of industry to join. This allows you to network with peers, colleagues, and competitors. Chambers of Commerce also get together frequently on a social level, hosting social events, mixers, and trade shows. Finally, taking on a leadership role in a Chamber of Commerce has a profound impact on your visibility and credibility in the community, making it easier to connect with business owners and potential clients.
State Retail AssociationYour State Retail Association is a trade association that provides networking, information, and small business advocacy for its members by providing state-wide rosters and industry information. However, some states are more active than others. If you happen to live in a state with a less active Association, that’s your opportunity to get it going!
Are you a member of a networking group that’s not on this list? Share in the comments!To get started with your own small business as a vending machine operator, give All4U a call today at (800) 584-8887. Vending. Your way.