Networking 101

Networking 101

Lately there seems to be a lot of talk about how to get your business known and how to find clients. Since September is rolling around before we know it, this might be an opportune time to address networking.

Networking is such a vital part of growing a business, especially a VA business. So what is networking, how and where do you start?

First and foremost, networking is about building relationships. Think about it for a minute. If you were looking for someone to fix your computer or do some work in your home, where would you look? Would you go through the Yellow Pages and then hope that you found someone reliable, who knew their stuff and was the best person to handle your needs? Would you really trust someone that you didn’t really know?

This is what networking is all about. You need to get out there and get yourself known. Once people get to know you and your business then it is easy for them to refer you to others. Why? Because, they have built trust and a relationship with you. They know what type of person you are and what your work ethics are by how you present yourself. This works online and in person.

Now where do you go to network, what groups can I possibly look at and where do you find them?

Here is a few to get you started both online and off:

HTML clipboard

The York Business Exchange (YBE) www.ybe.ca

Business Owners Idea Café www.businessownersideacafe.com

The Leapfrog Network www.leapfrognetwork.com

BNI Canada www.bnicanada.ca

eWomen Network www.ewomennetwork.com

Canadian Women’s Business Network www.cdnbizwomen.com

entreWomen www.entrewomen.ca

Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs www.cawee.net

Business Women’s Networking Association  http://www.bwna.biz

Women Entrepreneurs of Canada www.wec.ca

Small Business Forum  www.small-business-forum.com

Company of Women www.companyofwomen.ca

Wings Canada www.wingscanada.com

Ryze Business Networking  www.ryze.com

Linked In www.linkedin.com

International Association of Administrative Professionals www.iaap-hq.org

Canadian Virtual Assistant Connection  www.cvac.ca

Canadian Virtual Assistant’s Network www.canadianva.net

Virtual Assistant’s Networking Forum www.vanetworking.com

Women In A Home Office www.womeninahomeoffice.com

Canadian Federation of Independent Business www.cfib.ca

SOHO Business Group www.soho.ca Business Innovation Group (BIG) www.bignetworking.ca

Business Partnerships http://businesspartnerships.ca

Business Networks http://businesspartnerships.ca

Meetup http://smallbiz.meetup.com

ReferralQuest www.referralquest.net

For other groups, events, meetings and times check out this fabulous website by Jennifer Beale – the Queen of Network. You can even sign up to have meeting and events come right into your mailbox:

HTML clipboard

http://www.biznetworknews.com

Remember that networking is an ongoing investment in your business. Think of it as courting your potential clients, it doesn’t happen overnight, it does take time but what lasting relationship doesn’t!  Happy networking!