BNI – BUSINESS NETWORK INTERNATIONAL: For those who are more interested in networking than mentorship, BNI (or Business Network International) is a great place to start. BNI has over 7,500 chapters, so there is bound to be one in a location near you. Unlike other business networking groups, BNI requires business owners to apply for a membership—but, for a very specific reason. Only one business per a particular industry is allowed to join each chapter. While this can sometimes make it harder for you to network with other businesses and business owners in your industry, it allows you to serve as an ambassador of your industry to the rest of your BNI group. This means that you will be the local authority on your industry and industry-related matters. Moreover, BNI also offers workshops, newsletters, and other useful benefits to members. Web Design Hudson WI
SCORE: SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) has a network of over 11,000 business mentors across the country who are there to help small business owners learn how to grow and manage their businesses. One of the neat and convenient things about SCORE is that it is completely free. SCORE provides many no-cost services for small businesses, such as business mentoring (in person or via email), free resources, as well as no-cost or low-cost trainings and digital seminars (webinars).
LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OR ROTARY CLUB: If you’re looking for ways to connect with local customers in your area, then becoming a part of your local business chamber of commerce can offer you many advantages–even if it can be a little costly compared to other networking options. Being a part of a chamber of commerce will provide you with ample benefits, including newsletters for small businesses, business workshops, booths at local trade shows, and even discounted shipping costs. Moreover, having a “platinum” membership will offer you even more benefits, such as weekly deals, discounts on business supplies, and a link that will direct potential customers to your website from the chamber of commerce website. Lastly, if you have a B2B business, then you could potentially find clients among the members in your chamber of commerce group as well—or even just local people who you could sell your services/products to in your area.
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