It’s not all business

Most people attend networking to gain business opportunities but of course there are other benefits too. Some of these relate to camaraderie and personal development but there may be more tangible and unexpected rewards too.

Many people have hobbies or at least other interests outside their business operation. That may mean a need for assistance or contacts which the individual doesn’t have access to on a ready basis. Supply of equipment or expert advice at a sensible rate may well lift a casual interest to a much higher level, whilst at the same time providing a business transaction for the other member involved.

Then there is the possibility that your fellow members may be able to help friends and family with things that they may need and perhaps even give them an opening in the jobs market. It often seems that opportunities are easier if you can get in through someone you know so the right contact could be incredibly valuable.

Almost everyone at some point or another gets involved in an activity which helps to promote a charity or undertakes their own activities to help others, whether this is a permanent thing or just a one off occasional effort. One of our members recently undertook a ‘Fire Walk’ on a sponsored basis to help her favourite charity. Belonging to TLGC meant that she could ask her colleagues to sponsor her and she went on to raise a substantial sum. A selection of our members are also involved in a separate networking group which exits purely to benefit their local hospice. Tickets for events and sponsorships can be offered at TLGC meetings and extra money raised. After all, we’re all there to help each other. One of our Regional Directors is heavily involved in animal rescue and has managed to rehome animals to other members and also made many useful contacts which will help him in what is always a difficult task, both now and in the future.

So you see networking is all about who you meet and how you can help each other and that’s not limited to business.