How to Find Networking Groups
Written by: Michelle Bakula on June 08, 2012
How to Find Networking Groups
Face-to-face networking can be one of the most effective ways to build relationships and your credibility as a small business owner. For a home-based travel agent, this type of networking should be a priority when it comes to looking at ways to meet new people and grow your contact base.
But how much should you network and how many networking groups should you join? Answering this question will vary from agent to agent depending on if you are operating your business full-time or part-time and what your personal and professional goals are for your travel agency. As a rule of thumb, however, you should attend a minimum of 2 networking events a month if you work part-time and 4 networking events, or one a week, if you operate your travel agency on a full time basis.
So, where do you start to find networking groups? The first place you should investigate is your local chamber of commerce. Keep in mind that each local chamber serves the community and the businesses that reside in that community. Their goal is to help business owners grow, build and develop their businesses. Most chambers have wonderful resources and networking opportunities for the small business owner. Research your local chamber of commerce’s website and investigate what they may have to offer. Monthly networking events, business after business events, trade shows, advertising opportunities, and education workshops are just a sample of the types of resources that your chamber can provide you.
Young Professionals, Women in Business, Business Network International (BNI), National Association of Small Business Owners (NASBO), and Toastmasters are all nationally recognized networking avenues for the small business owner. Search online to locate your local chapter for these organizations and see what it takes to join.
Most of these networking organizations will charge nominal annual or monthly dues. However, in most cases, the return on your investment happens quickly. Check with your tax accountant as these types of dues are generally considered a tax write-off.
If you are on a tight budget, check out Meetup at Meetup.com for free networking opportunities available in your community. Keep in mind that not all networking groups need to be business in nature. Even social networking groups will give you the opportunity to meet new people to add to your prospect list and build long-term professional relationships.
Everyone will vacation sooner or later, so whether you’re at a professional business event, gathering of fellow moms at a playdate or even enjoying time at a classic car show, there’s always an opportunity for you to talk about what you do and gain new clients. Once you begin to network, you’ll be amazed at how fast your list of clients will grow!
Interested in starting an exciting new career as a KHM Travel Group Agent? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about our unique and comprehensive travel agent program that can be the gateway for you to start your own business, earn money and travel the world! Find out more about the best way to start a fun career as a home based travel business owner at www.KHMTravel.com or call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260.