How to Choose the Right Professional Networking Group for your unique needs?


If you’re an independent professional or small business owner, relying heavily on referrals to grow your business, joining a professional networking group can be a game changer!  But how do you choose the right one? Start A Network wants to help you make the most of your endeavour. Below you will find 5 steps we feel you should keep in mind prior to aligning yourself with any specific professional networking Group: 


**Step 1: Identify Your Goals**


The first and perhaps most critical step to picking the right professional networking group is identifying your goals. We know that ultimately you are looking for help growing your business, but what does that look like for you? Are you simply looking to add an additional referral source or are you looking to build your business primarily through networking?  Are you more interested in developing deep, long-term relationships or are looking at networking as more of a numbers game?  Are you wanting a social or charitable aspect to your networking or are you wanting to keep it all business?   Would you like to see an educational component and possibly develop new strategies or would you prefer the focus was strictly leads based?


**Step 2: Explore Different Groups**


Do your due diligence. Networking groups come in all shapes and sizes, you will find some cater to only one field, while others are open to all networkers, and still others may only allow one representative per industry to alleviate competition amongst members.  Research different types of groups from in-person networks, online networks, to hybrid networks (combination of in-person and online networking.) Even networks that are run the same way may give you a totally different vibe depending on the personality make-up of the members.  Remember that the location in which the networking group meets may be better for some professions than others depending on the members target demographics.  


**Step 3: Check the Culture**


Every group has its unique culture, which can significantly impact your comfort level and participation. Some networks have a rigid structure with formal settings; others may be more relaxed and flexible. Choose a group where you feel welcomed and comfortable enough to connect genuinely with other members. Ask yourself if you work well in a highly structured  environment or if you thrive in a more laid back fun environment? Culture can be everything from the setting and location, rules and regulations, and the format of the meetings to how welcoming the network is to new members!


**Step 4: Consider the Commitment**


Networking isn't one-and-done. It requires persistent effort. Consider the meeting times of your prospective group and ensure they fit your schedule. Moreover, look into their member involvement protocol. An active networking group encourages its members to participate regularly, keeping the group lively and beneficial to all members.. Some groups in their regulations have requirements that may require your time while other networks have positions within the organization, you may feel compelled to do, that are time consuming as well.   


**Step 5: Evaluate the Cost and Benefits**


Lastly, most networking groups require some form of investment, whether in terms of membership fees or time. Weigh the benefits against the costs. If your business needs align with what the network has to offer, the return on investment can significantly surpass the cost involved.


While these steps can guide you towards the right group, if you can’t find a group that fits your unique needs we highly recommend you Start your own Networking group.  There are a lot of benefits you receive when you manage your own group that you simply don’t get as a networking group member.  To find out more go to and scroll toward the bottom of the page and  download our Free Ebook. 


We understand the struggle of juggling member details, coordinating meetings, communicating changes, and most importantly, monetizing your networks. Start A Network alleviates these pain points by providing a unified platform to manage your networks seamlessly, collaborate effortlessly with members, and even create a public website for your group, broadening your reach.


Moreover, our unique app empowers you to monetize your networks intelligently by setting up membership levels and pricing the levels based on the benefits received.  Your networking group can become not just a means of making connections-but a valuable income source.



Bill Mueller

Building The Future of Community

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