One of the best things you can do to grow your business is to form a network online with other business women. I’m part of one, and it’s probably helped to grow my business more than anything else. On top of that, having peers to talk to about your fears, hopes and dreams is something that is invaluable during moments in your business where things do seem difficult or challenging.
So how do you go about finding a good network? Well, I’ve listed several excellent business networks below. But before I go into that, first let me outline what I think is important to look for in a network:
- Don’t necessarily focus on finding women in exactly the same industry. Instead, look at similar and complimentary industries. There may be some cross over between your companies that will be of great value to you all.
- Look at finding women in a similar stage of their startup to you. If you are just launching, it will be great to speak to people who are having similar frustrations and revelations as you, whereas if you are in a growth stage of your business the conversation may be very different.
- Be clear about what you want to get from the group. Do you want to learn new things? Or do you just want some moral support? This will help you to find the right people.
- Some online groups tend to link people up based on geographical location too, so if you would like to meet people in person as well as chat online, make sure you consider this.
So here is a list of some great networks out there to consider joining:
- Fab women in business (http://fabwomeninbusiness-events.com/)
- Women in business network (UK) (http://wibn.co.uk)
- Meetup is a great place to look for niche networking groups (“Mastermind Groups”) (http://masterminds.meetup.com)
- WENglobal (http://www.wenglobal.com)
- The Next Woman (http://www.thenextwoman.com)
- DWEN – An invitation-only women network run by Dell (http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/04/women-powering-business)
When you join a network, make sure you take the time to introduce yourself to people and how you started in business. It will give other women a chance to see what they have in common with you, or they may relate to your story. Also, make sure you give as much as you take in a network. Actually, give more than you take. Help out others as much as you can and you will be remembered for all the right reasons.