The downsides of networking can appear large, but it is important to remember what you could gain:
- Money – some groups have a large joining fee and membership subscription; there can also be the cost of a meal each week or month; add in the travelling costs, not to mention lost working time, and the total can be considerable. It is important to remember that it is entirely possible to make back more in terms of new customers/clients over time. Treat networking as an investment that will reward you on many levels, and you will be much happier about the cost.
- Time – people often struggle with spending time networking when they could be working; but generally the investment in time is worth it for the referrals received; also, shop around to find a group that meets at the right frequency and time of day for you.
- Commitment – some groups demand regular attendance; such regular commitment doesn’t suit everyone; however, it is likely you will get more out of networking the more committed you are (this also applies to becoming an officer or committee member).