I’ve met a few people recently who have looked at me a little blankly and said “but why do you network? It takes up so much time”. To which I am, quite frankly, shocked!
How can you not network?? How can you not see the benefits of it?? I started Mushroom Soufflé following redundancy in early 2009. I was luckily already a member of The Athena Network for the company I worked for and this proved to be my saviour. I had a support group that was to prove itself invaluable. The women I was surrounded by gave me advice, courage and faith in myself that otherwise I would not have had.
Mushroom Soufflé is 2 years old this month. All of our business comes through networking and word of mouth. I meet amazing people who can help me grow my business and provide my clients with additional services. I have made some fantastic friends and I also get to know that I’m not alone in the challenges that I’m facing along the way. Sometimes running your own small business can be isolating so finding an environment where others are in the same situation is very motivating.
I love it, I am still a member of The Athena Network 2.5 years later and I also visit BNI, The Business Wealth Club, Business Biscotti, Cappuccino Connections and others. I don’t see how I would run Mushroom Soufflé without them and I think anyone looking to start a business in 2011 should get out there and get networking!