Since networks are a fundamental aspect of business many business people are keen to join established social and trade associations to raise their profile, strengthen business relationships and provide growth opportunities for their companies.
Given the importance of your business network, the need will arise for you to perform an assessment of whether your membership with your chosen association is yielding any mutually beneficial opportunities for your company.
Here are 8 ways to determine if your business network or association is a benefit or hinderance to your organisation:
- Have you received any sales through referrals from any of your relationships?
- Have you been able to access training programs which developed your business acumen?
- Has your trade association provided you with access to industry experts?
- Is there a mentorship program in place to provide your with an opportunity to obtain essential business advice?
- Have you found any alternative suppliers, customers or markets for your existing product lines?
- Has your profile as a business person strengthen?
- Have you gained access to products or services that would otherwise be impossible?
- Has your company benefits from increase expose in its current or new markets?
If you answered no to many of these questions, then you need to consider whether you should continue with your existing membership. If however, your association provides you with all the benefits highlighted you should consider becoming more actively involved. This can include becoming part of the executive committee. Remember the purpose of your business network is to strength your organisation and business relationships.
– Rashida Parasram, Managing Director MPR Consulting