Business collaboration and networking is strong in the Sutherland Shire. These events are a great opportunity to connect and build with your local business commuinity. Council works closely with these groups and supports key activities through investing in marketing and programs. Below are some major business networking groups in the Sutherland Shire.
Networking is probably the most effective and least expensive marketing method you can use to build your business, especially if you do business in your local area.
10 Networking Tips
1. Choose the right venues. Not every group of people will be right for you. Choose groups where people congregate who share your interests and/or are potential clients
2. Develop relationships. Networking is not about selling, but rather developing relationships that can lead to sales or referrals. The idea is to get to know people and allow them to get to know you.
3. Dress appropriately and professionally. Establish yourself as a successful person, which you can do by dressing the part. This does not mean that you need to wear expensive clothes, but do wear something a bit on the dressy side and leave the comfortable baggy pants at home
4. Be prepared. Bring plenty of business cards, but only give them to people who show a real interest in what you do. Brochures or printed postcards can also be effective. Also, craft a short description of what you do — no more than 10 or 15 seconds.
5. Ask questions and listen. You don’t have to talk a lot about what you do in order to find potential customers. Rather, ask people you meet questions about them and their business, then listen carefully to their answers. Find points of commonality that you can bring into the conversation.
6. Sit with people you don’t know. Many events have walk-around networking followed by a sit-down meeting of some sort. During the walk-around, do talk to people you have met before to enhance your relationship, but sit with people you don’t know in order to widen your network and meet potential customers. Here too, ask questions and listen.
7. Talk to people who are standing alone. People attend networking events to meet others. If someone is standing alone, that’s the perfect opportunity to make a new contact. You might want to start the conversation by saying, “May I join you?”
8. Move on – politely. Don’t spend all of your time talking to one person. Gather the information you need, exchange business cards, if appropriate, and move on.
9. Give to get. Focus on what you can do for others, not what they can do for you. Perhaps you know someone who could use your prospects services. If you do, make the referral.
10. Follow up. If you make a good connection with someone, after the event, send a note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. If appropriate, send an article or some kind of information that they might find helpful.
Sutherland Shire Business Chamber
The Sutherland Shire Business Chamber (SSBC) is a dynamic and constantly expanding business group backed by the capacity and reach of the long established NSW Business Chamber. Business owners can tap into our network through our social and educational events, listings on our Business Directory, newsletters, social media and digital channels. Membership of the SSBC comes with Affiliate Membership to the NSW Business Chamber that features free calls to the Employment Advice Line, marketing, legal services and discounted attendance at business networking events across Sydney.
The SSBC is for the whole Sutherland Shire and for every business sector from professional services to legal, trades, hospitality and more. We have formal representation and work with Council, industry groups and Government to advocate for the local area, ensuring that economic development and jobs growth continues into the future.
To join and for sponsorship opportunities see our website: www.sutherlandshirebusiness.com.au or phone 0414 734 490.
Local Chambers of Commerce working together with the SSBC:
Membership of any local business chamber within the Sutherland Shire area provides automatic membership of the SSBC.
Realise Business are in our 30th year of operation in the Sutherland Shire. We provide business advice, education and support to small and medium businesses across the Sydney region. Realise Business also offer membership giving you access to our growing network of Sydney businesses, regular events and workshops for people in every stage of business. You can find out more about our team of experts here.
Realise Business can help your business through:
- A FREE 4 hour session with an advisor through the Business Connect Program.
- Ongoing practical support which includes highly subsided business advice from an accredited advisor who will come to you.
- Access to events and networking opportunities designed to improve your business.
Find out more or contact Realise Business on 9545 5900.
ShireBiz is your business driven economic development group comprising current and past CEOs and public sector leaders, providing their skills and experience to the Committee. The main benefit of economic development will be jobs in the Sutherland Shire and Southern Sydney. We also provide a portal for business to each level of Government. We are business led, with Government support.
ShireBiz has recently enjoyed its sixth birthday, having formed as a result of a public meeting held in October 2012. Our Board of current & retired business professionals & retired political figures, meets monthly with sub committees & Executive meetings held more frequently.
Shirebiz Quarterly is a free event to allow Shirebiz members and supporters to mix and hear from a speaker in a field of interest to local businesses.
Contact details: phone: 0419 617 510 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Seven Sutherland Shire is an exclusive business club for business owners with more than $1M per annum in revenue. Events run each month in the Sutherland Shire with special guest speakers and panels to assist business owners with growing their business.
Contact Details: Phone 1300 025 827 - email@example.com
Business Networking International (BNI Southern Business)
The friendly BNI Southern Business chapter meets each Thursday morning at the Sylvania Bowling Club for breakfast. BNI is the largest referral networking organisation in the world with over 9,000 chapters and growing. With a central philosophy of 'Givers Gain’, members actively seek referrals for their fellow members and it works - to the tune of around $2 million worth of business a year for the chapter. The chapter welcomes visitors and there is no pressure to join. Register and see for yourself: https://bookeo.com/bnisouthernbusiness
Other local business networks in the Sutherland Shire
Enquiries can be directed to Business & Tourism on 9710 0892 or firstname.lastname@example.org