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Best networking groups for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

It’s a well-known fact that in business your ability to succeed is mainly based on who you know. Have you ever heard the saying that your network determines your network? Knowing the right people is vital to the growth of your business. Regardless of this well-known fact, a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs either don't go out and network or just don't know where to begin. If you're ready to make some game-changing relationships that will grow your business. The groups that I have listed below are a great starting point for you. Here is a list of the best networking groups.

1. Your Local Chamber of Commerce To form business connections within your immediate community, the best place to start is often your local chamber of commerce. The quality and involvement of local chamber organizations can vary from city to city, but the best of them provide foundational training, professional development, and resources for local business owners.

Along with networking opportunities, many local chambers of commerce bring in guest speakers and provide mentoring opportunities at very affordable rates for new business owners. Contact your city’s commerce department to learn more about your local chamber.

2. SCORE For more than 50 years, this non-profit business association has provided opportunities for small-business owners to gain skills, grow their networks, and achieve their business goals. From free online learning opportunities to in-person mentor relationships, entrepreneurs across the country attribute their business success to the connections they’ve formed with veteran business owners through SCORE and its partner organizations. And because SCORE is supported by the US Small Business Administration as well as corporate donations, it is one of the most affordable avenues to grow your business network.

3. Entrepreneurs’ Organization Through mentor relationships, online networks, and global networking events, Entrepreneurs’ Organization has cultivated a community of more than 10,000 business owners around the world who share knowledge and build their business networks through EO’s various programs. The demographics of Entrepreneurs’ Organization are vast, and each local chapter has a different set of offerings. Overwhelmingly, though, invested EO members cite the impact of this organization not just on their professional careers, but on their lives as a whole.

4. Business Networking International If your primary goal in business networking is to gain a large volume of referrals, Business Networking International may be a valuable resource for you. Rather than focusing particularly on community building, members of this organization take a more transactional approach to sharing contacts.

5. Young Entrepreneur Council For entrepreneurs under 40, this invitation-only organization provides incredible concierge services, professional development, and networking opportunities. Along with the quality of connections and resources, millennial business owners remark on the fast-paced, heavily digital nature of this organization as compared with older and more traditional small business groups.

6. American Marketing Association Regardless of whether you work specifically in the marketing industry, every small-business owner is involved in marketing. Along with the marketing education resources available from the national American Marketing Association, your local AMA chapter is a great place to form connections with and learn from fellow marketers and entrepreneurs in your community.

7. Rotary Club International If you value using your business to do good within your community, you may find a like-minded network in your local Rotary Club chapter. Keep in mind that the Rotary Club isn’t specifically a small business group. Rather, it focuses more on community service and leadership development. That said, while demographics and quality of Rotary Club programs can vary widely between communities, many successful small-business owners cite their local Rotary Club as crucial to their own business success

Okay, now a quick word of wisdom. Each one of the groups listed above is great and amazing in their own way. I'm personally a member of two of the groups listed above. You absolutely shouldn't join them all. You will do more damage harm than help by spreading yourself too thin between them all which would than limit the amount of effort and focus that you could put forward. By choosing one or maybe two of these groups to join you could really zero in and receive the most value from being a member of those groups.

Always remember the best way to improve your results is to improve your skills. It's better to take action and fail than to never take action at all. Please sign up for my email list if you enjoyed this blog.

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