When it comes to getting out there and meeting new people to help in the growth of your business, there’s no more effective method than events where you can hang out with likeminded people who are working in the same position as you.
Networking can definitely be a bit of a dirty word (I’d love to know what comes to mind when you think of it!) but with the number of self-employed businesses in the UK growing by 84,000 just in 2016 we need a way to get to know each other!
Brands are increasingly looking for methods to improve the networking experience, but when you’re checking out a new event for the first time it can be tempting to bring a friend along as an ally. Sometimes though, it’s not always possible to find someone to come with you – you might be the only one of your friends who is self employed, the time of the occassion might not suit them or it simply might not quite be the right scene for them.
As we launch the first of our networking retreats for small business owners, we thought we’d give you a run down on the benefits of both coming with a friend or keeping the secret to yourself and going it alone!
If you’re coming with a friend and you both live in the same area, save some pennies and share a lift. It’s a great way to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while and if navigation isn’t your strong point (like me!) it helps to have someone on hand to check which way to go.
That said, one of the main luxuries of working for yourself is the freedom to come and go as you please and this is no different. With no one else to accommodate, travel in a way and at a time that suits you. Stop for as many coffees as you like at the services and set off as early or late as you please. If you’re taking the train, enjoy some stolen peace and quiet – catch up on a book or get your daily emails out of the way so you can really relax and enjoy the retreat when you arrive.
Meeting New People
This is one that definitely depends on your personality. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you braver with someone supportive by your side, or are you more likely to make conversation with new people when the other choice is standing on your tod?
When you’re at an event with friends, make sure you’re welcoming and approachable. Perhaps break away from each other for a little bit and engage with new people – that way if you find yourself a bit stranded and too nervous to strike up a conversation, you can always head back to your friend and join their chat! When you’re in a larger group scenario with each other, try and keep conversation to business – everyone else is in the same nervous boat and it will be impossible for someone to come and join your conversation if it’s too personal.
If you have gone it alone, use the opportunity to speak to everyone you possibly can! The groups on our retreats and events are kept purposely small to ensure everyone gets to know everyone else so don’t be afraid of being left on the side lines.
Sharing a Room
We’re staying in a beautiful 9-bedroom house in the countryside during our autumn retreat and have a variety of rooms available – these include twin, double and king sized beds that can be occupied alone or with someone else.
Booking with a friend and sharing a room is a great way to make the retreat even better value. If our twin rooms are better suited to your budget but you’re comfortable sharing with someone you know, spread the word and find a friend who is killing it in their business and could do with a treat.
If you’re coming along you get to choose how social you feel! Book one of our double or king-sized rooms and bliss out in your own private space, or if you fancy something a bit more social, why not book a spot in one of our twin rooms? Our booking form ensures that everyone who attends the event is there for the same purpose so you know you’ll be in great company.
The Post Retreat Debrief
Have you ever watched a film with someone, then come out at the end and talked about it, only to feel like you both watched two entirely different things?! We can all read the same books, watch the same films or attend the same courses yet take something unique and extraordinary from them each time.
Not only will the retreat leave you feeling blissed out, nourished and ready to take on the rest of the year, but you will have also found the time and creative headspace to discover exciting new ideas for the ways in which you can develop your business.
By attending with a friend, you will each learn & absorb different things from all of the workshops – you can then go ahead and spend time exploring these after the event in slower time. Find out which key points they picked up and spend time together in the following days or weeks considering how they best fit into each of your businesses.
Even if you come alone, we assure you you’ll leave with a great community of friends. Everyone who attends our events will be invited to join a private Facebook group where we can continue to share wellbeing ideas to ensure than you can continue to give the best of yourself to your business.
Whether you prefer to network alone or with friends, either way, you will benefit from coming along and certainly won’t be left feeling lonely!