As a savvy business owner, you know how to get things done on your own. That being said, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Sometimes a little help from friends can go a long way. This is where your small business network comes in.
Having a robust network is one of the best ways to stay up to date on business news in your industry, find the right people to hire, build brand awareness, and get expert insight on some of your biggest business development problems. There’s no need to pay for pricey business consulting sessions if you have a robust network of like-minded professionals who are ready to help.
One way to build your ideal network is to pursue online business networking. There are plenty of online networking groups for business owners just like you. We’ve done the leg work and rounded up nine of the best online business networks for you to consider joining. Hopefully, you’ll find your perfect networking group in no time.
What is online business networking?
Online business networking has a lot of great advantages. Essentially, when you attend an online networking event or join a business networking group, you gain opportunities to network from your own home. While online business networking existed well before the pandemic eliminated more traditional networking opportunities, it’s really easy to see the appeal of networking digitally and safely from a distance now. How these events and groups are structured will vary greatly depending on the group you end up joining, but we’ll break down some examples of what these different groups look like.
1. StartUp Nation
StartUp Nation is a website that provides a lot of great educational resources for entrepreneurs alongside networking opportunities. Take some time to look through their Community Business Forums for answers to some of your most pressing questions.
If you’re looking to raise money for your startup, then TheFunded might catch your eye. This is an online community that will allow you to connect with more than 20,000 CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs who love to discuss fundraising and strategies for growing a startup business.
One of the great things about online networking is that you can find super niche groups to fit your needs. Zerply for example is a networking group for creative talent in film, games and VR/AR.
4. Small Business Ideas Forum
If you want to learn more about small business marketing, generating revenue, and other important business topics, then you’ll love diving into this networking forum where real small business owners help each other find success.
Opportunity uses a matchmaking algorithm to connect business professionals who may want to collaborate on projects together or who want to simply grow their network.
6. Every.Black Entrepreneur International Masterminds
Amongst other resources, every week Every.Black Entrepreneur International Masterminds hosts mastermind meetings for entrepreneurs on Zoom. They also have dynamic guest speakers, share new technology tips, and provide opportunities to discuss business books.
7. Female Business Collective
Female entrepreneurs may enjoy connecting with other female business owners during the virtual networking events hosted by Female Business Collective on Zoom. Each event includes an informative guest speaker and provides time to connect with other members in a smaller group setting.
8. Bumble Bizz
Bumble isn’t just for dating! That’s right, you can connect with other other entrepreneurs on Bumble Bizz, which is basically a dating app for those looking to find professional connections instead of love.
ONLE hosts Zoom based meetings for business owners to connect just like they would in-person, but online. Each month they hold a group conversation where you can simply listen in and learn or you can jump in and share your thoughts. Each meeting, you’ll also get the opportunity to have an impromptu one-to-one chat with someone from the group.
The key takeaway
There are plenty of great online networking groups that you can join if you’re looking to strengthen your professional network. Of course, you can always host your own online networking event! Many of the groups mentioned here utilized video chat technology to host super inclusive networking events that people can join from anywhere. Starting your own can be a great way to meet new people. Another benefit of joining these networking groups is the educational resources they provide for entrepreneurs!
For more tips and tricks to help you run your business, you can also check out Fundbox’s Financial Resources page.