A business network is a type of business social network which is developed to help businesspeople connect with other managers and entrepreneurs to further each other's business interests by forming mutually beneficial business relationships. There are several prominent business networking organizations that create models of business networking activity that, when followed, allow the business person to build new business relationships and generate business opportunities at the same time. A professional network service is an implementation of information technology in support of business networking. Chambers of Commerce and other business-oriented groups may also organize networking activities.
Many business people contend business networking is a more cost-effective method of generating new business than advertising or public relations efforts. This is because business networking is a low-cost activity that involves more personal commitment than company money. Country-specific examples of informal networking are guanxi in China, blat in Russia, good ol' boy network in America, and old boy network in the UK.
In the case of a formal business network, its members may agree to meet weekly or monthly or less frequently, with the purpose of sharing information, exchanging business leads and making referrals to fellow members. To complement this business activity, members often meet outside this circle, on their own time, and build their own one-to-one business relationship with fellow members.
Business networking can be conducted in a local business community, at a regional level (which typically happens less often because of the travel involved) or even at a national level or international level, in the form of conferences and other fora. In the 2000s, using the Internet and teleconferencing services, it is possible for businesspeople from a similar industry or sector to connect even if they live in different regions or countries. Business networking websites have grown in the 2000s. Some Internet businesses find or set up business "leads" to sell to bigger corporations and businesses looking for new clients.
Chesham Luncheon Club, which is based in Chesham Buckinghamshire, attracts visitors from Chesham, Amersham, Berkhamsted, High Wycombe, Aylesbury and has had business from even further afield.
Contact Daphne Clarke if you are interested in attending the next meeting on Thursday 5th January 2017.