A RECENT article in the LA Times considered just how ‘networking’ can make a real difference to women in business.
It states that the interaction with other business owners created through networking is one way to get around entrenched, old boys groups.
But – it says that networking for women goes far beyond building relationships.
Carmen Rad, president of the CR&A Custom Digital Printing company, spent the first eight years of building up her business without networking at all but now she attends at least one networking group a week.
She said: "There is a tremendous advantage to joining, and you can't just join one. You need to join more than one because each organisation will have a different added value,"
Carmen Rad, who is on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, said her involvement with networking groups has helped her secure new contracts, bank loans and associates. She even found her accountant through one.
Female business owners — who sometimes have to work around entrenched, old-boy networks in order to expand their businesses — have found networking events to be particularly valuable.
"Creating strong networks, building those relationships, comes out time and time again" as key advice from successful women business owners, said Sharon Hadary, an author and former executive director of the Center for Women's Business Research in McLean, Va.
Some people who work on their own have found networking groups to be a good way to expand their contacts.
Ann Brenoff, a writer and marketing specialist in Malibu, founded the Women's Entrepreneurial Group with financial project manager Cathy Morrison of Pacific Financial Concierge.
"I work in my garage, I talk to my dog all day long, and a lot of women are working like this, working in isolation," she said.
To read the full article, please click here.