Since the dawn of time, humans have formed groups, communities, societies, tribes. It helped them pool and trade resources, approach each other for help, and protect themselves against difficult conditions and predators.
And it’s really no different for businesses. Did you know, for example, that over 50,000 businesses in the UK are members of the British Chambers of Commerce, through their local Chamber (of which we at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce are one)?
Or that there are over 8,000 separate membership organisations and associations based in the UK?
Or that 80% of professionals find networking essential to their career success, almost 100% believe that face-to-face meetings build stronger long-term relationships, and 41% want to network more often?
In short, connecting is critical. Here’s how you can do more of it in 2024.1. Get out and meet people
There are literally hundreds of networking groups in the UK, and scores in Bedfordshire and the surrounding areas alone – but you can’t attend all of them.
For Beds Chamber members, free access to a networking event every month comes as standard, with our members’ and partners’ networking events creating additional opportunities to get out there, meet people, and spread the business cards around!2. Play the dating game
In many ways, connecting can be like dating – whilst you might run into the perfect partner in a crowd, you’re more likely to “click” if you know a bit about each other before your first meeting.
At Beds Chamber, we run Meet the Buyer events for our members that are based on careful prior evaluation of your offering versus buyers’ needs, so the connection is quicker, stronger, and more productive.3. Connect digitally and in print
There’s only so much of you to go around, so when you’re busy working on your core business rather than connecting, you need other channels to be doing the connecting for you.
This is why, at Beds Chamber, members can create listings in our own business directory, which is a trusted source of connection for over 700 local businesses, as well as submit member profiles and other editorial for inclusion in our Business Focus magazine, which goes out both digitally and in print.4. Connect through buying and selling
Often in business, nothing sparks a connection like a well targeted special offer.
At Beds Chamber, we specialise in this type of connection through our Member2Member offers. This is a forum that brings together members in an atmosphere of trust, enabling them to benefit from preferential buying and selling arrangements, and rapidly build lasting connections to reliable customers and suppliers.
We’ve had over 2,000 Member2Member connections and referrals since 2018 – and counting!5. Reach beyond your borders
Lastly, there’s no law that says connection is just about belonging to a group, or networking with an audience, or sharing views with like-minded businesspeople. It’s also about look beyond your own borders to territories new.
At Beds Chamber, over 32% of our members export, and we facilitate these connections through 50%+ discounts on export documentation, and specialist export learning resources and webinars.
Hands across the sea takes connection to another level.
Connect with the Chamber in 2024
“United we stand, divided we fall”, goes the saying, and whilst businesses in Bedfordshire are more than capable of picking themselves up, dusting themselves down, and going again when they’ve taken a tumble, the savvy ones have the connections in place to grab a helping hand when they need it.
For more information on how to become a member, please visit www.chamber-business.com or call our friendly team on 01582 522448.