A Big Network For Small Businesses

a big network for small businesses

Setting up a small business can be a daunting and intimidating process. Wouldn’t it be nice if others could lend you their knowledge and assistance so you don’t feel like you’re in this on your own?

This is why the concept of business networking is becoming ever more popular. It allows business owners to meet with like-minded people and exchange ideas, lend support and provide referrals for others in their network.

Several networks exist in the Dublin business community, including Dublin Business Network, a group that holds a breakfast meeting every Friday in Bewleys Hotel, Sandyford. “The essence of the group is that there is only one person per profession, which means one solicitor, one accountant, one commercial property person, and so on, allowed to join,” says DBN chairman Elio Lodola, “This ensures that you won’t have a competing business in the room and fosters a positive, supportive attitude among members.”

Lodola hopes to increase membership to a total of 30 this year. “This is true low-cost networking at its best,” he says. “Apart from giving their time and energy to the group, there is only a small monthly charge of €55 to cover the room hire and breakfast charges.”

Businessman Brian Golden calls business networking, “the most tried and trusted method of obtaining new business opportunities.” With this in mind, he operates the Southside Dublin Networking Group (SDNG). The network is free to join and Golden describes its approach as “professional, focused, and success-driven.”

A committed, professional approach is a requirement and Golden stresses that time wasting will not be tolerated. “We operate strict rules and regulations for all network group members – we only want members with the right business frame of mind – people who are willing to share not just take,” he says. “We are selective on the membership, and we must stress that positive approach and attitude is essential in order to become a member.”

Membership isn’t limited to established business owners; those considering setting up a business are welcome to apply. “If you are unemployed, have you considered taking advantage of the recent budget incentives?” Golden asks, “These allow you to set up a new business from January 2014, and thereby enjoy tax-free status, up to an amount of €40,000 per annum, for the first two years in business.”

Golden hopes to develop a core of 15 members and plans to hold fortnightly meetings at which members can discuss issues, trade contacts and share ideas.

Golden advises that membership places are very limited, and are usually restricted to one person from each type of profession, trade, and skill set. “Places are filled on a first come basis, based on your fit to our requirements,” he says, “therefore do not hesitate and delay – contact us today.”

By Eric Hillis