Networking  – A MIB’s Low Down

What is Networking?

Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which business people and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures. (source Wikipedia)

Well I think it’s a lot more personal than that. Business Networking is born out of a need for a mutual relationship with likeminded people. We are all trying to make a living and what better way to group up with others who share the same goal.

What are the benefits of Networking?  (Why should I attend?)

Network. Meeting new contacts and making friends! Other than the obvious of meeting new leads and getting potential referrals, we can meet some awesome people. It can be very isolating running a business, especially as a mum, so a hot drink and some adult interaction can really boost your confidence and morale.

Visibility. Staying visible and keeping up to date by attending events can raise your profile. As a business owner you want to be the person that first comes to mind when someone thinks of your industry and being visible in person as well as online can do that. Keeping up with business trends is vital for your marketing planning and business goals.

Collaboration. Need an accountant? Maybe you can meet one at a meeting. Need a Logo? maybe a graphic designer will attend. Maybe a fellow networker needs a product or service from your industry. You see where I am going here, meetings are all about mutual benefit and increasing your revenue.

Getting the best out of your meetings (what do I do when I get there?)

Just be yourself! Everyone attending is just like you, a business owner looking to get their business known. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and put yourself out there. Being genuine and showing passion for your business could get you the revenue you want, people will use you because they like YOU.

You will most likely been given a spot to introduce yourself or pitch. Try and prepare before the event but it’s totally ok to refer to notes if it’s your first time. A very effective way of getting yourself noticed is to offer a product for event gift bags or handouts. This is a really good way of giving a little to get a lot. You can gain a lot of visibility through word of mouth and online exposure such as reviews. I’d recommend bringing along business cards or a flyer to hand out so other networkers can contact you.

Relax (What kind of people will I meet?)

It can be isolating being a business owner, especially as a mum and if you work from home a lot. So, use this time to relax, regroup, and refresh! It’s surprising how inspired you can feel after speaking to a like minded soul. If you haven’t been yet, just try one out!

Mums in business is a place where ladies of the world come together to learn, support and network. Not only do we have a massive online worldwide community with a wealth of knowledge but also local support networks and the all-important networking meetings. In less than 18 months MIBA has brought together over 37,000 women from all over planet!  Find your local meeting here …. Join our Facebook group here…

By Sara Saleh – Sara is a mum of three, a consultant for the award winning travel agency ‘The Savvy Travellers’ and the MIBA events coordinator for Berkshire.

How it all began….

First of all…if you are reading this you have found our sparkly new website!! Woohooo!

So what better way to start our blog than right back at the beginning? Here goes….

After ending my 10-year relationship I was at an all time low…I was left with no money, relying on foodbanks, anxiety, 2 kids and my outlook was bleak. I knew that I wanted to support my family financially but felt that I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. The more shit I got thrown the more depressed I became. Towards the end of my relationship I had been studying photography at night school (for 3 years ) This was when I had my lightbulb moment. I wanted to be financially independent, present as a parent and doing a job that made me feel happy…it was hard to find anything that ticked all 3 boxes and so I decided if a position didn’t exist, I would create one for myself and so Love Photography 13 Weddings was born!

Now realistically…I didn’t give this much thought…I knew I loved photography, I knew there was a market for my work but that was about all I did know. I tried to network but the meetings never fit in with the boys, I stayed up til 2 and 3am to watch webinars that taught me how to build a website and how to attract my clients. It was insane, and I had no idea how little I knew about running a business!

Its at this point Im going to introduce my gorgeous sister and co-founder Leona. Being a wife, Mum to 5 and having ran multiple businesses herself, she started to give me tips and advice on how to set myself realistic goals and how to manage my time. Even with all of her advice it was still a really lonely place to be as a work at home mum. We talked daily about the lack of support out there for women and especially mums in business. We wished that there was a place where we could go to talk openly about our worries, to learn about starting a business and to connect with other women. And so we decided that we would create a place…Mums in Business Association. Initially it started as a FB group in June 2017 which we thought would just be a place for mums in business to congregate and put the world to rights…how wrong could we have been.

In the space of a month we had thousands of women joining our group, hundreds a day.  They loved our live videos and real talk about being mums in business…and that my friends is where it all started. Since then we have created trainings that have helped thousands of women to grow their business, empowered women all over the World to step in to their own and chase their dreams, we have helped over 50 women become best-selling authors and we now have a team of over 70 MIBA members on the payroll!! How’s that for women supporting women??

Our child friendly networking events are going from strength to strength and we are loving seeing so many amazing women connecting and growing their business all over the world.

So what’s next I hear you cry….Well…we have the launch of Mumpreneur of Fire 3 in October along with attending the Womens First Awards where we have been nominated as finalist for an award.

November will see us supporting Cherish Reardon at the Gok Wan fashion show, in which her designs are being featured. We have also been invited to be guest speakers at Frazer Brookes Social Summit on 24/25th November as well as holding the official Waterstones launch for Mumpreneur on Fire 3!

We have the final edition of Mumpreneur on Fire 4 launching in December along with our BRAND NEW MIBA PLANNER!

2019 is looking super exciting…we are looking forward to our 2nd Annual MIBA Retreat in May aswell as holding our 1st ever MIBA Awards in March!

Ladies…watch this space…things are about to get very exciting!