© 2013 - Advertise in Ottawa, Net Market Center Inc.
We all need to network because word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. It is so because it mostly occurs between people who have a pre-established trust relationship.
It is therefore important for us, as small business owners, to network in order to build more awareness and trust about ourselves and our products and services.
There are many networking groups in Ottawa (as in most Canadian cities), and they come in all shapes and forms:
The paid networking groups are usually structured, not to say overly structured:
Membership can cost up to $800 per year, on top of which you must add the cost of the breakfasts, lunches or suppers, depending on the time of the meetings.
The free networking groups are usually less structured than their paid counterparts. And you have very few obligations, if any at all.
Of course, you still have to bear the cost of the breakfasts, lunches or suppers, as appropriate.
One of the factors that will inevitably guide our choice of networks is the cost of entry. If we consider a network that costs $800 in membership dues, on top of which we add $10-$15 per week in food, we are looking at $1,300-$1,550 per year.
But there is more to it than just the money. What we can expect to get in terms of return is proportional to the investment we make, not in money, but in time. Word of mouth marketing is based on trust, trust takes time to build, so we need to invest time. And, depending on the cost of the products and services that we offer, it may take several months before we even make our first sale!
Membership in Advertise in Ottawa’s group is free, in every sense of the word. There are no membership fees, no papers to be signed, no commitments of any sort.
We meet monthly.
All we pay for is our breakfast, lunch, or supper. So, assuming that we attend every meeting, and that we spend $20-$25 at each, we are looking at $240-$300 per year. That leaves us some money to invest in advertising.
If you are interested in investing some of your time with us to grow your business, please contact us!