I belong to an informal networking group, the Junction 7 Network. I've tried a few out (and will continue to do so), but I like the friendliness of this one. It is full of people who run small businesses in my local area. Not a likely place for a training materials provider to find new clients, but life is all about connections, and you never know where a conversation will lead.
But, the purpose of this blog is not to talk about Power Hour. It's to talk about those small businesses who consistently don't come (despite numerous invitations) because "people know we are here". These days I don't think having a presence on the high street is enough. Where is your internet presence? How are you making yourself more attractive to those people who walk past your shop or office every day? Business is about relationships, and networking is a great way to make new ones and strengthen existing ones.
A real example from Junction 7: We have a quality butcher in our village. I have always known he was there, but I rarely used him. However, since he has made the effort to come to the networking events, I have gotten to know HIM, and I want to support him. So guess what? I now visit the village butcher more frequently.
The trick is to find a networking group that's right for you, and this may take some time. Some groups like the BNI are very formal, some very informal. Some are industry-based (in my case, the CIPD branches), others very 'open'. Some meet weekly such as 4N, some meet quarterly. Do some research and try a few on for size.
So to get 'power from your hour' this month - why not go networking? You never know where it will lead.