About BGN - Business Growth Network - Petersfield

Networking used to be a bit of a perk: a chance to go to nice places, take part in enjoyable activities and catch up with old friends - and all in the name of generating new business. But with time and budgets getting tighter all the time, the days of treating it all as a bit of a jolly are long gone. Things don't stop just because you're not in the office, and you can't bill anyone for your time. As seasoned business networkers will tell you, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

Psychologists reckon that over 90% of our communication is non-verbal, through facial expressions, hand gestures, body posture and so on. Try getting any of that across in an email...

Which brings us to the other big problem: the cost of a day playing golf or at the races means any new contacts you do make will each come with a fairly hefty price tag. Fine if they then give you a huge chunk of new business, but particularly for smaller enterprises, it's an expensive and unpredictable way to grow your business.

Paradoxically, though, the need to network with other businesses has perhaps never been greater. Technology has transformed the way we communicate, but it can never replace meeting people face to face.

All of which begs the question: is it possible to enjoy the benefits of business networking without spending a ton of money? Back in November 2006, we were asking ourselves the same thing.We could see the advantages, but felt we weren't getting value for money from a national business networking group. So we formed the Business Growth Network (BGN) Petersfield, with the aim of providing high-level networking opportunities for small businesses, at a sensible price.

As well as introductions to new customers, BGN acts as a 'support group' and a business network in Petersfield: whatever business issues you find yourself struggling with, there'll always be another member who's been there before and will be happy to advise. And with our strict membership criteria, you can make referrals, form links and exchange information with like-minded people who share your business values and quality standards.

The tangible business benefits of belonging to BGN have already resulted in a 50% increase in our membership, and we're always on the lookout for new members. We meet in Petersfield one morning a week, finishing by 8.30 so there's no loss of time from the working day. If you'd like to be part of the Business Growth Network and see your business grow contact us via our Contact us page.

All photography by Michel Focard De Fontefiguieres Photography.

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