We often work with start-up companies; these businesses often want to work with local professionals rather than looking further afield. As a local Exeter and South Devon based web design company, we are in an ideal position to help these businesses. 
These companies are also often looking for a full range of local professionals from photographers and printers, to copywriters and graphic designers. Alongside this, they are often keen to seek our advice on finding opportunities to get their company and brand out into the business world.  
One key method for increasing local awareness of your business is to network. So, this is the first in a new series of blogs about networking, from overcoming your fears to finding the right group and how to get the most out of it. 
When I started in business, I used lots of different routes in which to market my business, from social media to magazine adverts, and from exhibitions to canvasing. I even trialled using telemarketing. But the one thing that terrified me the most was the thought of attending networking events! 
Despite how I may come across, I can be a shy person when faced with a room full of strangers. The thought of standing up and pitching my business in 60 seconds filled me with dread. We have all been there. I hope that this series will give other new business owners a little more confidence and insight into networking. 
The first thing you should know is that we have all been new to networking at some point and we have also been scared of networking at some point. Most of those you meet at networking will be understanding and supportive of new or nervous members. 
The second thing you should know is that each networking event will be different. This could be because of the activity, style of event, or time of day. But even events run at the same place and time every month can be different each time as the people may be different and the mood may have changed.  
This means there is a one fits all perfect way to do networking, but it does mean that if you have a bad day or a less useful event don’t be put off as there will be another completely different event another day. 
This is why a later blog will be looking at finding the right group and networking event for you and your needs. With that in mind, each of these blog posts will include an overview and link to a local networking group. I have been to at least one event from each of these groups and I am a regular member of many of them. Today I am including some information about the Devon Business Alliance. 

Devon Business Alliance 

The Devon Business Alliance was created on the idea of changing the way business owners interact. They offer a friendly and relaxed business group which is centred on the concept of building friendships and a supportive environment. They even claim to have banned the word ‘networking’!  
This group is all about providing a space where business owners from all different sectors, can get together to share business news, discuss ideas, mull over issues, and support each other. This would be a great group for those looking to find new friends who understand the challenges they face and who can act as sounding boards. This could be great for nervous newbies. There are no forced referrals for this group. 
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