(credit: Raw Pixel/shutterstock)

(credit: Raw Pixel/shutterstock)

You hear a lot about the importance of networking whether you’re the owner of a business or looking for a job. After all, the old maxim is often true: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The thing is that you meet people everywhere, but you need to meet the kind of people that can help you and your business move forward. You can definitely meet the right kind of people at a networking group. They understand the importance of referrals for a small business and they are willing to help your business grow.
TEAM Referral Network
(909) 392-7770

TEAM Referral Network is a good group to attend, particularly if you are a business owner. This network will allow you to meet people who will help your business grow both through beneficial partnerships and promotion. Let’s face it — you know promotion is necessary, but when you’re running a business, you don’t always have time to devote to it. Chapters are exclusive, with only one member allowed from a particular business category. Membership fees vary and attendance is required at each meeting. This group meets every Thursday at El Torito (2020 E Ball Road, Anaheim) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Relationship Building Network
(949) 830-5776

RBN is a membership network that provides not only the opportunity to meet people who can help your business but also programs to help you market your business to new customers to add to the customer base you already have. The fee to join this network is more than other networks, but it is a lifetime membership with no renewal required. Visit the RBN website to see the schedule of upcoming events.

Elite OC

Elite OC is an organization that brings young professionals together not only to build their businesses but also to give back to the community. Part of what this organization does is contribute to local charities, which is good to do — especially if you’re a business owner. Annual membership to OC Elite is $100. That fee allows you to have discounted registration at the annual boat trip and golf tournament put on by this organization, among other things. Check the website for upcoming events.

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Superstarz Business Network
(714) 454-9637

Superstarz definitely helps you connect with people, which is probably one of the most important things you can do in business. It also helps your business grow with referrals. More than that, this networking group focuses on training, including training on how to be effective on social media. That’s no small thing because while Twitter can be tricky to navigate successfully, it is a necessary evil. This is an exclusive network with only one business category represented in each chapter. Members are expected to attend and participate in weekly meetings.

South Orange County Women’s Network Group
(855) 580-8718

Like other networking groups, this one seeks to generate business through referrals. It also provides business education for its members, which is a good thing. No matter how much you know, you can always stand to learn more. This group also looks to help less fortunate people throughout the county with service or donations. South Orange County Women’s Network Group has two chapters: one in Irvine and one in Mission Viejo. Check the website for details about upcoming events.

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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com