Many people use Business Associations (also called Business To Business Associations) to further their interests. Such associations are formed for the purpose of providing networking opportunities for those in related industries. The basic premise of a business to business association is that companies with a common interest to share resources and know-how to promote that interest. As such, members of a B2B society have more than just common business interests; they also share in the costs of conducting that business through a mutually agreed upon fee structure.
There are many types of organizations formed as a result of sharing resources. A typical business to business association is a business lobby, formed by business corporations who are interested in special legislation or regulatory frameworks that directly affect their industry. Another type of business to business association is a business to an industry association. In this case, the members are typically industry groups, such as contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, accountants and others. A business to industry association may lobby for the passage of a particular bill or regulation and contribute funds to an industry-oriented think tank, or help fund and support other similar organizations.
Business to business networking is becoming an increasingly popular means for many business people to strengthen and broaden their business contacts and network opportunities. For example, in the last few years the internet has grown into such a large part of our lives that it seems strange not to associate with others who are working on the same technological platform. This means that business to business networking events are increasingly common, ranging from seminars and workshops held at local colleges to the business networking events hosted by tech companies, internet marketers, start up ventures, venture capitalists and the like. These meetings can be anything, including business talks, product demonstrations, and Q-ands (or personal communications devices such as blackberries). The general idea is that business associates in the area to meet with one another regularly and learn about and network with each other’s experiences, get to know one another better, and come to know which companies and practices they recommend.
Another advantage to attending such meetings is that they often involve some sort of networking component, such as speakers from the various industry sectors, round tables or forum discussions, and so on. This allows business associates to build long term relationships with other business people and perhaps more importantly, people in power in the company or organization. It also provides a venue through which the company can gain a better understanding of how its competitors are thinking and acting, and thus plan better strategies. Indeed, in some cases, business to business networking might provide the opportunity to find something new and different.
One way to think of business to business networking as a kind of social event is to contrast it with more traditional forms of marketing, such as advertising in newspapers, trade magazines and the like. While these forms of marketing have certainly provided business with a huge amount of publicity over the years, they have also typically been aimed at established customers, professionals, and other people who can be considered ‘elite’ professionals. In contrast, business to business networking is aimed squarely at the ‘start up’ or ‘growing’ professional class, with the aim being to establish new contacts and relationships. By doing this, business to business networking has provided countless small businesses and individuals with an invaluable leg up on their competitors, as well as helping to improve the quality of service that they receive.
Of course, the fact that business to business networking associations exist means that they have to pay a membership fee, and if you are just starting out in this sort of business, this could present a problem. However, this need not be the case, as there are plenty of inexpensive, free sources of information on the internet that provide all the information that you may need, such as the Business Bureau, Small Business Association, and so on. By using these resources, you will be able to find the information that you need to get started in your business to business networking association.