We love small businesses; they are the backbone of the UK economy and are always full of passion for what they do. There tends to be less red tape and internal politics to navigate, but the trade-off is that your small business doesn’t always have as much clout as a larger one.
That’s why it’s important for small businesses to support each other. By working together they can benefit from like-minded company values and create long-lasting relationships.
So whether you’re starting a small business, you’re a new small business or you’re an established small business, networking opportunities are always a good thing. We’ve listed our favourite networking opportunities for small businesses around Manchester.
Small Business Networking Events in Manchester
- Boost Business Networking | Heald Green | Weekly Meetings – Boost are a great local business networking group operating in the Stockport and South Manchester area. They meet at least three times a month for a fee of £16 per month. Regular meeting topics include: Morning general business discussion, where members discuss business challenges, successes, difficulties, etc; Morning speaker and one-to-one sessions, where a business will present their offering and one-to-one networking sessions; Evening networking with a guest speaker and informal networking opportunities. We like the format of this group because they are also supporting a community volunteer cafe, and are less promotional than some of the big city events. Join this network if you’d like to meet other small business owners and discover general business advice in an informal and friendly environment.
- NetworkNite Manchester | Manchester 235 Casino | Bi-Monthly Meetings – If you’ve heard of speed dating, this is speed dating’s cousin, speed networking. It’s exactly what you’d expect, you have a limited amount of time, one-to-one with another professional before the timer runs down and you all move on. You’ll be given a card to make the professionals you’d like to connect with, and at the end of the event, if you and the other professional have both selected each other, your details will be exchanged. Join this event if you’d like to make a lot of business contacts quickly, and prefer networking without the presentations. Great for those getting started in business who need to increase their business contact circle, entry is around £15.50 (US$19.43).
- Manchester Small Business Network | Lloyds Bank, Market Street | Monthly Meetings – Hosted by Lloyds bank, this People Plus event offers networking opportunities as well as a ‘trending topic’ presentation and Q&A session. Attendance is free and you don’t even need to be a Lloyds Bank customer.
Industry-Specific Networking Events in Manchester
- UX Crunch | 23rd July | Spinningfields – for businesses who work with design and technology UX Crunch is a must-go event. While most UX Crunch events are held in London, they do have a few Manchester meet-ups every year. The evening consists of expert presentations and networking time. So you could represent your business by presenting something exciting, or take a back seat and meet a few companies while you expand your knowledge.
- Manchester Hospitality Network Summer Party | 8th August | Great John St Hotel – The Manchester Hospitality Network run monthly events, and their next event is the Annual Summer Party. This is open to members, and you can find details of the joining fees on their website. In addition to regular events, they offer training sessions and an online members area to help you network with the industry.
How To Find More Small Business Networking Opportunities
Eventbrite is a great source of inspiration if you’re looking for a small business networking event in Manchester or Stockport, you can even narrow down your search area if you’re looking for a group that meets just around the corner from you.
You should also take a look at your local council’s website for business events near you, here’s Stockport Council’s networking event page, and here’s Manchester City Council’s Events page.
If you’re short on time, you can always take a look into social media networking. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you should be; LinkedIn is a great destination for local business groups where you can collaborate and help another business, hopefully finding yourself some business along the way. Here are some of our go-to LinkedIn groups for small businesses in Manchester:
- Small Business UK Network
- The UK Small Business Network
- Business Networking Manchester
- Manchester Women’s Business Group
In addition, we welcome all Warr & Co clients to participate in our Client Spotlight article series. If you’re interested in being interviewed for a Spotlight article that will be sent out to our marketing database of local Manchester and Stockport contacts, please get in touch with our marketing team.