Any savvy business person knows that networking is an important part of promoting yourself within a community.
One home-based business owner decided to create a venue for Golden businesswomen to do just that.
“I was looking for a way to get out there and meet new people, especially other women in our community; to get the support and opinions from other successful women in business,” said Heather Ratzlaff, organizer of the new Savvy Women’s Networking group in Golden.
“I found out that Golden did not have a women’s networking group. I decided to take the lead and start one, not knowing if it would take off or not.”
Ratzlaff used to work as a realtor in town, but wanted something a little more flexible when her and her husband started a family. When her children got a little bit older, she found Arbonne International, a health, wellness, and skincare company that sells through independent consultants.
The Savvy Women’s Networking group was a great way to let women know about what she offers through Arbonne, and gives other women a chance to do the same with their businesses.
But even though the purpose of a networking group is to market yourself and your business, Ratzlaff is determined to keep it a pressure-free environment.
“I did my research and found that the only way for these kinds of groups to last is to keep them consistent and without agendas,” she said.
“Women need a place to go to where they can get the advice of other women when they encounter problems. Women can often face unique business challenges because they primarily own small businesses, and have to create and work their businesses so that they can fit with the rest of their lives.”
In January of this year, Ratzlaff invited 40 women to a closed Facebook group called Savvy Women’s Networking, Golden BC. Within a week it had grown to 100 members, and in a month, 160 members. Right now the group is approaching 200 members. The group meets every third Monday of the month for a fun, relaxing dinner out at Eleven 22.
“The feedback has been really good,” said Ratzlaff. “And the women are always welcome to say what they need — if they’re looking for ideas for something, or just looking for support.”
Every meeting roughly 15 to 18 women come, and after introductions around the table, two women stand up and make a presentation about what they do.
“Savvy Women’s Networking is for any businesswoman, new to the town, or just needing to get out and pass thoughts around. It is a networking community of educated, intelligent, creative women,” said Ratzlaff.
Anyone interested in joining the group can find them on Facebook, or email Ratzlaff at firstname.lastname@example.org.