Not unless you're prepared to put in the time and effort to make it successful.
Many people start a networking group thinking it will give them a ready made audience for their products and services.
This is rarely the case. They will see you as the 'meeting organiser' and while you're busy running the group, meeting and greeting, writing out name badges, you don't actually get much time to network. People are busy chatting to everyone else but you.
Even if it's a free event and you do a minimum amount of 'running the meeting', you still need to send out emails and updates, advertise the group, find new people to come along, get the meeting venue ready, follow-up afterwards etc.
Running a networking group can take up as much time as running your own business. I've spoken to several meeting organisers who've realised this and then given up after a couple of years.
I had to regularly update my list of local and national groups with all the new groups that were and still are starting up each year and removing those that were no longer active.
If you want to start your own networking group - you need to think:
- What's your objective for running a networking group?
- How much time and effort will you able to give it?
- Who's your target audience - for the network, for your business?
- Where and how often will you hold the meetings?
- Will it be a business or social group?