Host a leads breakfast and invite local entrepreneurs who aren't direct competitors. You may get more than you bargained for--in addition to adding potential customers to your list, you might also find suppliers, vendors and members of other professions whose services you may need. Invite a lawyer, politician or security expert to speak to the group about a topic that's of interest to everyone involved.
This step goes beyond simply forming a networking group. It implies a bit more structure and a more determined approach. By adding the element of an informative talk on a topic of interest to the business community, it also allows you to assume a position of responsibility and visibility. You're doing something for the rest of the group and providing a service of sorts. People warm up quickly to the generosity of others.
Excerpted from 303 Marketing Tips: Guaranteed To Boost Your Business