Welcome to a different way networking – Every Tuesday morning.
Every Tuesday we explore business issues, reports and feature ethical businesses to help us find the best products and services. It is open to Rotarians and non Rotarians alike.This week a report on a Rotary Club which runs a traditional Business Networking group.
Success at RC Harrogate Brigantes – Business Networking Produces Members
Richard Bosworth of the Harrogate Brigantes Club reports, “We now have eleven active Brigantes Business Networking Group members and, in their first three months, the eight founding members have passed on 50 leads and generated invoiced sales of £65,000. Their goals for 2013/14 are: 35 members; to generate £1m of new business amongst them; raise a minimum £4000 for local charities – they have already got the details of two projects worked out! There are also two more members awaiting induction in the first two weeks of 2013/14, plus several more potential members in the pipeline.’ The big appeal for current and potential members is:
• The quality of the members and the business they introduce
• Being able to give something back to the community
• The trust and respect there is for the Rotary brand in the business community
Another big plus over other networking organisations is that membership is by invitation and selection only, not by just filling in the application form as with commercial networking groups. Also, the £5 meeting fee is just that, there’s no money going to pay salaries and dividends for the organizers.
The networking group has now got a monthly programme worked out with a different feature each week:-
• Week One: Two Member Business Presentations
• Week Two: Rolling ‘One-to-Ones’
• Week Three: Business speaker
• Week Four: Open Forum
The meeting chair rotates each month although there is a set meeting agenda. On arrival each member and guest signs the Check-In Sheet that records leads received and acted upon and the value of business secured along with any requests to speak to the group. During the meeting, there is an update of club news and activities and, at the end of the meeting, the Business Manager reports on the progress of the group and any special request members may have.
A membership recruitment committee has been set up with the primary aim of establishing and implementing a ‘Welcome Aboard’ process for visitors and guest from the initial invitation to their induction as a member and beyond.
All the members have opted to be Corporate members because of the help Rotary gives them in establishing and delivering their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments and the benefits that spin out of this. One member has picked up business from a long time prospect just because of what that member and the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes has been doing in Nepal.
The Business Networking group is now called ‘Catalysts’ and for more information have a look at the Harrogate Brigantes website