We use the time between 6.45am to 7.00 am to have a general chat and network with other members and during this time we order breakfast. We do like to start at 7.00 am to enable us to get through our meeting by 8.15 am so that those who have offices/shops to open are able to get going.
We start with a quick ‘housekeeping’ chat by the Chairperson/President to catch up on anything we need to.
We then move onto the ‘educational’ section where the person designated as the ‘education officer’ will give a short talk.
After that we start around the table with a different person each week, and each person gives their “60 second infomerical”. Please be aware that we need to stick to the 60 seconds in order to give everyone the opportunity to have their say. Remember, if there are 30 people at breakfast, this can take 30 minutes!! On occasions when our numbers are down then the chair can have a bit of latitude to let us ‘wander’ a bit. As a rule this time should be spent to advertise our business.
If we have anyone new to the group that day, they will be given the opportunity to briefly tell us about themselves and their business after this section.
During this time breakfast is generally being served. After we go around the table we will then have our 10 minute talk. This is usually done by one of our members who will ‘expand’ on information about themselves and their business. Or they may want to tell us in more detail about a new product or service they have available. Again we try to stick to the 10 minutes with a short question/answer period directly following the talk.
The “10 Minute Talk” can also be from someone outside of our group who is invited to speak to us and can be on a variety of subjects. We may give them 15-20 minutes to talk, therefore reducing our 1 minute ‘infomercials’ to 45 seconds.
We close with our “Raps and Recaps”. This gives us the opportunity to tell the group about the referrals that have been accomplished in the past week. We use a special form that we designed so we can keep track of the referrals that we give out. Half of the form goes to the person that we are referring and the other half goes to the ‘secretary’ for our records. We really try to use these forms as we can then keep track of how well we are doing with referrals, whether they come to anything or not.
After this is done, if there is time then we can have the floor to speak about things that may be out side the ‘business breakfast’ but something we may want to tell the group about. It’s not that we don’t want anyone to talk outside their business, but as we only have a short time in the morning we can get ‘bogged down’ on things that are unrelated to our common goal which is networking and referrals.
With an average of 30 in attendance this simple format will take us to 8.15 am quite quickly.
7.00 to 7.15—housekeeping and educational talk
7.15 to 7.45—infomercial
7.45 to 7.50 —intro of speaker
7.50 to 8.00—10 minute talk
8.00 to 8.05—question/answers
8.05 to 8.15—raps and recaps
As you can see we can quickly run out of time, so to be fair to all we need to try and stick to the routine as best we can. On days when numbers are down we can then be a bit more flexible, leaving more time to talk.
We also have a business card box that we pass around at each meeting. Once you have joined you are welcome to put your business cards in thebox. You are more than welcome to take out any cards that you wish, so that you may have on hand a few to pass out when needed. You could also ask the individual business people for their flyers as most of us do have a brochure or flyer of some kind to advertise.
Another way we have to learn about our members is our ‘Monthly Showcase”. This is where we gather at the business premises of one of our members who will then take us on a ‘tour’ of either their premises or a run down on what exactly they do and introduce us to other employees they may have. This can even be used to introduce a new product or service in more detail than the 10 minute talk may allow. Generally speaking the person who is ‘showcasing’ their business will provide some kind of refreshments. It is entirely up to the individual what they serve. Most people to date have served beer, wine and soft drinks with chips and dips, cheese/crackers and perhaps fruit. You can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. It is not necessary to serve alcohol if you would prefer not to.
To finish off the meeting we have a short “inspirational’ quote from our little book of quotes to set you on your way feeling motivated for the day.
Our policy is to have only “one” of any business type represented within the group. This enables us to refer business without conflict of interest. When you are considering inviting someone along with the view of joining our group, please try to make sure that that particular business or service is not already represented by an existing member. Details of proposed guest should be passed onto the Membership officer to determine if there is a conflict before they get invited. If an existing member feels that a new prospective member would create a conflict of interest then they have the right to ask that that person not be allowed to attend.