Work through tough times
MEMBERS of a local business group are working together to keep going through the tough economic times.
The members of the Bundaberg group Business Network International (BNI) Prime meet for breakfast every Tuesday morning to discuss ways to make their ventures stronger.
Vice-president Madonna Ryan said the group had 18 members, but was looking for new people.
The network will hold invitation meetings for possible new members on May 15 and 22.
"BNI provides a structured and supportive system of giving and receiving business," Ms Ryan said.
"It does this by providing an environment in which personal relationships can be developed with dozens of other qualified business professionals."
Ms Ryan said at their weekly meetings the members gave each other qualified referrals of possible new business.
"I might specifically ask if anyone knows someone who is getting married or going to a prom," she said.
"If someone has a referral like that I get put in touch with the person.
Ms Ryan said members were put in actual contact with a possible new customer, rather than just waiting for them to make contact.
The group also keeps a record of the new business generated through it.
Ms Ryan said they also had one-on-one meetings between members so they could all keep up to date with the details of what they did in their business.
"That means if somebody is looking for some specific service we know who to refer them to," she said.
"It's a great way of getting extra business."
Ms Ryan said members of the group came from a wide range of businesses.
"We've got a printing company, a house cleaner, a mortgage broker and a pest controller," she said.
"But we only have one person in a category at a time.
"For instance, since we've already got a printer we won't allow another printer to join."
Ms Ryan said the members of the group were working through some tough economic times.
"We've had the flood and the economic downturn, but we help each other get through," she said.
"Members were able to continue to operate successfully with the extra leads generated from the group and provide assistance to each other and even in the community.
"We've got business we would never have got if we'd stayed in our own little hidey-hole."