What’s the correct process to follow if I want to invite a guest?
Firstly, should there be any possible clash over category’s this should be addressed before hand so as to avoid any embarrassment. In the first instance ask the group chairperson (Andy Parsons). If necessary he will then raise the issue with the committee for a final decision. Ensure Andy is notified by the Friday before the meeting of all guests so we can ensure we have enough seating and a name badge is ready.
Does it matter if I run over on my 60 seconds?
Your membership gives you one minute to tell everyone about your business every week. However, if everybody went over, then the meeting would fall behind schedule, especially as the group is growing at a fast rate.
The advantage of a breakfast meeting is that it doesn’t interrupt your working day. We all have a busy schedule after the meeting. So when you here ting it means you have done your thing.
What constitutes a “referral”?
In its simplest form a referral is the opportunity for a member to grow their business. Our constitution states that:
“The main purpose of FIN is to promote the businesses of its members and to encourage business recommendations of those members to outside contacts.”
We deliberately decided to use the word ‘connection’ to encompass a range of activities that members are undertaking on behalf of other members.
These may range from:
- a direct use of each others services
- a direct introduction to a client
- the passing of a members details to a client (ie bus card)
- the passing of an enquiry to a member
- the passing of an opportunity (ie third party/introducer or potential opportunity (ie new restaurant etc)
This list is not exhaustive but the importance lies in the promotion of members businesses.
How should we report “business completed”?
The person receiving the referral/business, complete’s a referral slip with either an individual amount or the total business value for the month. Like any good business we do this so we can monitor the success of the group
For what purposes can the FIN coffers be used?
Our constitution says
“FIN is a non-profit organisation, run for the benefit of its members. All funds remain the property of the group collectively until expended for the benefit of the group.”
The money has to be spent for the benefit of the group as a whole but there are no other restrictions. Money may be spent on marketing the group, stationary items and social events, but this list is not exhaustive. Any expenditure other than regular running expenses would discussed and approved by the committee. All members will be given a copy of some basic accounts every quarter, so there will be some accountability.
Does it matter if I don’t attend every week?
FIN membership requires members to attend weekly. The purpose of the group is to make valued business connections. We’re here to not only look out for business and referrals for other members but also to receive referrals which other members and guests will wish to give you. Just pause and think about the following situation. If someone in the group has a good referral for you they will not be able to give it to you if you are absent and it will be a lost opportunity. It will also be disappointing for the person who wants to make that referral to you. If you are persistently absent, other members will feel let down if you don’t hear what referrals they are asking you and other members to look out for.
However, we all understand that last minute matters crop up which may mean that you may not be able to attend a meeting. If there is sufficient time, you should arrange to send a substitute who can represent your business by giving your one minute presentation, to make a note of what other members are looking for and receive referrals on behalf of your business. You should try to keep the use of substitutes to a maximum of 3 in any 6 month period.
If you cannot attend for an extended period, due to ill health or some other good reason then speak to someone on the committee as we may be able to arrange for a long term substitute. Failure to attend regularly might mean that we question a member’s commitment to the group and the committee will want to speak to the member to see if we can help.
Don’t forget, we are each other’s sales team and attendance shows our commitment to each other.
What exactly is a 1-2-1?
A 121 is a session between two FIN members outside the normal weekly group meeting.
It tends to last for anything from an hour upwards and can certainly go on much longer and gives you the chance to get to know your fellow FIN member in more depth.
If possible have your 121 at the other members place of business so you can see and understand the environment they work in.
Why do we do 121s?
To learn more about each other’s businesses than we could during our weekly meeting. A 1 minute presentation is to specify what a good referral will be for you that week, where a 121 is your opportunity to educate your fellow members on:
- your business
- how to recognize who is a good referral for you
- how to introduce you to them, and
- whom in their sphere of contacts – clients, neighbours, family, friends, and acquaintances could they refer you.
Tips for an effective 121:
- Meet in a professional environment where you won’t be distracted by a social atmosphere
- Have an agenda
- 20 minutes getting to know each other and/or catching up
- 20 minutes focused on their business and how you can get them referrals
- 20 minutes focused on your business and how they can get you referrals.
- Learn what you should ask a potential referral and what you should listen for
Sample questions could be:
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- What’s the best referral you have ever received?
- where did they come from?
- what service did you provide for them?
- What sort of business are you looking for?
- size of company, location, needs?
- Are there any phrases that I should listen out for?
- How can I get you more business?
Are there any guidelines available that should be followed if one FIN member isn’t happy with the service or product provided by another FIN member?
If a dispute should arise between two members, then it should be raised by either member with either the chairperson or the committee chairperson.
The matter would then go the committee for discussion. In the event that a committee member is involved in the dispute, then they would be excluded from meetings involving subsequent discussions.
A satisfactory resolution by mediation between all parties involved would be the primary aim. However, if this is not possible, one or more members may be asked to leave the group.
How is the leadership team chosen?
This is the beauty of being an independent organisation in that we can decide how we want to operate and in the future it may well be that we will change the make up and number of posts. The current committee and posts were decided upon by the initial founders of FIN with a tenure of office of 6 month, the ‘terms’ to commence from 1st January and 1st July. The election of officers is voted upon by group majority and nominations shall be accepted one month before expiry of the current committee