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Creating your network
We have all tested that theory of six degrees of separation— we know a person who knows a person who knows a person. Before we know it, we have a new card in our Rolodex (okay, contact list on our smartphone). But more importantly, we have a new person in our network. This connection can be vital and pivotal for our business endeavors. Business relationships are essential. There are many opportunities in central Nebraska to enhance our network through social business clubs aimed at helping connect professionals.
BNI Club in Kearney, NE
It's like word-of-mouth advertising on steroids.
Developing new business leads through networking is a simple concept. You meet new people and tell them about you and your business. You hope your new contact might result in new business.
Networking in open groups expands contacts and develops new relationships, which can lead to new business. But, there are some downsides. The biggest is your competition. A closed networking group does not allow two members from the same profession. Once you join, your competitors are locked out.
Business Networking International (BNI) is a closed group. The chapters meet weekly and share the philosophy of “Givers Gain.” By giving business to others, you will get business in return. Belonging to a BNI is like having dozens of salespeople working for you because all carry several copies of your business cards with them. When they meet someone who could use your products or services, they provide your card and recommend you.
The structure of a BNI group provides each member accountability and support. Referrals and closed businesses are tracked and reported at each week’s meeting. Last year, the Kearney BNI group passed 715 referrals, resulting in over $1.2 million in closed business.
The Kearney BNI chapter meets Wednesday mornings 7-8:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Founders Room – North Entrance, 4500 Linden Drive.
For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact any chapter member or the chapter's growth coordinator, Brian Baer, 308-234-2601.
Brian Baer, Growth Coordinator BNI Kearney
Young Professionals in Grand Island, NE
The Grand Island Young Professionals (YP) Organization is dedicated to cultivating a young, vibrant, professional community in the Grand Island area by providing networking, volunteer and educational opportunities.
Members often tell you networking is the biggest benefit of being a YP member. We host a variety of formal and informal events and activities during the year where we can interact with each other, business owners, community members and dignitaries. We also get the chance to volunteer during the year, such as the Red Cross chili cook-off, State Fair, and Downtown Christmas. We host “Lunch with a CEO” multiple times during the year, Business After Hours for YP members, special presentations and leadership workshops during the year.
YP meets at noon on the second Tuesday of each month at the GI Chamber. During these meetings, we plan upcoming activities, hear from guest speakers, and network. In November we host our fall activity, dueling pianos! In early 2015, we will hold our kickoff event where we often have many new members join. Future YP members are always welcome to attend any of these events to see what YP is all about.
For more information, visit www.gichamber.com/young-professionals, contact Valerie Bren at the Chamber (email@example.com), or contact me. YP is just one of the few things that makes Grand Island a great place to live, work and play!
Angela Reynolds, President GI YP
Human Resources Benefits Manager
Central Community College
NETWork Hastings in Hastings, NE
Calling all young and new professionals in the Hastings area . . . Network Hastings is a group to support, connect, and educate you about the great community of Hastings!
We actively create the future of Hastings by expanding social, professional, community and personal opportunities.
The group meets regularly for lunch on the second Friday of the month at a variety of locations. Often times the group meets at a local business/organization as a way to learn more about what the business/organization contributes to the local community.
Network Hastings also hosts quarterly afterhour receptions as a casual way to get to know other young professionals. Other events include Speed Networking, CEO Roundtables and Business Card swaps.
Ages of members range from 22 to 40+. We encourage anyone to attend one of the regularly scheduled events. All events are advertised via email and on Facebook. For more information, or to join the email distribution list, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become an active member of your community today!
Matt Fong, Co-President NETWork Hastings
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