Visitors Day – A Message to Those Visiting Us Today
By Dominick Giambona
First, I want to thank each and everyone the visitors for joining us today. I would especially like to thank all of our BTN members for doing such a fine job in making our visitor’s day a big success. If you look around the room you can get a little feel for what we do. We understand when we work together beautiful things can happen.
Everyone here has a preconceived notion of what networking is about. We all did. But when we came to BTN we saw something different, we saw something we liked, and we joined.
What makes BTN different than other business networks? In your typical network, two plus two equals four. At BTN, two plus two equals ten! Why no one thought of it before is beyond me. We are building trades and trade related services. We fit together. Each one of us is a piece of a puzzle, and we understand each other’s businesses.
I don’t know about you, but I have to make better use of my time. Meeting every Tuesday with hairdressers, car salesmen and caterers is not going to produce the synergy that a plumber or roofer, electrician or even construction lawyer could produce for my little business.
Many of us have worked on Projects or Remodels together. We have seen each other’s work. We know each other’s work ethic. We hold each other accountable.
I know that when I give a referral I will not have to worry about that customer. In fact it is nice sharing the texts and emails I get from my customers, praising the work of my fellow BTN Member, just as I did last week with Jay.
That is what we do. We are professional, we take pride in what we do, we do our best to satisfy the customer and we always keep an ear open for that chance to refer a fellow BTN member.
Beyond that, there are the friendships that develop. When you spend a weekend furnishing a home for a disabled veteran, or remodeling one of the facilities for the homeless, or helping the Orange County Food Bank, you learn a lot about the quality and character of that person next to you. It comes across in your voice and in your eyes when your customers ask you, “by the way I am looking for a good landscaper, or cabinet maker.”
These will always be our core values.
Talk about great things happening… what you see here all started with an address book. Paul’s sister had people asking her, “do you know a good window washer, do you know a good handyman, I need a gardener”. She would call, Paul he would check the rol-a-dex. (You remember those?) Soon it increased.
They figured that they had something there, and produced a contractor’s directory selling internet advertizing for the contractors. Back then internet consisted mainly of lists and directories. As the internet evolved so did the directory. Later they had an association with Ganahl Lumber and their website. It added brand name significance and value to the directory.
Then came a time when Paul went to a BNI meeting he looked at that business plan and said, “We can apply this model to just contractors. “ That was how BTN Evolved.
He had a vision of what he wanted to do. He set-out to do it. But he knew as BTN would grow that it would also have to adapt and evolve. He took in suggestions and added features. We (the members) pooled our marketing dollars and came up with the Key ring cards we had a booth in the home show.
Later, he got an office and conference room. Now he offers free seminars from a business coach on ‘how to grow your businesses’ and ‘make better use of your time’ and ‘social networking as it applies to businesses’ and more.
History is good, but that is not why you are here. You want to know where is BTN headed and how I can benefit. Fair enough.
Most of us are small businesses. We may work out of the house. Why? Because we can’t afford the overhead, but, do you really need an office for the 4 or five times a month you have to meet with a client.
BTN is opening a New Resource Center. It will be available around the end of the summer It is a way to level the playing field for the small business man.
BTN offers a conference room to meet with your clients and do your presentations. BTN encourages collaboration, there is a room for doing your take-offs, there will be Wi-Fi and workstations.
There will be a limited amount of parking in a locked yard for you to park the trucks that are in front of your home. There will be storage and racking for your equipment, so now your wife can park in the garage again. All of this will be available at a fraction of the cost of having your own office.
Building Trades Network certainly is a beautiful thing because we all work together.