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MABA Member Sylvan is still here for leaning during this time of change.
In response to the Governor's orders, we will be moving our services to 100% virtual beginning Tuesday, March 24th. Our staff will be working remotely to provide you with the same quality sessions that you have been receiving in our centers, in a live online format. Reach out to us via phone/text at 517-372-7410 to learn more, or to schedule your sessions.
MABA Has a COVID-19 Resource Page for Members
COVID-19 is here. MABA wants to help you get through this pandemic.
Click Here for the MABA COVID-19 Resource
During this trying time for our community we will do our best to support you and your business. As a member of MABA, you are a member of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). Please utilize their resources and legislative updates to help your business. The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce also offers updates on how the government is helping business during this crisis.
Welcome to 2019 MABA Members!
As we launch into our busy routines and new goals for the year I wanted to take a second and thank you for being members. We have seen great growth during the last couple of years and higher engagement with our membership. I am very excited to be part of this movement and honored to be at the helm this year.
Currently we are at 129 members. Our growth goal for the year is to be at 145 members. We’re hoping that our new, professional location at MSUFCU, located on the corner of Mt. Hope and Farm Lane, will provide you with greater ease and comfort for inviting guests to the meeting. Although our day has not changed, second Friday of each month, our time has slightly changed. Doors now open at 7:45 for networking and the meeting starts at 8 and ends at 9. We’re afforded a brief time after that for continued networking. We are very appreciative to MSUFCU for donating this space to us. As a caveat, we did make two changes for the year. Due to previous bookings, in April we will meet the third Friday, April 19, instead of the second. In June we will meet the second Friday, June 14, but will change the location to the Meridian Sun Golf course, as our golf outing will follow.
Rolling into the rest of the year, please check out our new Team (formally committees) formats to plug-in and get involved. For more information, visit the MABA website. And as always, “Do Business with a Member!”
I want to take a moment to truly thank our Veterans who have served both home and abroad. We are so blessed to have people who sacrifice of themselves to protect us and our American values. What an example to follow, to put others first and not ourselves. I hope you have taken the time this week to thank a veteran for serving our country. May God Bless you for your years of service to the USA! As we think about this time of the year, being Thankful is something that we all need to all keep at top of mind. We live in and work in a great country and a terrific local community. Thanksgiving is one of those holiday’s where you really have to make sure you take time to let people know how much you appreciate them, co-workers, friends, family. I am sincerely Thankful for the MABA Board, what a great group of professionals who take the time during their busy work schedules to meet and strategize on how we can keep making MABA better and better. I am truly humbled and thankful to be able to lead such a great group this year. We hope you’ve benefited from our meetings, socials and opportunities to get involved this year…And… if you haven’t, talk to a board member today about what you can do to help you do business with more members!
We had a great final member meeting at City Limits this month. We heard some great information from Chaz Carrillo from Holt/Dimondale Insurance Agency on some important notes to take on growing your business policy as your business needs change over time. Great job Chaz! Our updates and announcements really hit on so many things MABA members are doing throughout the community. As always it was terrific to hear some great testimonials and to meet some awesome visitors. I am thankful that we have had so many visitors this year turn into MABA members! That is truly something to be thankful for, we are so close to our goal of 135 by years end. Will we make it? Will you help keep inviting people?
We voted on our slate for new Board members and I would like to welcome and congratulate Ryan Larsen as a first time Board member and Jennifer Bennett as a second term Board member.
Our December Holiday meeting we make the move to the Community Room at MSUFCU Mt. Hope and Farm Lane location. This is a meeting YOU don’t want to miss. Enter at the Community Room Door as it opens at 7:45 am and once you check in we hope you come hungry as we celebrate…We have Dusty’s catering a nice breakfast for you and a chance to network and meet folks that perhaps you haven’t seen in a while. We’ll have a welcome from MSUFCU and we’ll get to hear from SBAM and the many benefits you automatically get as a MABA member. We are also so excited about the Grants we get to award some worthy non-profits as well as hand out some annual awards to some very deserving folks. I also look forward to giving you some details from our annual report. Of course there will be time to network and connect with folks! Remember to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Haslett Food Bank to help those who are hungry in our local community.
In addition to being your MABA president this year, I am an Executive Sales Representative with Liberty Mutual Insurance. I’m going on my 14th year selling personal auto, home and life insurance to all kinds of individuals, several of whom are MABA Members. The professional development I have been able to attain by joining MABA over 9 years ago, and serving on the board these past 5 years really have helped me professionally in areas of leadership, attention to detail, and organizational skills. Thanks to my involvement with MABA it has helped me opened doors to so many other great opportunities in my work and personal life. This Thanksgiving, I hope you take some time to appreciate your MABA Membership, and make it a point in the coming weeks and months to invite other professionals to join you in the journey, encouraging them, to use the website among other tools, to take advantage of opportunities to make yourself known and get to know other friendly people in our area, to JOIN US and become an active MABA member. Come on and Keep on joining us and I look forward to seeing you soon as we seek to always…DO BUSINESS WITH A MEMBER!
Happy belated Halloween MABA! Hope you had an exciting time and fun time with your co-workers, friends and families. We hope you have kept MABA at the top of your mind when it comes to doing business with other members. The website has the directory so be sure to go there if you are looking for a profession to work with and even post jobs open at your company on the job board. It can really be a great place to learn about what is going on in the area. Check out the video on the home page from Matt Sloan with Graff Chevrolet. He explains why he belongs to MABA, check it out!
We are excited for the upcoming MABA awards as well as see who is going to be awarded this year’s philanthropic grants. If you haven’t voted for the Awards please do so as the deadline is today! We’ve listed the many new members on the front page of the website as well, please make it a point to introduce yourself to someone new. With 130 members as of last count we are 5 away from our 2018 goal of 135…we can get there! We want to plug people in, those who are new, those who have been around awhile…there is something you can be involved in to keep MABA on top of mind when it comes to doing business in the area. The board gladly welcomes your feedback so please continue to reach out with your thoughts, questions or ideas.
As I mentioned at the meeting, the board voted to move our 2nd Friday of the month meetings to the MSUFCU Community Room at Mt. Hope and Farm Lane starting at the December meeting. We are excited for the change of venue and believe it will be a value to you and for guests being more central. More details and communication to come as we get closer. I mentioned board elections are coming up and one area we really need to find someone willing to learn from Carl Wesolek our current Treasure to take over the roll for him. We also have leadership positions that do not require you to serve on the board such as serving or helping lead a committee such as Marketing, Membership, Finance, Social, Communications and more. We want you involved so be looking for more communications on how you can get plugged in. If you have an idea remember to fill out the comment cards or send a board member an e-mail with your idea. We are always trying to listen to your suggestions. See you soon as we look forward to our October/November meetings, 2nd Friday’s at City Limits.
I am excited to announce that starting in December, our 2nd Friday of the month meetings will be held at The Community Room at MSUFCU’s Mt. Hope/Farm Lane location. More details about that will be coming out about that in the coming months. We are certainly appreciative of the time we have been able to hold our Friday meetings at City Limits these last few years.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the MABA Picnic and meeting your families. We hope it will give some an opportunity to get to know other MABA members and make a friend in the process. While “Do business with a Member” is our motto, it helps to get to know some of your members outside of a regular meeting or networking setting. This gives you the membership the opportunity to get to know members at a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Thank-you to the Social committee for their work in putting this event on and for continuing to think of creative ways for members to get together and interact. We look forward to seeing you in and around our community either at a MABA social event, Ribbon Cutting, or any other networking meeting going on. Remember…always think first to…Do Business with a Member!
Momentum. This word conveys so many things and can help us understand what is happening around us. I like the English Dictionary* definition, “the force that keeps an object moving or keeps an event developing after it has started.” It also mentions an example that once you push it, it keeps going under its own momentum. The momentum of the golf club hitting the ball should strike it so it keeps moving straight toward the hole…hopefully…for some, not so easily done.
When I think of MABA this word, “momentum” keeps coming to mind. We have truly gained momentum over the last view years and certainly over the last few months. Our last several member (2nd Friday of the month!) meetings continue to draw a great group of regulars and many guests, many of whom have joined us as members! Our meeting sponsor, Kris McVicar with Citizens Bank, provided us with great information about their services and education on how student banking works. The networking time and opportunities to do find ways to do business with a member continue to be of value and we hope you are taking advantage of it.
Momentum continued to grow with the Golf Outing last week where we had a record number of golfers, lunch attenders and money raised for philanthropic grants we plan to give out by the end of the year. Thank-you to co-chairs Jennifer Bennett, Tom Hamp and the whole committee who did an outstanding job running and organizing the golf outing. We had several first time sponsors and golfers who did great in our no pressure-fun-relaxing-best ball format. If you missed it, make it a priority to join us next year.
All I can say is keep the Momentum going! Keep making MABA a priority in your business and in your weekly schedule. Visit the website, what is going on in the weeks to come. Keep sharing your ideas with a board member, fill out a comment card or post a note on MABA Chat so we can continue this positive momentum and the value we strive to bring to all MABA members. Stay involved this summer and I hope to see you at the next event! As we say on the baseball field, “Let’s do this thing!”
Kevin R. Damesworth
Not following up after networking tops our list of worst networking mistakes. Most people have made this error because they get caught up with their other responsibilities. It's an innocent blunder, but not following up is not only a mistake but also counterproductive. You'd be better off NOT networking in the first place than you are networking and not following up with the people you meet. (Yes, it's that bad.)
Remedying this mistake is all about putting a system in place so you form a habit after each networking event you attend. It's like packing your gym bag the night before -- doing so sets you up to make it to the gym the next morning.
Ineffectively presenting your business and its value -- the unique selling proposition (USP) -- is detrimental because people need to understand what you do in order to successfully pass business your way. You can attend the all networking events you want, but if no one understands what you do or the services you offer, then you're wasting your time -- and it's one of the most common mistakes business professionals make. A properly constructed USP can go a long way to curing your networking blues.
We recommend your USP follows a simple formula:
"I work with [target market] to help them [benefit]."
Brian's unique selling proposition is succinct and direct: "I help busy entrepreneurs market their business in less than 90 days." That formula leads people to ask not just Brian but also anyone else using the formula, "Well, how do you do that?" The unfolding of the conversation naturally leads Brian to discuss his business and what makes a good referral for him.
For this mistake, we need to start with a discussion of the difference between networking and cold calling. Networking is all about relationships and, more specifically, developing them to the point where a reciprocal referral relationship exists. Cold calling is about volume and, more specifically, is about making as many calls as you can, in the hope that "something sticks."
People get into trouble when they insert a cold call approach in a networking environment. At an event, they immediately try to "work the room" in an effort to meet as many people as possible in hopes that "something will stick." Hence the term, face-to-face cold calling.From
If you find yourself trying to talk to everyone at a networking event, you might want to reevaluate your overall approach to networking. Remember, networking is about relationships and getting to know people. It's about asking good questions and finding out how you might be able to help each other out. And most of all, it's about developing a rock-solid foundation where future business can be generated. That's how you network like a pro.
This mistake is particularly troubling because we find the very idea of not immediately responding to a call from a networking partner bewildering. Unfortunately, it seems to happen with some regularity.
Treating each of your networking partners as one of your "best clients" is critical. You should always return phone calls from these people immediately, as it speaks to your credibility and reliability as a professional.
There have been countless examples of people receiving referrals at networking groups who go back to their places of business and finally get around to contacting the referral in a few days. The old phrase "If you snooze, you lose" is apropos here. Time is of the essence, and if the referral knows you had her name and number on Monday and took your sweet time calling, that sends a message you don't want to be sending!
There are many ways that we've seen networking partners abuse the relationship, but the following story is one of the most glaring examples of this situation.
A woman we know was invited to attend a 50th birthday party of an associate who used to belong to a networking group in which she also participated. They'd once had a long-term working relationship, so out of respect, she decided to attend.
When she got to the door, she looked through the window and noticed that people were arranged in a semi-circle listening to a presenter in front of an easel board. When she stepped in, it was obvious that the "party goers" were being recruited for a business opportunity. As resentful as the woman felt, she and other mutual friends found it difficult to remove themselves from the "birthday party" despite the fact that the only refreshments being served was the company's diet shake!
Never, ever mislead your networking partners. Trust is everything in relationship networking. Inviting these people to a "birthday party" that turns out to be a "business opportunity" isn't being honest with the people with whom you want to build a trusting relationship.
If networking hasn't been working for you, see what adjustments or changes you can make in your style and approach based on these five mistakes and their suggested course corrections.
Our collective experience lets us happily share that once you iron them out, the world of referrals and mutually beneficial relationships will beat a path to your door.
The following excerpt is from Ivan Misner, Ph.D. and Brian Hilliard’s book Networking Like a Pro. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Bestselling Author & Client Acquisition Coach
10 Ways to Network Like a Pro
You've always heard that networking is everything in the business. From gaining job opportunities to bringing in business for your company, networking is the key to success.
Even though many people know that they should be networking, most don't have the first idea of how to get started. Luckily, following these 10 steps you can become a networking pro.
1. Keep Business Cards at All Time
It doesn't matter if you're only heading to the convenience store for a fill-up. You never know when you're going to need your business cards, so keep them with you all the time.
2. Brag a Little
There's nothing wrong with bragging a little about your accomplishments or your company to get people interested.
3. Never Forget a Face (or a Name)
Try to remember everyone you meet. Look for physical qualities that catch your attention, such as a tattoo, so that you can remember people. Try word games and mnemonics to remember names. I normally tag team with someone else and we help each other remember names.
4. Use Social Media
You should be on all of the major social media sites, and you should be using them regularly. Network with everyone in your industry that you can, and post frequently so that you stay on everyone's minds.
5. Network with Everyone
Networking Pros know that looks can be deceiving and that everyone is valuable in some way. Network with everyone that you meet, not just those who you think might be interesting.
6. Be Friendly
Don't walk around with a bad attitude. You want people to remember you for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Be friendly to everyone you meet. Along with helping with networking, you'll find that it'll improve your life for the better in other ways, too.
7. Get Excited
Be excited about what you're talking about when you meet someone. "Blah" is boring, and nobody remembers boring.
8. Attend Events
You can't network if you're stuck in the house or the office. Attend industry events. Attend community events. Get out there and meet people.
9. Make Plans
Concrete plans are more likely to actually develop into something. When you hand over your business card, don't just tell someone to call you "sometime." Tell them to call you tomorrow, or next Tuesday.
10. Give Yourself a Trademark
Make sure that there is something about you that will remember. Wearing a signature color or a statement piece of jewelry, for example, can make you stand out.
By Rhett Power Head coach, Power Coaching and Consulting
Meridian Area Business Association