What is the Bainbridge Business Connection? What exactly is it that the BBC does for its members? What’s in it for the community? What are the standards that have been established over the last year?
BBC has evolved from a bunch of local business people getting together to share a waffle and an “iLearning Global” video to a much larger group of Bainbridge Island entrepreneurs. What a year! What an outcome. I think it is time to take a moment to reflect back on who we are and what we are doing now — and maybe a look ahead into the future a little. Sort of a State of the BBC message from your humble talking head (Tim).
My friend, colleague, co-founder of the BBC, and staff writer (Dave Kragen) put it better than I could myself. “We are a community of small (and/or home) business entrepreneurs encouraging one another, person-to-person. We seek to offer: general business tips (via guest speakers/presenters); a place to learn and hone communication skills and market-place experience; a place for honest critique of one another’s advertising ideas, company marketing strategies, and general web presence. We are also a place to discuss the general market environment both locally and nationally. We are a community resource for local business just starting out or growing or changing.”
What we don’t want to do is spread our business cards around, hound each other for sales, and expect referrals from each other while we sit quietly in the corner. We also do not want to be a place of unqualified judgments about one another’s products, services, or potential markets. We especially do not want maligning of or negative gossiping about any member’s reputation, character, or products/services — for any reason! We are here at the BBC to focus on one another’s strengths as colleagues, founders of new opportunities that we can share, consultants for better business practices, and ultimately “growth promoters.” We are, after all, each other’ most powerful sales force.
At our weekly Friday morning breakfast gatherings, we continue to learn about one another as people struggling with making a living in a complex marketplace. We are all about encouragement. And as we become comfortable and respectful of our member’s products/services, we may find ourselves making a referral — but a referral with heart and credibility — because we are learning to know each other better. It is a very powerful marketing strategy.
Again, Dave K: “We at BBC are about HOW to be more successful and credible business people contributing in positive ways to our communities. It’s not so much about WHAT we sell or WHAT services we offer, as about HOW we do business with integrity on Bainbridge Island and in Kitsap County. We are just plain business folk getting together to cheer one another on and to be the best business people we can be. But that’s what we love about the BBC! A couple hours each week that we can feel really great about!“
Don’t miss your morning cup of BBC!
BBC Editor & Chief