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Salt Lake City Bookkeeping Blog

Small Business Networking; Is It Worth It?

Posted by Joe Mazur on Apr 1, 2013 7:00:00 AM

It all starts with the simple sentence; "What do you do?"  If you have heard this or said this hundreds of times then you must be a networker.  As a networker, the question must have been asked but I'll ask it again, is small business networking worth it?  Although we aren't in it solely for the revenue, the answer is always yes.  For us, since we are bookkeeping geeks, we are able to quickly answer this question based on our revenue right away.  We are always evaluating if our time and dedication to networking groups such as BNI and the Entrepreneur Meetup Circle is well spent.  We provide a great service, we hold ourselves accountable, and we always understand what we sign up for and I feel these are 3 key parts of being a strong networker.  Over the past few years, my opinions have changed greatly on these meetings and I've seen a lot of people come and go.  I've also learned that networking varies greatly all the way from groups that are based on attendance and revenue tracking all the way to virtual networks that are put together with the main purpose of building relationships.  

Business Networking International, or BNI as it's simply known, is everywhere.   Depending on who you talk with, you may find polarizing opinions on these groups.   Some small business owners love it because it drives a large portion of their company's revenue while some owners have strong feelings against it due to the procedures that are put in place such as attendance.  Almost all business owners that are involved in networking have been involved in BNI at one point.  Some consider it a stepping stone for the networking world and only join for a short period while some businesses may be in BNI for many many years because the amount of revenue they get from the group.  For me, I had to shift gears from when I first joined the group.  I initially thought referrals would roll in week after week.  Right away, that idea went out the window.  I realized it takes time to get a bookkeeping referral since we are selling a long term service and we aren't selling a low cost product such as flowers.   Sometimes it takes a small business owner a while to realize they need a bookkeeper and even longer to talk to people about it.  But when they do, I hope they are talking with someone I have networked before because there is a strong chance we would be mentioned right away.  On the other side of BNI networking, I have meet amazing people that have amazing businesses.  No matter what industry you are in, BNI will work if you are passionate and dedicated to the group.  I never thought I would be referring out a dog walking service, but that all changed after getting to know Merrie Speedy with Speedy Pets.  Getting to know her on a personal level and learn about her business has made the referral process a very easy thing to do.  Same goes for Bob Mack with Advanced Property Solutions, Joe Libin with Greystone Mortgage, Robb Farr with WHF Wealth Management, and the list goes on and on.  I could easily list a majority of our group right now, but it might be easier to see a list of everyone and what they have to offer.  

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Topics: Grow Your Business, Networking, Inbound Networking

What A Business Needs To Understand About Inbound Marketing

Posted by Matt Roberge on Feb 22, 2013 7:15:00 AM

For a small business what is the most important thing to understand about inbound marketing?

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Topics: Small Business, Entrepreneurship, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Networking

4 Business Recommendations To Help Boost Inbound Leads And Sales

Posted by Matt Roberge on Jan 9, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Its 2013 are you finally going to give into this inbound marketing thing?  Chances are that if you are a small business you are already using inbound marketing to drive new leads to your business.  The big question is: are you doing it as effectively as possible?  If you are new to inbound marketing or just unsure if you are doing it right consider these four businesses to help you find your way to inbound marketing success. 

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Topics: Online Marketing, Small Business Growth, Sales, Inbound Marketing, Inbound Networking

The Business Challenges Of Working In Paradise

Posted by Matt Roberge on Dec 10, 2012 6:45:00 AM

Five years ago I set off with a vision of a dream job. It was one where I had a life outside of the office, which is not very hard to do. I also wanted to split my year between two states; Utah and Montana.  Ok getting harder. I wanted to continue to ski and fish as much as possible.  Even harder yet. I wanted to live in fairly remote places with good access to the outdoors and still run a profitable business. Impossible? I thought not and still don’t. Thanks to today’s technology the possibilities seem endless. Living and working in paradise has its ups and downs, but in the end if it is paradise to you then it is all worth it.

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Topics: Business Efficiency, Business Ideas, Work From Home, Inbound Marketing, Business Sales, Working From Home Office, Inbound Networking