The Power of a Small Business Network

I have always been interested in how networking referral services work so I took up the invitation of Theresa Denza, owner of Treasures by Theresa and wife of a college friend and attended a breakfast meeting of LeTip of Marlboro recently as her guest. Needless to say, I was subsequently voted in as a member.  LeTip of Marlboro is one of the many chapters of the LeTip International referral networking organization.   This organization has been around for over 30 years.  Why would I join such an organization? How would my company, iMedia Public Relations  benefit? Those were questions I had going in, but after sitting around a table at the Manalapan Diner with 25 other business owners, I realized that this would indeed be an organization worth joining.

What I liked about LeTip is that it wasn’t a come when you feel like it organization.  Members have to come each week and share tips for business, both internal and external. Each business gets category exclusivity for their business and profession. Thus, I’m now the only public relations business representative and I have over 20 other businesses that I can connect with plus their business contacts. That to me was the defining reason to join the group.

The organization even has its own creed:

“LeTip is a professional organization of men and women dedicated to the highest standards of competence and service. Our purpose is the  exchange of business tips. Members will, at all times, maintain the higheest professional integrity. Each business category is represented by one member and conflicts of interest are disallowed.” 

Yesterday was the first meeting I attended as an official member. I already have a member wanting to schedule a meeting with him.  My mission with this is to not only make contacts but to educate these small business owners into realizing the positive impact public relations can have on their businesses. For many, their knowledge of public relations is that it is advertising.  This is a process that is easily overcome as I begin educating them on the applications of an effective public relations campaign.

For many of these small businesses, my involvement might only result in writing some web site copy or a few press releases. For others, it may lead to building a social media presence for their business. As each week unfolds I will be able to further educate small business owners into the value of using public relations. As they learn more they can refer me to their contacts.  That will ultimately showcase the true value of joining LeTip of Marlboro and the overall power of a small business network.

Tom Cosentino

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