North Cork Business Alliance Protocol

Attendance:  we start our meeting at 07:30am sharp every Friday morning. The meeting is held in the Hibernian Hotel, Main Street, Mallow, Co. Cork. The meeting finishes at 08:30am sharp. Attendance is important as the more meetings you attend the more business you can potentially receive from the group. If you cannot attend we encourage you to appoint a substitute to represent you. “Empty seats reap poor rewards” – both for the group and for the member. Members are not allowed to miss more than 4 meetings per quarter. If they exceed this their category becomes available for another person to join.

30 Second Presentations: Each week the member gives a 30 second presentation on their business and what they provide and ideally what business they are looking for. [The other members will be listening so this is your opportunity to sell your business to them. This is your opportunity to tell the other members what business you are looking for.]

Referrals: The primary goal of the group is to generate business referrals. Referrals are always recorded on a contact slip, which is made up of 3 parts. The top white portion you pass to the member you are giving the referral to. The middle portion you pass to the secretary of the group who records the referral and the third portion you keep for your own records. Please note clearly on the slip the relevant details. The receiver of the referral is expected to contact the potential customer within 24 hours. You should then ideally give feedback to the member who gave you the referral. Never send an NCBA member to a potential customer that is not expecting to hear from them unless you know that member is happy with that arrangement and knows in advance.

Membership Application Form: Those who wish to join the NCBA must fill out a membership application form. Part of this form involves providing two proposers/references. This allows the NCBA to keep its quality of business members at a high level which is essential for peace of mind when giving referrals.

Non-Competitive: Each member is allowed to represent one category. Once a member joins and abides by the rules and pays their dues they are entitled to represent that category in total for the group. The Steering Committee steps in to clear up any ambiguity should it occur. (Should members make room for each other, dropping a product/service, an agreement should be arranged between the members and honoured. Broken agreements are mediated by the Vice Chair.)

Breakfast Fee: There is no joining fee or membership fee but all members are asked to pay for their breakfast which is provided by the hotel at the meeting. The cost of breakfast is €130.00 per quarter. This is paid in advance. Pay by standing order and save €10 per quarter (€120). Pay within the first month of the quarter and the cost is €130. Late payments are €140.

One-to-Ones: The committee strongly promotes that each member conducts a one-to-one with every member of the group on a yearly basis. This is the best way to get to know other members. Members are advised not to wait to be contacted, but to initiate contact and arrange to meet a member over a cup of coffee or lunch. Members are advised to approach these meetings in a positive and helpful frame of mind. [Go to give, listen carefully, ask questions, and then talk to them about what you do and how they can help you].

Active Members: The NCBA is primarily a referral network. All members are asked to take an active part in improving and growing the group with a view to gaining fresh business leads and referrals – “Giver’s Gain”. The NCBA is also a support group and has a healthy mixture of businesses from start-ups to established companies.