The Business Partnership Network (BPN) is a committed group of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County members who meet with each other on a weekly basis. The purpose is to help member’s businesses grow and prosper through mutual commitment to continually promote each other’s businesses by recommending one another to prospective clients and customers.
- Available to any businessperson who is a member in good standing of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County
- There are no additional membership fees to participate in the BPN, separate from pre-paid meals.
- The group will be established on a “one per category” basis meaning that no business shall conflict with a category that is already filled. Members should only represent their primary business focus, in order to allow the group to grow by bringing in new members to represent more business categories. If a member has more than one category, they need to designate a “primary business” for the purpose of the BPN.
- The group will be limited to 40 members.
- Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis as applications are received.
- Members are limited to one person from their organization on a roster at a time.
- Applicants whose business classification is already represented will be placed on waiting list until an opening becomes available or another group of sufficient size is formed.
- In order to become a member, an application must be completed and submitted to the Chamber for review by the Leadership Committee. You will be notified of your acceptance (meaning your industry is not currently represented by the group).
- When a question arises as to a possible conflict in categories, the current member in the category in question will be consulted for input to address any concern.
- Membership in the BPN belongs to the Chamber member and not an individual. Should the representative leave the organization, the company may appoint another individual within 30 days in order to retain the seat. Failure to fill the position would leave that seat open to the waiting list.
- Membership is not permitted in other competitive referral-based groups (ie: BNI, LeTip)
- A member must be in attendance for the entire meeting to receive credit.
- A member may miss no more than 4 meetings in a quarter (excused or not, including substitutions) or two consecutive unexcused meetings.
- Exceeding the allowed absences may result in resignation from the group, unless pre-approved from Board.
- If unable to attend a meeting, in order to receive an excused absence, notification must be made to the Secretary in advance.
- Excused absences include:
o Health issues
o Suffered a loss or dealing with a family illness
o Jury duty
o Attending another Chamber event
o Religious observances or holiday
- Members who need extensive time off (leave of absence) should present their request to the leadership team.
- Visitors are encouraged to attend meetings. Members are also encouraged to bring guests. Guests may be members of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County or non-members.
o Preside over regular meetings
o Ensure meetings follow appropriate protocol
- Vice Chair
o Fulfill Chair role in absence
o Provide administrative oversight of the grievance process
o Maintain schedule of speakers
o Maintain timing for presentation and 30 second introductions
o Move in to the role of Chair, when the current Chair’s term has been completed
o Record member referrals
o Record member attendance
o Record meeting activity
o Send emails as needed, acceptance, wait list, warning and termination letters
o Ensure quarterly breakfast payments are current for members
- Chamber Liaison/Education Coordinator
o Act as BPN representative along with the Chamber in determining acceptance of new members
o Provide updates as to membership status of BPN
o Responsible for presenting a 3-5minute Education Moment for each weekly meeting. The Education Moment should help teach members how to better network solicit qualified referrals, give more qualified referrals, how to be contributing member of the BPN or other topics deemed necessary.
- Leadership Committee Appointments and Election Terms Process
o The initial Leadership Committee will be appointed by TheChamber for the first year. Thereafter, the positions shall be elected by the members of the group, with the exception of the Chair, which will be filled by the Vice Chair.
o The term is for one year which begins in January. Officers may not seek a second consecutive term for the same position.
o Nominations will be taken in November for election in December. The person nominated must accept the nomination. A member may self-nominate.
§ In order to be nominated for Vice Chair, the nominee must have been a member of BPN for at least 6 months prior to nomination.
§ Chamber membership must be current in order to be considered for the Leadership Committee
- Held weekly at a location determined by The Chamber
- Each member will give a 30 second commercial on the product or services for the business category in which they are a member.
- One member will be appointed in advance to give a 10 minute presentation. A member must have at least 30 days of membership prior to being placed on the presentation calendar.
- After introductions and presentation, members will have the opportunity to announce referrals, one on ones, business dollars and visitors in attendance. In lieu of a referral, members can give testimonials about a fellow member or positive feedback from a referral. Every member must participate in this portion of the meeting.
- Breakfast will be provided weekly. Payment must be made quarterly, no later than the first of the month to The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County. There will be no refunds or credit provided for missed meetings.
- Guests will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and their business. If their business is not yet presented, they will have the same 30 second commercial opportunity to talk about what they do and contacts they are looking for.
- Guests may attend 2 meetings before requesting an application for membership. Payment is required to the Chamber in advance or a check the day of meeting.
- Guests do not need to be current members of the Chamber.
- A qualified referral is giving the name of a person, or business and contact information to another member and the referred person or business is expecting the call. Personal introductions are also encouraged to establish a qualified referral. You do not need to wait for a meeting to give a referral. Referral slips will be completed at each meeting, however, cannot be given to the recipient until the referred person, or business has been contacted.
- There is no guarantee that the referral will meet with the member to whom they were referred or do any business.
- Each member has the goal of one referral per week.
- Members who fail to provide sufficient referrals may have their membership reviewed by the Leadership Committee which may include loss of membership. Any and all recognizable efforts made by the member in question will be taken into consideration.
- One-on-one meetings are encouraged with each member.
- The Chamber will
o Maintain a website page for the Business Partnership Network
o Provide referral slips
o Keep a waiting list of members wanting to join the group
o Maintain separate accounting of funds
o Maintain the right to disband the BPN at any time, under the direction of the Board of Directors of the Chamber.