Today we had a guest speaker, Maki DeLaet, owner of EduCyber, Inc. in Golden, Colorado. Maki came to speak to us today about strategic planning and growing our group.
Her first question to the group was how did you come to join Connect? Most answers were by invitation. We had one who saw our brochure in an office and asked about the group.
The second question is why did you join the group? The responses varied from business building without being a BNI or Tips group. Many of us joined because it is a female only group and is supportive of the other members. One member was inspired by a woman in the group.
The third item is what motivated us to stay? There were several thoughts here starting with group support & friendships, then came quality of leads both inside and outside leads, the sustainability of the group. Secondly, was the information given by the speakers each week and the diversity of our guest speakers.
Then Maki asked, what are the challenges for this group? The word complacent came up a few times along with comfortable; many of us have been in the group for a long time and are probably too relaxed in our membership. We have an older group and some are looking forward to retire or if not retire take on fewer clients. Another comment was about the weekly meeting being a challenge for our younger members that have children; it is hard to make arrangements during the summer and holiday times. Some spoke of the lunch meeting versus a breakfast, a member invited a guest and her comment was for her to attend it would take around 3 hours out of her day, including travel time. There was also mention that our website needs to be updated – new pictures and an updated design. The other comment was our social media and promotion of our Facebook page need to be better promoted.  We are discussing changing the model to attract new members.
Maki’s next topic for us was – what are our opportunities? There were several thought on this topic – such as open our meeting one time a year, hosting as many guests as we can to attract new members. We have fund to those that want to have an Open House at their place of business – it was brought up that this was not used very often, it was suggested that we should have a scheduled Open House quarterly – this is a great way to have your clients meet with other members from the group. Another suggestion was having one on one meetings outside of group, this is also a great way to not only get to know each other on a more personal level, it also gives the person you meet with a better framework in which to find the perfect lead for you.  Again the website was mentioned – the thought of adding a member spotlight on the landing page, a process to share the page with others and the need for updating the design and wording.
The threats that this group faces are membership decline, losing focus and the somewhat cliquish culture that we have.
Our goal is to open up the group and create a dynamic group that will attract new and younger members. We need to prioritize the best way to accomplish this and come up with an action plan to move forward! So we need everyone to put their thinking caps on and help us move this group into the future.
Thank you Maki Delaet  for coming and helping us gain focus on how to grow and maintain Connect into the future.
Maki De Laet * EduCyber, Inc. * (303) 268-2245 *