Q: What do I need to bring with me to the meeting?
A: We have a page that explains this – click here to view it. Basically you should being plenty of business cards (at least 50), and prepare a 60 second presentation of your business.
Q: Will there be other people from my trade/profession at the meetings?
A: There will be members in related and associated trades and professions, but only you will occupy your specific business description. You’ll not be competing with others in the same field. The value of having related professions as members grows with the concept of “Synergy Teams” … comprising business with complementary interests who can then increase their impact in the market place. As a guest the only chance of having someone else at the meeting who does the same as you is if they alto attend as a guest.
Q: Can I bring someone else with me to the meeting?
A: Yes, you’re welcome to bring others with you along to the meeting, however as there is a cost for each person attending, EBF will only be able to pay for the first person from your business. Others will be asked to pay a £15 fee which covers the contribution towards the breakfast and venue hire. Ultimately only one person from your business can join, but it makes sense for more than one person to attend sometimes to see which person has the best fit for the group.
Q: Is there a regular agenda at the meeting. Is it the same every week?
A: We run a standard agenda for most of our meetings. You can see roughly what goes on by visiting our meeting walkthrough page. We do however occasionally adapt this agenda to allow for outside speakers or special events. Even though the agenda remains largely fixed, our meetings are always fun and unique.
Costs and Fees
Q: Can I attend as a guest for FREE?
A: Absolutely! Your first visit to our meetings is free of charge. If you’d like to attend as a guest for a second time we ask that you pay a fee of £15 which covers the contribution towards the breakfast and venue hire.
Q: What payment options exist for my membership?
A: If you decide to join EBF there is a one-time joining fee of £75. After this, we have a few options for the actual membership payment. Our most common is a one-off 6-month trial membership which costs £225. Regular membership is £350 per year however some members take out a 2 year membership for £600. There is no VAT applicable to these fees.
Q: Do I have to pay for breakfast each week?
A: As well as the membership fee there is a weekly meeting fee that all members must pay. This covers the cost of the venue hire and the breakfast, and is applicable to be paid whether or not you attend the meeting. Members usually arrange to pay this on a monthly standing order which costs £50.
Your requirements as a member
Q: I’m a little nervous of public speaking…can I avoid the 60 second round?
A: As a new member you’ll be partnered with a mentor. This friendly approach makes sure that you are comfortable and confident right from word go. Your mentor will help you come up with short, snappy ideas for your 60 second round. Meaning you can share all that’s great about your business, and fellow members can start finding you referrals straight away.
Q: What if I can’t bring a referral every week?
A: Although important, referrals are only one facet of the EBF meetings. You can make valuable contributions every week by holding one-on-one meetings with other members, bringing visitors, and by giving written testimonials for work done by other members.
Q: Will I receive training?
A: EBF is more than a referrals organisation. We’ll provide all sorts of other opportunities to assist you in your business development. Part of this is training in the methods and processes that we have proven are effective in EBF. Some of this will occur directly as an education slot within each meeting. Other times you will be able to attend a special workshop.
All members are signed up to a “Business Networking Email Masterclass” which is a series of lessons delivered via email to help you make the most of your membership.
Other questions and answers
Q: I’ve networked before and didn’t get anything out of it, why will EBF be different?
A: At EBF high quality referrals are the name of the game, but our membership also works hard to find new ways to collaborate, and to seek out new business. To motivate each other, stay informed and to grow business together. The more you can become involved, forging partnerships and finding synergies, the more successful you will be.
Q: There are lots of business networking and breakfast clubs. What makes EBF different?
A: EBF was formed in 2011 as a break-away group from an existing networking organisation called BNI. As members of BNI we found that we were being restricted in what we could do, and felt that we were receiving poor value for money (read our blog post that tells the story). When we formed EBF we decided to keep many of the good parts of BNI, but to introduce lots more fun and freedom.
We pass a very healthy amount of referrals and business among our members, but do so in an environment that is lots of fun. Our members refer to each other as friends rather then “networking colleagues”, and as such a better quality of business is done all round.
EBF is also not run as a for-profit business unlike so many other networking groups. The money that members pay to be part of the group is spent on promoting the EBF business and its members. No part of the membership fees is paid as salary or commission to its directors. The more members who join EBF the bigger and more effective it becomes.