First Posted: 10/8/2009 8:52:35 AM | Last Updated: 10/8/2009 9:02:32 AM
JACH NEWS SERVICE
LAFAYETTE – It was about a year ago when Jason Murray, with Bob Rohrman Auto Group, and his cousin Bobbie Shackleferd, of Staffing Resources, talked about joining some of the business networking groups in the area.
“I really couldn’t justify the price of joining," Murray said. “I couldn’t afford it and it seemed to me that bringing in a referral would be payment enough. It dawned on me to grab a couple of my friends and start a group.”
Last December, the Business Associates Networking Group, BANG, was born. Starting with three people, BANG has grown to 16 people with a goal of increasing to 20 by the end of the year. Murray said he wanted to start a networking group with no membership fee and was driven by bringing in new people and referrals.
“I’ve been involved in the finance industry in Lafayette for over 10 years,” Shackleferd said. “I knew I had enough contacts in this community that we thought why not start our own group. It started from there and got some really nice people involved.”
Murray said his group has brought in more than 150 referrals from members in the 10 months the group has been meeting. He said he did not know how much money that has generated added he has benefited from the connections.
“I know I sold six cars in August because of the group,” Murray said. “Everybody has benefited quite a bit so far. Just having a group work out so well has been a success.”
The group meets at noontime on Mondays at Jerilee’s Pub inside Market Square Lanes, 2100 Elmwood Ave. Lunch is served and members network, share success stories, referrals, leads and one member is highlighted each meeting to promote his or her business.
“I have a few rules for the group,” Murray said. “The most important things are bringing referrals and showing up. We’ve done pretty well. The group is not for everyone. Some people can’t fit it into their schedule with other meetings.”
Murray said attendance in BANG is monitored and stressed to protect the integrity of the group and ensure those involved that members can be counted on.
“By consistently attending the meetings, you are showing us what to expect from you when we refer our friends and family to you,” Murray stated in his rules to BANG members.
Other members of BANG include Marcus Thompson, of Small Projects; Allyson Schutte, of FC Tucker; Jon Bigeman, of Cellular Connection; Amber Fields, of Farmers Insurance; Ron Taylor, of Market Square Lanes and Jerilee’s Pub; Joanne Webb, of Shaklee; Brian Balmer, of Salin Bank; Jan French, of Gourmet Treasures and C-Factor Marketing; Sonja Racine, of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Judy Bower and Ben Roscoe, of Ink Rx; Denise Pearson, of Wolf Park; and Dustin Wright, of Tee Time Promotion.
Murray said he would like to see BANG become more involved in the community and he would like to plan a spring get together for families and friends of BANG. For now, BANG stock continues to rise among local business owners.