Category: Member Blog

Member Profile: Halton Industry Education Council

This past November, Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) turned 30 – and they have a lot to celebrate! Founded in 1989, HIEC is a not-for-profit social enterprise that focuses on partnership, mentorship and workforce development. HIEC was developed in partnership with the four Halton Region Chambers of Commerce, the Halton District and Halton Catholic District School Boards, and Sheridan College. For three decades HIEC has been developing and delivering innovative programs and services that leverage technologies, advance community collaboration, strengthen economic development, inspire mentorship, and help young people succeed.

HIEC strives to empower youth in their career exploration and contribute to their overall mental wellness as it relates to future planning and opportunities. This includes building stronger connections between educators, employers, and the students who will make up the future workforce through their Career Awareness Program, hosting inspiring community events, and managing multiple technologies that focus on workforce development.

Through the Career Awareness Program, HIEC supports 7,000 students a year as they prepare to transition into high school. The program is for grade 7 students and helps them identify their individual values, skills and interests. During their visit, students also have the opportunity to investigate 3500+ different occupations that are outlined in the Career Development Lab. Students can also participate in a life work simulation program, which provides them with a better understanding of working conditions, salaries, future trends, and post-secondary pathways for jobs that interest them. This program is very successful and has even received international interest.
Building on career planning, HIEC hosts two annual community events: Women as Career Coaches and Men as Career Coaches. These informal and interactive events bring mentors from different industries and careers together with young people for an evening of open and honest conversation about occupational pathways, post-secondary destinations, and work life. Collectively, these events have hosted 5,500 mentors and 6,300 students! Students have reported these events to be very influential; with some returning to the event as career coaches once they’ve established their careers. Consider sharing your career journey at the Women in Career Coaches or the Men in Career Coaches events.

In addition to their in-person programming and events, HIEC operates two important workforce development technologies. ApprenticeSearch.com is an online matching service designed specifically and exclusively to serve the needs of skilled trades employers and apprentices. The site was developed to address the shortage of skilled trades’ workers in the province. The free online service raises awareness of the trades and provides information on the apprenticeship pathway. The site receives up to 150 new applicants each week, with over 16,000 people seeking apprenticeship opportunities in Ontario. Organizations looking to offer an apprenticeship can register online, post vacancies, and initiate a live search for suitable applicants and apprenticeship candidates. In addition to contributing to the training of the future workforce, there are also grants and other financial incentives available for employers offering apprenticeships.

The other technology HIEC offers is EmployerRegistry.ca, a free online community that connects employers and the future workforce. Developed in 2008, the site acts as a single point of contact for employers looking to get involved with short, medium, and long-term experiential learning opportunities, ranging from one-hour career talks to full-semester cooperative education placements.

HIEC’s programming is quite remarkable. Not only does it impact our local workforce in Halton through the Career Awareness Program, but it assists Ontario’s workforce through ApprenticeSearch.com. EmployerRegistry.ca If you have a student seeking guidance for their career path, or you’d like to share your professional journey, or your workplace would like to offer a co-op or apprenticeship placement, contact HIEC. Set up a meeting or book a tour of their impressive facility.  



Work-Life Balance

By Melanie McGregor, Specialist, Communications and Advancement, Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Region Branch
“Work-life balance” – that elusive, idealized goal that is talked about like it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. But is it really possible? And if so, how? 

“Work-life balance” can be defined in many ways, but overall, it is feeling that work and life aren’t competing and that we are able to successfully manage our multiple roles and demands in each area. There’s a lot to cram into our days as workers, partners, parents, caregivers, family members, friends, and people with interests, needs, and healthy habits to maintain, and being overloaded can have a huge impact on our overall health and wellness. We may feel out of control, have trouble keeping our mind on things, feel guilty, neglect self-care, and feel tired or run-down. 

To address or even prevent these impacts, we need to first think about our own expectations. I like to think of “work-life balance” as more “work-life management. Balance suggests that the two things are equal, stable, in proportion, but in fact, there are times when work will dominate or life away from work will require more of us. Coping during these times is about managing our demands and doing what we can to feel more on top of things and like we can bring our whole selves to work and back home at the end of the day.  

Work-life balance also does not mean that work and life become completely separate realms that don’t influence each other. Work is an integral part of our lives, and what happens at work is bound to affect our feelings, moods, and thoughts outside of work and vice versa. It also doesn’t mean that we will never feel stressed or overwhelmed or have competing demands. It’s a question of seeing these times as signals that we need to do something differently. 

So, what can we do to feel more in control and balanced? Consider these ideas as a start: 
  • If you are an employer, your flexibility can go a long way to creating more productive and satisfied employees. Consider arrangements like flexible work hours, working from home, or day off usage and communicate these to your team. What happens if an employee has a sick child or a medical appointment in the middle of the day? If they and you know what to expect and do in these situations, it can reduce stress and anxiety. 
  • If you are an employee, talk with your employer about what would help you manage your balance. For example, if you are caring for a parent who needs you more in the next week, discuss ahead of time what options are and are not available so you can plan accordingly. 
  • Create and stick to boundaries that work for you. Expectations do vary from role to role, but we often create unnecessary expectations for ourselves. Do you really need to check your e-mail after the workday is done, or is this just a habit you’ve built up that’s cutting into your family time? Try marking the separation between your work time and your personal time more clearly by, say, chilling out with a cup of tea after work or doing a short meditation when you get home.  
  • Be realistic about what you can accomplish. An unreasonable to-do list is a sure path to feeling overloaded and out of balance. At both work at home, think about the time you have and what you can reasonably fit it – not what you’d like to fit in, but what is truly doable. And remember that you don’t need to “be productive” all the time – down time is vital to wellness and well-being. 
    We are bound to feel out of balance now and then, but some reflection, planning, and management should help tip the scales back towards wellness. 


    For resources on mental health, please visit

    halton.cmha.ca



    Listen to This: Top Podcasts 2020

    Check out these podcasts recommended by the Oakville Chamber’s Marketing Committee. (Click on the titles to listen)

    The Daily
    The Daily is a podcast that covers the biggest stories of our time covered by journalists from The New York Times. It has a conversational and intimate tone, which makes news more accessible. the podcast receives over 1.1 million downloads a day, with new episodes airing every weekday.

    Spectacular Failures
    Host Lauren ober tackles some of the most spectacular business failures of all time in Spectacular Failures. some of the most promising ideas have been brought down by family disputes and scandal, while others were fuelled by bad decisionmaking. The podcast reminds listeners that success isn’t so easy.

    The Bridge with Peter Mansbridge
    The Bridge is a weekly podcast from internationally recognized journalist Peter Mansbridge, discussing what is on his mind that week. It could be Canadian, or international, news or sports. This podcast offers a relaxed commentary on current events.

    TED Talks Business
    Presented by TED, the non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth spreading, TED Talks Business hosts some of the world’s greatest innovators, entrepreneurs and business researchers to share their stories and insights. From money and marketing, to
    loans and leadership listen to global leaders and industry experts as they inform and inspire you!

    Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly
    This podcast gives listeners a “behind the scenes” experience of the advertising industry. Host Terry O’Reilly shares
    fascinating and humorous stories on pop culture, marketing and human nature.

    Dolly Parton’s America
    This podcast explores the life of Dolly Parton, her influence on pop culture, and society more generally. Created by Jad Abumrad, who grew up in nashville where Dolly Parton was one of the biggest icons. Abumrad never paid much attention to her career; but thought of her as simply a country star diva. In 2016, he realized she was a much bigger phenomenon. He argues that analyzing Dolly Parton’s universal appeal, regardless of listeners’ background or politics, will help us
    understand America at this particular moment.

    Mo’ Money Podcast with Jessica Moorhouse
    Host Jessica Moorhouse is a millennial money expert with a passion for personal finance and living a balance lifestyle. In her Mo’ Money Podcast she interviews celebrities, experts, entrepreneurs, authors, friends, family and even listeners of the show – and dives into topics like financial independence, early retirement, budgeting best practices, debt and credit,
    investing, side hustles, entrepreneurship and more!

    Members of the Chamber
    The Oakville Chamber just launched it’s very own podcast! In each episode, President & Ceo Drew Redden sits down with one member of our Chamber community to discuss their individual entrepreneur or professional journey, their job and how they ended up where they are today.



    Succeeding in Uncertainty 

    By Michelle Pickett and Joe Rafuse, PwC Canada

    “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” – Paul Romer, Stanford Economist

    We’re experiencing an unprecedented period of uncertainty, change and disruption. While the longest-running bull market in history continues, many believe that the positive economic trajectory won’t continue indefinitely and that warning signs are already here. The Wall Street Journal’s latest Economic Forecasting Survey reported a probability of nearly 50% of a 2020 recession. PwC’s recent Global CEO Survey reported that pessimism about global economic growth is at an all-time high with 53% of CEOs surveyed predicting a decline in the rate of economic growth in 2020, up from 29% in 2019. 

    With Canadian household debt at a record high, consumer insolvencies are also now reaching eight-year peaks while the US Federal Reserve continues to lower interest rates. This is all unfolding amidst a backdrop of geopolitical tensions, precarious global trade rules, and increasing focus on topics such as climate and the environment.     

    The proliferation of technology in business in everyday life is accelerating as well.  Competition is shifting rapidly where emerging entrants are changing the competitive landscape.  The landscape of the largest US companies by market capitalization has also shifted dramatically – today the top 5 companies by market capitalization are all technology based and represent 20% of the overall S&P 500.  

    With the rate of disruption and change only accelerating over time, how then do companies succeed in this uncertainty?  Focusing on the core business while keeping an eye on the rapidly evolving landscape may seem like diligent practice today, but if history has taught us anything, it is that no industry has deep enough moats to fend off the siege of disruption.  

    Ignoring uncertainty is not a favorable strategy.

    “Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition”

    – Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes in 2008 

    Understand Your Business

    Succeeding in uncertainty requires preparation and being proactive. Businesses should objectively assess critical areas such as Customer and Markets, their Business Model and Capital Structure to better understand key opportunities and threats.  

    Manage costs today

    To put the company in the best possible position to succeed in uncertainty and prepare for the future, management should be managing costs today.  Management needs to focus on immediate cash and profitability improvements while simultaneously addressing the core business to stabilize for the long term. Analysis of significant downturn scenarios (eg. loss of major customers, increase in input costs, etc.) will help identify the impact and financial risks. Companies should start on surgical cost restructuring (Do Without, Do Better, Do Less, Do Different) and look to working capital as a lever to improve cash flow and liquidity.     

    Shape your future M&A strategy

    As companies, private equity firms and other investors reassess portfolios and strategies, opportunities to buy – as others decide to sell – start to grow. Historically, valuations or EBITDA multiples are lower during a downtown, which can create opportunities for acquirers.  Within this cycle it is important to consider how your divisions or businesses will perform in a downturn. How can you maximize value by considering opportunistic sales before a potential downturn while multiples are high? Are there companies that you can proactively target now for potential acquisitions during a downturn? 

    The range of possible futures confronting businesses are increasingly vast. Companies that face uncertainty head on, rapidly adapt, and start planning today are more likely to sustain a crisis and prosper in the face of uncertainty. 




    COVID-19 Update from The Chambers Plan

    The Chambers Plan has developed a COVID-19 updates link to provide up-to-date information. Please check back to the link regularly as the document will be constantly updated.

    Questions in relation to coverage by (insured) employers and employees should be directed to the plan at info@johnstongroup.ca or call the Customer Service line at 1-800-665-3365. Due to high call volumes, the fastest current response is by email.
     
    Below are resources that are available to you with the Chambers Plan coverage:
     
    • Teladoc telemedicine service is available, at no charge, providing medical access to a doctor from your smartphone.
    • Healthy Business Bookmark a full suite of HR resources, is available at www.my-benefits.ca under your Admin Access including templates and letters.
    • Business Assistance Service (BAS) provides 9 hours of legal, accounting and HR advice every calendar year (by phone) to help with issues related to your business and employees

    Why Every Ontario Employer Should Participate in the WSIB Excellence Program

    Workplace injuries affect all business sectors, it’s not only in the high-risk industries such as construction and manufacturing.  In 2018, the WSIB reported that 74 people lost their lives at work and accepted over 64,000 claims related to time off work as a result of a workplace injury or disease. 

    What is the WSIB Excellence Program?

    In Ontario, the newly launched Excellence program changes how WSIB works with employers to instill a company-wide culture of health and safety in order to develop a safer and prosperous province. 

    The goal of this program is to reward its safest employers and make available up to $250,0000 in rebates on an annual basis, with restrictions, to each of the current 300,000+ Ontario employers.  This incentive-based program is the first of its kind in Canada, replacing Safety Group, SCAP programs previously in place.  The program makes available $140 million is premium savings to Ontario employers.

    5 Reasons Why an Employer Should Join the Program

    1. The program totally changes how WSIB works with employers by rewarding its safest employers and making available rebates up to 75% of their WSIB premium.
    2. The program is a simple and fair roadmap for all Ontario employers. From small business to large corporations, the program helps employers strive for health, safety and wellness excellence.
    3. The pace of the journey is flexible for employers in terms of timelines, goals and immediate cost savings.
    4. The program is well organized and easy to start. The exact plan or order in which an employer completes the program modules is between the employer and the provider It begins with health and safety foundational building blocks and then moves onto intermediate and more advanced topics to achieve excellence.
    5. The journey is yours: It’s a framework that uniquely fits each company’s health and safety vision.

    Where Do We Begin?

    Familiarize yourself with the guidelines:   https://www.wsib.ca/sites/default/files/2019-10/program_guidelines.pdf

    Calculate your Rebates:  https://www.wsib.ca/en/health-and-safety-excellence-program-achieve-earn-rebates-and-recognition

    Attend a free WSIB Excellence Information Session near you: https://www.wsib.ca/en/health-and-safety-excellence-program-stay-connected


    Contributed by SOS First Aid and Safety Training

    Learn the skills and use the tools you need during your health and safety excellence journey.  Develop and safety culture, progress your career by developing new health and safety skills, get First Aid and CPR certifications, build employee resiliency during high stress workplace situations, implement an effective health and safety management system, or simply advance your knowledge for everyday life skills. Whatever the reason, SOS First Aid (www.sosfirstaid.ca) offers solutions that may align within your unique health and safety journey.

    In business since 2004 and a former Oakville Small Business Award recipient, SOS First Aid (SOS) has developed into one of the top Red Cross Training Partners in Canada. We can help you on your WSIB Excellence journey, ask us how? SOS provides comprehensive, high quality health and safety programs that apply AT WORK…IN THE COMMUNITY and AT HOME.

    To learn more contact Mario Sacco at 905-844-9813 x104 or email Mario.Sacco@sosfirstaid.ca 



    CSR: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

    By Warren Leppik

    Warren Leppik is the Chief Storytelling Officer at Cognition Productions, an advocate marketing company in Oakville. More effective than traditional advertising because of the authenticity of real human connections, his proprietary process harnesses the voices and experiences of your company’s customers to drive your marketing, engagement & growth strategies.

    Visit www.cognitionproductions.com to learn more.


    Over the past few months, I have come across several articles related to the lip-service being paid to Corporate Social Responsibility. This article in Adweek stood out: “A New Survey From The Economist Finds More Executives Talk About Social Good Than Act on It”. According to Marty Swant “48% of respondents said they felt businesses that operate with purpose beyond profit actually end up gaining a “financially competitive advantage” in their markets. However, even more—78%—said companies talk about it more than they invest in long-term initiatives to support it.”

    So what’s the problem? Is it really so hard to get involved? Is it complicated? Cost prohibitive? Time intensive? I would like to take an optimistic stance and would hazard a guess that, rather than being intentionally delinquent, it has more to do with figuring out how best to get started becomes just another item on an overloaded agenda. But there are tangible business benefits, and a way to mitigate an underestimated “values-based” faux pas, by ensuring that your corporate social responsibility is more than just a plaque on the lobby wall.

    In an article entitled “How to Improve Customer Relationships With Brand Authenticity” author John Turner states, “According to the Consumer Content Report from Stackla, 86 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Show, don’t tell. Every company should have a set of values that they stand for. But it’s not enough to just tell consumers what you believe in; you have to show them. Any company can write on its “About Us” page that they believe in giving back to the community. But that doesn’t mean much if your customers and prospects can’t see it in action. If you SAY you put a strong emphasis on giving back to the community, you had better SHOW your customers you mean it by giving back to local charities with donations or offering your time and knowledge to empower others. Brand authenticity will not only make your current customers happier but will also help you attract new customers by making your company stand out from the rest.”

    Beyond just doing what you said you were going to do, the ancillary benefits to being a good corporate citizen are many. It brings to mind interviews I did for the United Way of Halton and Hamilton last year about involvement with their Workplace Campaigns. Jarvis Sheridan, Partner at O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP believes “We have an enhanced profile because of our involvement with the United Way Workplace Campaign. People respect the fact that we are not just a bunch of money-grubbing lawyers. We are there to feel that our responsibility to the community is being met in very many ways. Because we do have that responsibility. We’re doing OK and we need to give back”.

    Finally, in a content marketing world gone mad, with people making up stuff to feed hungry content marketing calendars, what you do in the community becomes a gold mine of authentic feel good stories, proof of your company’s values. Beyond text, you can use video to harness the emotional power of impact stories from people whose lives were changed by the charities you support. The resulting videos build awareness of the need for what the charity does, motivates more people to get involved and shows quite clearly that your Corporate Social Responsibility program is the real deal.

    Member Profile: Courtyard by Marriott Burlington

    The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington is Halton Region’s newest hotel! The hotel sits on the border of Burlington and Oakville with easy access to the QEW, Highway 407, and within close proximity to Toronto Pearson and Hamilton International Airports. The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington is conveniently located adjacent to the Burlington Convention Centre with a heated and covered walkway surrounded by many corporate offices, and is across the street from the picturesque Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

    The upscale hotel features a state-of-the-art lobby with the BISTRO Restaurant & Lounge at the centre of it all – serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and Starbucks coffee 7 days a week. Guests can also enjoy a well-equipped fitness centre and indoor saltwater pool.


    The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington was designed by Adrian Mauro and his team at Chamberlain Architect Services Limited, and developed by Domenic Fuda and his team at TriAxis Construction Limited with the future in mind. Throughout the hotel guests can connect with ample electrical outlets. The “Boarding Pass Station” features a separate computer station dedicated to printing airline information. The hotel has implemented green technology with a guest recycling program and charging stations for electric vehicles.

    The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington caters to corporate guests with 1,800 square feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 120 people. The meeting rooms feature LED TVs, white boards, top-down screens and projectors to meet all your AV needs. Exquisite catering menus are avail-able to suit your needs. For organizations needing more space, the adjacent award-winning Burlington Convention Centre features 20,000 square feet of function space to accommodate up to 1,200 guests.

    The hotel has 135 guest rooms, including 10 suites, with hybrid zones for working featuring over 16 power outlets and 7 UsB ports in every guest rooms. All rooms have a light desk on wheels, allowing guests to work from anywhere in their room. each guest room has their own dedicated Wi-Fi router which powers up to 6 devices.

    The team at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington is led by Managing Director Frank Vismeg, who has long-term success in the travel and tourism industry – living and working in over 34 countries! Frank is also the President of Skal International Hamilton-Niagara Club, the world’s leading asso-ciation of travel and tourism professionals from over 85 countries. Through his career he has had the pleasure of hosting celebrities Tom Jones and Christopher Plummer, and on the political scene Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, and Stephen Harper.

    “My strength is relationship building” says Frank, “A typical week in-cludes meetings with community and regional stakeholders who share in making Burlington and Oakville one of the top destinations for tourism and conventions. 

    The strength of these relationships was demonstrated at the hotel’s grand opening which included Mayor of Burlington Marianne Meed Ward, Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, and Premier of Ontario Doug Ford.

    Approaching their one-year anniversary, the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burl-ington is already attracting loyal customers, and boast a 98% guest satisfaction rating. “The key to the hotel’s success is consistent service quality” said Frank, “A hotel is just 4 walls; it is the people inside that make it run.” Frank said all of his staff have a ‘Yes I Can’ attitude, always going above and beyond to en-sure guests feel welcome and enjoy their stay. They are proud to announce the newest addition to their management team, Ms. Angelica Sanz Rincon – Hotel Manager coming here from the from the Ritz Carlton Resort in Puerto Rico.

    Frank sees a bright future for Burlington and Oakville as the Region continues to grow. He is already working on a new hotel with his partners at the Burlington Hotels Group Inc. – stay tuned for the new development!
    Select the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington for your next
    business meeting contact:

    Nicoletta Vella, Director of Sales & Marketing:
    nicoletta.vella2@marriott.com

    Tarah Markham, Sales & Operations Manager:
    tarah.markham@marriott.com

    Victoria Howard-Csampely, Sales & Catering Manager:
    victoria.howard-csampely@marriott.com

    Member Profile: Javelin Technologies

    This past April, Javelin Technologies was named one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers (SMEs). The program recognizes SMEs that offer the country’s best workplaces and forward-thinking policies and evaluates employers on their physical workspace, atmosphere, benefits, communications, training, and community involvement.

    With headquarters in Oakville, Javelin has 115 employees in nine locations across the country and serves more than 6,000 engineering and manufacturing customers from coast to coast and around the world. The company’s leaders say it was quite an honour to be recognized as one of the nation’s Top SMEs.

    A Canadian success story

    Javelin is a classic Canadian start-up story; it began over coffee meetings between co-founders John Carlan and Ted Lee at a Tim Hortons in Oakville. Founded in 1997, the company offered 3D design software solutions for business. They have since expanded their product and service offerings to include engineering data management, automation, additive manufacturing (industrial 3D printing), training and consulting.

    Right from the beginning, Javelin focused on quality technical support and training for the tools they provide. Their training staff work with customers to ensure they have a strong understanding of the software and hardware they are using, contributing to efficiency, productivity, and overall business success. Training and consulting services are available for customers remotely and at all locations.

    Behind the quality service to customers is a strong, talented team. Javelin believes in work-life balance for their employees, as well as in open communication. On the first Friday of every month, they host a team meeting for all employees across the country. Employees are informed of Javelin’s successes, challenges, and opportunities.

    Growing to meet customer needs

    For the past three years, Javelin has been on the Growth 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies. One reason is its commitment to continually expanding its product and service offerings to not only meet, but stay ahead of, evolving customer needs. In May 2018, Javelin merged with Cimetrix, an organization with a strong background and leading reputation in additive manufacturing and laser scanning solutions. This merger further strengthened the company’s additive manufacturing capabilities and created a new level of service and support for customers.

    Javelin offers a one-stop shop for customers, supporting them from concept design to manufacturing production. Their various products and expertise cover every stage of the process, from helping a designer test a product against simulated conditions such as heat or vibration, to improving the sharing of manufacturing data around the world, to automating complex quoting systems, to 3D printing metal parts for tooling.  

    Javelin’s clients are from a wide range of industries, including aerospace, alternative energy, automotive, construction, medical, consumer products, oil and gas, and manufacturing. In recent years, they have focused heavily on their customers in education. Previously, the focus was almost entirely on post-secondary classrooms, but now more teachers and students at the high school level consider access to Javelin’s software and 3D printing to be essential in preparing students for further education and the future workforce.

    Expanding again

    At Javelin, people thrive on growth. They strive to move the organization forward and continue to be a complete supplier for their customers. At the end of this year, they will be moving into a new facility that is double their current space! The new facility will feature their largest ever, state-of-the-art 3D printing lab. Javelin is proud to say that this will be their fourth move – all within the Oakville border! With this growth, they will continue to grow their business in Canada and dive deeper into the international market.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out to Javelin if you’re curious to see their facilities; they will be happy to give you a tour of their 3D printing lab and show you some fascinating 3D printed prototypes and parts.


    www.javelin-tech.com

    905-815-1906



    Want Beautiful Referrals That Close Like Clockwork?

    Creating more and better referrals is entirely within your grasp. Beautiful referrals that close like clockwork are the result of four phases in a successful business professional’s network. Can you identify your phase? Which phase would you choose for your business or practice?

    Phase One – Gee, I was lucky to get that referral…

    When a business professional is in Phase One, they think that their referral opportunities come by chance. They are not connecting their success to any networking or referral-building activity that they may have done. They have no plan or strategy for building their business by referral. They may join networks and attend events occasionally, or not at all, sometimes blaming the organization for not providing them with referral opportunities. 

    Unfortunately, a vast majority of business professionals fit into Phase One.  

    Phase Two – Hmmm, I have a lot to learn…

    A business professional in Phase Two has awakened to the reality that referral marketing works. They realize that business by referral is a major source of their business. They want to learn more about how to create ongoing referrals for their business and practice. They are willing to adopt good networking practices, develop their referral-building acumen and make a monthly plan for their activities. They embrace the concept that giver’s win. Always.

    They work hard to generate a high-quality message that speaks to the emotional and business benefits of working with them. They can share their story in a precise and consistent manner that resonates with them and their network. They can identify at least 10 characteristics of their ideal client which they weave into a compelling narrative. They also know that giving a referral to a member of their network is the best way to grow their own business. They enjoy the 34% closing rate of an average referral (1 out of 3 referrals result in closed business).

    Roughly 10% of business professionals fit into Phase Two.

    Phase Three – It is all about giving and growing my relationships

    Phase Three business professionals have embraced the Phase Two referral marketing practices and seek out business professionals who share the same ideal client. They have a growing network that includes like-minded business professionals who are also interested in business relationships of mutual gain. They know that meeting one on one (1:1) is the only way to learn about one another’s business and develop referrals.

    Like a seasoned gardener, a Phase Three business professional nurtures their roses by seeking out business professionals who are givers and who also want to create mutually beneficial relationships. Business professionals in Phase Three are aware that they need to remove weeds and watch out for individuals who are transactional by nature or are not truly interested in investing in a referral relationship.

    Phase Three folks understand, very clearly, that a referral is a transfer of trust. They know that the best referral is one where a high level of trust is transferred. And that closing for business is much easier with a good referral. The closing rate of a referral from a Phase Three member is 50% or more (1 out of 2 referrals result in closed business).

    5% of business professionals might fit into Phase Three.  

    Phase Four – Referral Partner Relationships for My Pocketbook and Soul

    Phase Four business professionals have a fine-tuned network of 8-10 very special people for whom they would do almost anything to help their partners grow their business. Their selected network members, or referral partners, feel the same way about them. Together, they have developed a powerful understanding that they want to support one another to amazing success. They meet regularly, every month when possible. Given the knowledge of the referral partner about their partner’s business, a referral from another Phase Four business professional has an 80% chance of closing (almost 1 closed piece of business for every referral).

    1% of business professionals enjoy referral partner relationships that are good for both the pocketbook and soul.

    Business professionals in Phase Four are delighted with the beautiful referrals they give to one another that close like clockwork.


    Paula Hope is a leading referral expert. She helps business professionals create the revenue they deserve. To have a chat with Paula, or receive her Monday Morning Referral Tips, please contact her at paula@bookedsolid.ca.