All this is very early in its development - I started this organizing in late December and now have about a dozen people signed on - all highly qualified. Here's an overview of the organizations and services being planned:
San Diego Independent Business Professionals. In speaking with local independent professionals, I sensed a frustration that I share with the kinds of business networking opportunities available to us - they are either oriented to entrepreneurs and startups, and are somewhat over-hyped, or are "Chamber of Commerce" type organizations oriented to well established businesses.
I think there could be a way to combine real-life meetups and networking events with virtual meetings and online forums in a way that will make if far more efficient than traditional business associations. For the latter I have established a Google Groups (this is the evolution of the old listserv technology - not to be confused with Google+ Communities). While it is just getting started, we have already had some interesting discussions there and will soon be organizing meetings and mutual support programs.
Small Business Services Cooperative. This will be a coalition of independent businesses bound together by a agreement covering revenue and profit sharing that includes incentives for marketing and client engagement. Members who join the cooperative will be expected to sign a legally binding MOU (memo of understanding) and will need to have a developed service or practice area. There will be shared information systems - including a CRM (customer relationship management) system and cooperative marketing programs - including advertising, and some management functions - including quality assurance.
The cooperative will offer a variety of business and technical services - often with a team approach, that are professionally managed but affordable for smaller businesses. This is something I have thought about for a while, and the original plan was for it to be essentially a virtual service. It still might be, but right now I want to see if I can get it going on a local level first. The revenue sharing plan we intend to use for this cooperative is attached to this post.
Small Business & Entrepreneur Advisory. This is aspirational - it doesn't exist yet, but the idea is that once the cooperative is underway, we would be able to bring an entire multi-disciplinary team to advise startups, small business and other independent professionals in their best path for growth and opportunity. It is envisioned that these services will be provided at a discounted rate for new small businesses.
Again, this is all very early in development, but it seems have at least a little traction and is moving forward. If you are in the region and provide almost any kind of small business service I would like to hear from you. Please send me your email address and phone number by private message - you should be able to find mine on my profile here if you would rather write or call.
I'm looking forward to meeting more of my neighbors and making some business happen for all of us.
- Entrepreneurial Collaboration
- Small Business Development
- Startup Venture Acceleration
- Open Source Development
- Collaborative Technologies
- International Business & Trade
- New Economy / Self-Employed
- California Economy and Politics
- Entrepreneur Strategy & AccelerationBusiness Strategy, 2012 - present
- Michigan State University
- San Diego State University
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