We are all looking for ways to improve our businesses. Whether we are business owners, marketing professionals, HR coordinators or freelance, we want to better our skills, improve our network of people we know and continue learning and contributing in our career field. While there are a number of ways to potentially accomplish these goals, perhaps one of the most cost efficient and successful is by joining a local organization.
Joining business organizations or networking groups lets you interact with like-minded people who can be invaluable sources of information and support—and increase your business success. Many business organizations also offer other benefits to members, such as discounts on particular services or products or special promotional opportunities.
Besides the support and camaraderie, belonging to business organizations can increase your business’s credibility. Many potential clients or customers view membership in relevant business groups as a sign that you’re an established business and accepted by your industry.
Now that we’ve convinced you that joining an organization is a great way to increase and improve your business, take a look at some of the wonderful local organizations that are available!
American Advertising Federation Lincoln
AAF Lincoln is celebrating more than 60 years of providing a platform in advertising and marketing. Recognized by the American Advertising Federation, club members receive affiliation and benefits with the AAF through their local membership.
If your business advertises, membership in AAF Lincoln could assist you as the changing scope of reaching consumers evolves. The club hosts nationally known keynote speakers each month along with offering seminars and workshops benefiting college students and professionals alike.
The club focuses in several advertising areas including Education, Legislation, Cultural Diversity and Public Service. AAF Lincoln brings events such as Taste of the Vine and Winterfest to our community in their fundraising efforts.
You can read more about the club, its initiatives and membership benefits at www.aaflincoln.org.
Being able to express yourself coherently and confidently is a critical skill in today’s business world. If you’re ready to enhance your communication skills, then Toastmasters is for you.
In Toastmasters, you’ll have the opportunity to speak on a regular basis. You will practice in a friendly, non-threatening environment, with other people who are there for the same reason.
Toastmasters is not just about speaking—it also about leadership development. You will enhance your listening and critical thinking skills. You’ll learn how to be more tactful when delivering constructive criticism—to lead and conduct meetings—and to think on your feet.
There are 18 Toastmasters Club meetings in Lincoln each week—morning, noon and night.
To find a club that works for you, go to www.toastmasters.org or call 402-440-3725 for more information.
Home Builders Association of Lincoln
With more than 500 member companies, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln (HBAL) promotes new homes and remodeling. Their annual Spring and Fall Parades and the Tour of Remodeled Homes are important to the membership since they promote the industry to the public. The Nebraska Builders Home & Garden Show is a tremendous benefit to those who belong to HBAL. Not only do members pay less for their booth than non-members, but they have priority in booth placement.
With the increase in regulations from the EPA and OSHA, the association offers education to keep members informed. HBAL promotes safety in the workplace and offers educational opportunities to build green and with increased energy efficiency.
To learn more about joining HBAL, go to www.hbal.org for a membership application and to see the many services of this 60-year-old builders association.
Professional Networking Group
If you ask someone what their number one way to get business is they will often tell you word of mouth. If you ask them how they activate their word of mouth, chances are that they look at you blankly. PNG does exactly that. Not look at you blankly, but rather we help you activate your company’s word of mouth by instantaneously setting you up with 20 teammates that will be on the lookout trying to find opportunities to spread the love of your company.
We have passed 1,000s of leads worth $100,000s of closed business in Lincoln alone over the past 12 months. We are currently looking at adding quality teammates to our six groups throughout Lincoln. We meet up every other week for an hour and believe in strengthening the core of Lincoln owned businesses.
For more information visit www.PNGLincoln.com.
Lincoln Human Resource Management Association
Network with over 300 professionals in Human Resources by attending monthly meetings of the Lincoln Human Resource Management Association (LHRMA). LHRMA is affiliated with the international Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) organization and holds meetings the second Tuesday of each month.
Some of the benefits of being an LHRMA member include: Professional development and legal tips, monthly newsletter, Area Wage and Salary Survey, Certification Study groups for PHR/SPHR/GPHR, Career Development, Diversity Programs, informational Web Site, Legislative Updates, Membership Directory, Scholarship Programs, and reduced fee to the Annual SHRM Nebraska State HR Conference.
LHRMA membership is an excellent way to keep up on the most current legislative/legal issues and other HR issues.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
NAIFA Tagline: Connections that Count!
The “National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors” (NAIFA) comprises more than 700 state and local associations including Lincoln. They represent and advocate on the interests of more than 200,000 members nationwide. Members focus their practices on one or more of the following: life insurance and annuities, financial advising and investments, multiline, and health insurance and employee benefits.
NAIFA connects you to the resources you need to be successful. We are your voice on Capitol Hill and in your backyard, fighting for a positive legislative and regulatory environment for insurance and financial professionals. We provide education and networking opportunities that help your business grow. Bottom line—NAIFA provides value for your membership!
Southeast Nebraska’s chapter (NAIFA-Cornhusker) meets in Lincoln monthly. This day members have an opportunity to participate in a meeting that consists of networking, expert breakout sessions usually with free continuing education, and a luncheon lunch including a peer speaker discussing sales ideas and how they became successful.
For information, please visit www.naifa-cornhusker.org
American Business Women Association
The goals of the American Business Women Association are to increase the business efficiency of all members; promote good relations between employers and employees; advance members in a social, business and educational way; and assist women to better themselves through professional development.
The Network Chapter accomplishes these goals by hosting monthly meetings with speakers and allowing time to network; hosting social events for members and guests; and granting scholarships to non-traditional students.
Monthly meetings are the first Tuesday of each month at 11:30 am at Parker’s Smokehouse.
For more information, contact Nancy Hanshaw at 402-327-7353 or Bea Seybert at 402-476-2572 or visit our website at http://www.abwalincoln.org/.
Lincoln Independent Business Association
LIBA offers numerous opportunities to network with other Lincoln business leaders. LIBA’s monthly Biz-Net events are free to attend and provide a great place to meet other local business people and City Council members. The people who attend Biz-Net are eager to have a discussion about your business. Because it is a free event, you can invite customers or vendors to attend and give them a chance to grow their businesses too.
The LIBA Referral Networks (LRN) offers a more personal method for you to expand your sales team by educating other LRN members about your business. These groups do more than just exchange business cards. They also offer marketing ideas that get results and discuss events in Lincoln’s business community.
Yes there is more, including the monthly LIBA luncheon where you have the chance to have lunch with hundreds of business and community leaders every month. We would like to add your voice to our organization. Business memberships are under $250 a year and individuals who believe in a conservative approach to government are also encouraged to join for only $100. Call Coby Mach at 466-3419 or see our website at http://liba.org/
Lincoln Chamber of Commerce
Our mission is to promote a positive business climate in Lincoln, serving as the primary advocate for business growth and a constructive partner working with government and education.
We represent the entire Lincoln business community and provide our members with a significant return on investment. We support the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group, Lincoln’s Specialty Care and the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau in their missions to create economic growth and vitality.
We support performance-based business incentives, fiscal responsibility at all levels of government and routine reviews of governmental efficiency and spending. The UNL Bureau of Business Research in 2009, concluded that a LCOC member can expect roughly $3.44 in return for every $1 invested.
For more information, contact Paul Miloni, 402.437.7835 or visit www.LCOC.com.
International Association of Administrative Professionals – Cornhusker Chapter
The International Association of Administrative Professionals (www.iaap-hq.org) is a not-for-profit professional association with approximately 28,000 members worldwide. Our mission is to enhance the success of career-minded administrative professionals through growth in education, community building and leadership development.
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church will be the location of the Cornhusker Chapter’s Office Professionals Event entitled Passion & Purpose – A Celebration of Office Professionals on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Plan to join us for a business vendor show, one-hour workshops, and a luncheon with Aaron Davis, owner of Aaron Davis Presentations, Inc. as the key-note speaker.
It is crucial, now more than ever, for you to continue your education in order to remain competitive. Are you ready to network with experts from a variety of related fields; raise your individual professional self-esteemed image then join us for our monthly meetings or contact us at Cornhusker Chapter of IAAP, www.cornhuskeriaap.org.
Kiwanis Clubs in Lincoln
Looking for a way to actively provide support for the children in our community? The Kiwanis clubs in Lincoln offer that opportunity and so much more! Engage young people with your time and experience. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.
To learn more about becoming an active member of Kiwanis, contact one the following clubs:
Lincoln Capital City: President Daryl Swanson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 486-1827
Lincoln Center: President Dave Merrill, Regvs1@ix.netcom.com, 423-9491
Lincoln Cornhusker: President Tom Trauthen, email@example.com, 782-8959
Lincoln Golden K: President Russ Brauer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 486-2308
Lincoln Northeast : President John Hay, email@example.com, 992-0947
Lincoln Southeast : President Ken Lytle, firstname.lastname@example.org, 421-3301
Lincoln South Pointe: President Jeff Pippitt, email@example.com, 436-2457
Lincoln Sunrise: President Kelly Stahly, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-6325
Women Business Owners Network of Lincoln
The mission of the organization is to provide a positive, supportive environment, relevant programming and networking opportunities. Membership is open to women business owners, key partners in business, students or women considering self-employment. Educational programming includes developing your business introduction, marketing, financing/record keeping, social networking, and retirement planning. The annual Marketing College is open to both members and non-members. “WBON Lites” are held quarterly and focus on a specific conflict that female entrepreneurs face as a result of the conflicting messages that society presents.
For additional information about Women Business Owners Network visit our website at www.wbon.us or call 402-434-7926. Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at The Knolls.
BNI of the Heartland
BNI of the Heartland (Nebraska, Wyoming, Western South Dakota, and Southwest Iowa) offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, business referrals. Currently with 35 chapters, nearly 800 members passed over 25000 referrals which generated over $12 million in closed business in 2010. That is an average of $484 per referral and 33 referrals per member, making the average seat worth nearly $16,000…over 4000% return on investment!!!
Belonging to BNI is like having dozens of sales people working for you that carry your business cards with them, and when they meet someone who could use your products or services, they take out your card and recommend you.
BNI provides a structured and supportive system of giving and receiving business. It does so by providing an environment in which you develop personal relationships with dozens of other qualified business professionals. By establishing this “formal” relationship with other people, you will have the opportunity to substantially increase your business.