IN THE COMMUNITY
Building relationships, gaining knowledge just part of the takeaway
Every Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at Karma & Coconuts art boutique and gift shop in Cape Coral, a group of local business leaders and business owners—with small to midsize businesses—meet for an hour. They listen to talks and offer insights during their weekly meeting of the Cape Crusaders chapter of Master Networks, which is a membership network of learning-based, service-oriented entrepreneurs and business leaders. Margie Tann is president of Cape Crusaders. She says, “Most all members arrive about 15 to 20 minutes early and usually stay after to network more.” Tann, who owns Florida Insurance and Financial Services, adds, “We have coffee and water available at the meetings, and oftentimes a member will bring in a sweet for all to enjoy.” Members come from a wide variety of fields, including construction and trades, personal services, real estate and legal services. Ages range from early 20s to mid-70s, with a balanced mix of men and women. Interestingly, the group is “industry exclusive,” meaning there is only one person, per occupation, at a time in the chapter. Once a potential member is accepted, there is a onetime cost of $150 to join, and then the member pays dues of $49.95 per month. Affiliate rewards, however, can be earned to offset many, if not all, costs. The group isn’t all about business. Members are also a bit like a work family and meet up for after-hours events, monthly socials, holiday gatherings and annual events.
Brian Solt is the regional director of the Florida South Region of Master Networks and establishes, grows and promotes chapters throughout the area. “There are many benefits of joining this group, such as gaining a wider network, getting referrals, and receiving training, as well as growing confidence and increasing relationships,” explains Solt.
As the saying goes, people do business with those who they know, like and trust. “It’s a lot more than just handing someone a business card,” Tann adds.