Nancy Boyle: I’m Nancy Boyle and I’m the Director of the Small Business Resource Network, or more affectionately known as SBRN. SBRN is a membership organization. It’s made up of accountants, business attorneys, commercial lenders, commercial insurance agents, business consultants, and government or non-profit organizations, some select corporations that all serve the small business community. Our mission is to help the business owner get connected to the right resources to help them grow and expand their business.
So, it could be something as simple as making a connection with the Small Business Development Center where they can come, meet with a consultant. There’s no charge for those services. Or maybe, it’s a low-cost training program or it could be that you need legal help and we can refer them to the appropriate attorney. They need an accountant, we can get an accountant that fits in with their type of business. Lender, everybody needs financing and so we can connect them with the people within the banks who actually make the loans. So, the purpose of the network is really to get that business owner connected to the right place.
From the member’s perspective, it creates an environment or group that they can rely on not only for helping them in their businesses but to help their clients. So, our members, it’s really about creating long-term trusting relationships with other professionals who have a similar client base. So, you know, in surveying our members, normally you would think, “Oh, I’m joining this membership organization because I want to get referrals to build my business.” But really, the number one reason why people get involved is because of the friendships that they make and the reliability that they have on those friendships to help them in their business.
You know, I might be an accountant but I might be working with a client who has a legal question. I can pick up the phone, call one of my lawyer friends. They can answer the question for me and I’ve helped my client. When you become that hub of the wheel almost for your clients, doesn’t matter what they need, they can come to you and say, “I need whatever,” and you can refer them out and get them connected within one or two phone calls. You’re the hero.