SSBI is an organization that was created 20+ years ago in Washington, DC to help small business growth through first and foremost, educational events, and secondly a way for people to relate to each other and to know where to go when they had either business or personal needs. Through the years the Initiative has grown and offers a variety of different types of services for our members and the community.

We have four main focuses: Marketing, Support, Relationship Building, and Training. Starting at the top:

Marketing: We give members an opportunity to showcase their businesses and expertise through writing articles for our newsletter; they can be interviewed on our Internet TV talk show; they can present at our roundtable discussions; and they can network at all our various meetings.

Support: Through our Mastermind programs, our members are placed in a group of five businesses where they share celebrations, concerns, and become integral partners in each other’s business growth.

Relationship Building: Each one of our meetings and programs was created with the idea that people do business with people they know and trust. This takes time and effort – none of us wants to work with someone that we don’t understand and are afraid to share with. This is where the referral process comes in. However, we are not (and have NEVER been) a strong contact network that focuses on the provision of referrals. We do not pass referrals at our meetings, although we do give referrals to other contacts when something comes up that is pertinent. Even in our Tuesday morning and Thursday lunch time groups they are about providing knowledge, expertise and forward thinking business relationships. If we have 10 bankers, or 6 financial planners – all the better! We are NOT competitors; each person has a unique ability/experience that they bring to the table – the better for us all to learn from.

Training: This division focuses on the fact that even if we think we know everything there is to know about something, we don’t. The world is always changing and improving. By attending our roundtable discussions we get to learn from the experts while sharing our thoughts and experiences on different subjects as well. Our Toastmaster’s program will be starting soon; here people who are afraid to get out there and talk will learn how to talk to others, make presentations and learn how to promote their own businesses confidently and comfortably. Our business development program is working at the moment on teaching people what to do when they meet someone. Where do you put those business cards? What do you do with them when you get them? Our annual Conference is filled with knowledgeable speakers talking on subjects that are of importance to us all as small businesses.

 

 


Our Programs

Insight Mastermind (one must be an SSBI member to take advantage of this group)

One aspect of the Initiative, Insight, is an Advisory Board -- a group of your peers (4-6) hand picked for their knowledge, skills and/or influence in similar industries, where the group can share their thoughts, feelings, experience and more with each other. The Board offers “guidance” and functions as an operational Board of Directors.

Through the sharing of thoughts and goals with a small group of respected advisors, businesses involved in Insight learn how to put first things first, optimize their capability and widen their circle of influence. They find win/win situations while developing an abundance mentality.

 

Mission statement:

 

1) To help small business owners understand their particular business and their customers more thoroughly.

…..each of us should be prepared to share our individual knowledge and previous experiences with the group.


2) To cultivate and spread ideas to help others achieve greater results.

…..we will brainstorm ideas, share thoughts and work to help fellow members identify problems and anticipate solutions.


 

Roundtable Discussions (members come for free -- nonmembers pay a small attendance fee)

Another part of the Initiative is monthly networking and educational forums where experts in their field present information on topics of interest to small business owners and managers. Areas such as health insurance, marketing, management and more are all envisioned to be on the agenda in the coming months. Previous sessions have been held on networking, the use of alternative methods to grow cashflow (use of credit cards), taxes 101, and others. All businesses are welcome.

Networking Groups (may visit 2 times prior to joining)

Have you ever wished that you had your own sales and marketing staff, but just didn't think you could afford to hire a team to go out and sell your products or services for you? With this weekly program you find that you build the rapport and trust with other businesses so that you become a salesman for them while they refer you to their friends and colleagues. Since we all have at least 200+ members in our sphere of influence, your company name and what you sell will be marketed many times over -- without it costing you a penny!

Business Development Program (members come for free -- nonmembers pay a small attendance fee)

These are a series of once a month workshops to help small business improve their businesses through the learning of skills such as networking protocols, creation of elevator speeches, budget creation, etc.) These are not limited to one of a kind participation.

Other, non-regular events and activities

Our annual conference generates great attendance with speakers, vendors and more. This once a year all day event has presenters talking on such subjects as Networking, Marketing, Branding, Sales, The Roles of Entrepreneurs, Time Scheduling and More. Generally scheduled for March or April, this event is not to be missed.

Want to be a TV star? SSBI has started our Internet TV program where we interview different members on their business and how that business can help support us as we grow and prosper.

The monthly newsletter, Office to Office, provides its readers with timely information and advice on topics such as IT and computer services, new and interesting software, how to create marketing plans, ways to cold call and what to do now that you have a LinkedIn account. Aspiring writers who want to show their expertise on a subject are invited to send us articles for the newsletter (but you have to be a member first).