The purpose of the Business Development Club (BDC) is to help business leaders develop business communications, mentor its members, build business relationships among its members, set goals, network, and build referral skills. Membership
Members make a commitment to each other, which precludes membership in another referral club. The total membership of BDC is limited to 45. Candidates for membership should desire to grow their businesses, share and receive ideas and pass referrals.
Visitors whose classifications are open may visit the club twice at no expense before joining.
Visitors receive an application after their first visit and are expected to return a completed application with an application fee on their second visit if they are interested in joining. Visitor/Applicant should not attend the third meeting so club can open floor to approval of member.
Membership is restricted to one person representing each business classification. It is open only to individuals representing their primary occupation.
Current members with concerns about a visitor’s classification conflicting with their classification should notify the Visitor/Member Host during the visitation period.
Applicants being voted into the group will be inducted at the next appointed meeting. Annual dues will be due before the induction meeting. Those not asked to join the club will be notified.
An individual or business may own a membership. Membership is owned by whoever pays the annual membership dues. Businesses owning a membership may replace the person occupying the membership at no additional cost subject to club approval of new member.
A prospective member must carry general liability insurance in their company name. If their company has more than three employees, the prospective member must carry workers compensation insurance. It is highly recommended if the member is of a classification that has local and state associations, the member be an active member and in good standing with the associations. If a member is discovered to be unlicensed or uninsured it is grounds for dismissal.
Prospective members must have a minimum of one year’s experience in the industry they wish to represent OR be employed with a company that has been in business one year.
A member may resign by filing a written resignation to the Chapter Secretary. Membership dues or breakfast dues paid will not be refunded.
The Board after five days’ notice and for cause may, by a majority vote of its members, suspend or discontinue any member.
Each member pays annual dues as set by the Board. Changes in dues are made by the Board. The Board may choose to not offer the option of renewing a membership. The member will be notified in writing prior to the conclusion of the initial term.
The Board may grant a leave of absence, relieving a member from obligation to pay breakfast fees for a temporary period for prolonged illness or other causes the Senior Advisory Board deems sufficient.
Each member pays breakfast dues subject to the cost of the facility at which it meets. Members more than 30 days late forfeit their membership. Breakfast dues are to be paid in advance and are due regardless of whether the member eats or not. Members pay breakfast dues on a monthly basis via automatic credit/debit card transaction.
The Membership Committee is composed of the President, Membership/Visitor Host and Secretary. They are the final authority on classification issues.
Each member is allowed a maximum of three absences with a substitute and three absences without a substitute per six-month period. The six-month periods run from January 1 to June 30 and July 1 to December 31. An absence with substitute is when a member is unable to attend a meeting and they have a substitute attend in their place. Substitutes must be prepared to give an infomercial for the member’s business, share BDC activities on the member’s behalf and participate in the brain sparking. Members may not have more than three unrepresented absences. Members may not substitute for other members. Members exceeding six absences in six months forfeit their membership. Expelled members may reapply. Membership Committee has the discretion to approve or disapprove any reapplications. Payment of annual membership fee and application fee will apply to reapplications. Absences of prior employee in a business owned membership do not count against the replacement employee of the same membership.
Habitual late arrival or early departure may be grounds for forfeiting membership (as determined necessary by Senior Advisors). Arriving after 7:30 am or leaving before 8:00 am will count as an absence.
An Emergency Leave of Absence will only be considered for members who are current on both membership and breakfast dues. Members who need an emergency leave should apply in writing to the Membership Committee. Businesses that lose an employee occupying a business owned membership will be considered for an Emergency Leave of Absence and should also apply in writing to the Membership/Visitor Host. An Emergency Leave of Absence granted to a business membership will not exceed 6 weeks. Greater than six weeks must be approved by the Senior Advisors. The Membership Committee has the right to grant an Emergency Leave of Absence. The Membership Committee may forward a request to the Senior Advisory Board if desired. Dues will continue to be paid during the leave.
Members changing classification or their company will submit a new application to the membership committee for approval. Their former classification will be reopened for a candidate for membership. A company “name change only” does not require approval.
Membership is a privilege. Each member is expected to act in a professional manner with integrity, honesty, respect and courtesy. Members are asked to refrain from offensive jokes or comments in the meeting. Meetings are positive and members should show respect and support for each other.
Meeting dress is business casual attire. This specifically prohibits denim, shorts, t-shirts, and athletic shoes. (Further guidance may be provided by the meeting facility.)
Members are required to have a referral or an activity every meeting. Members must pass at least one referral every four weeks. Failure to do so is sufficient cause for termination of membership.
Members are expected to respond to referrals quickly and professionally. Members are encouraged to do business with each other. Members should not offer or pay referral fees to other members.
- Bringing qualified guests eligible for membership (If a member brings a guest who does not qualify for membership, the member will be billed for their guest’s breakfast.)
- Meeting with other members outside of the weekly meetings
- Providing door prizes for the meeting.
- Direct business to another member
- Referring business to another member (direct referrals, not leads)
- Leaving a positive review online (Google, Angie’s List, Facebook, etc.)
- A donation to Special Olympics of $25 or more
Club meetings are held weekly from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on the day established by the Board and chapter members. Members are encouraged to arrive by 7:00 a.m. to network and meet new guests.
The club meets approximately 50 times a year depending on holidays and is encouraged to have socials outside the regular meetings to promote loyalty and fellowship.
The club may, at the discretion of the Board, support other regional, state and local organizations and activities, which promote business development and passing referrals. Business may be submitted to a vote of the Board at any regularly scheduled Board meeting or at a special meeting called by the Board with at least five days’ notice.
Officers and Elections Senior Advisory Board The Board consists of the current President, the current Vice President and the previous three Presidents. The Board will meet monthly or as needed. Special meetings of the Board require a minimum of five days’ notice. Board members do not receive comped dues for their roles as board members. Leadership Team The club leadership team shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, Education Coordinator, Membership/Visitor Host, and Sergeant at Arms. Terms of office are one year. Senior Advisors reserve the right to make changes prior to completion of the year.
The Membership Committee is composed of the President, Membership/Visitor Host, and Secretary.
Officer and Leadership Team Responsibilities
When a Chapter reaches 25 members, the President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership/Visitor Host, Education Coordinator, and Sergeant at Arms receive complimentary memberships for the term of office, retroactive to the start of the term once the Chapter is certified. If a role is shared by two members, the annual dues are divided equally between those serving in the roles. Example: If two people share the duties of Education Coordinator, half of their annual dues will be comped.
- President is appointed by the Board.
- Conducts all chapter meetings.
- Appoints the Leadership Team.
- Ensures the Leadership Team is fulfilling their responsibilities.
- Prepares a written meeting agenda following the Board-approved agenda.
- E-mails each new member a welcome letter.
- Schedules brain-sparking recipients and success story speakers.
- Conducts brain-sparking sessions.
- Obtains written profiles from each member and e-mails them with three questions from the recipient to the members one week before the scheduled brain-sparking session.
- Conducts meetings in the president’s absence. Officer and Leadership Team Responsibilities (continued)
- Records attendance, late arrivals or early departures at each meeting and promptly reports it to the President, Membership/Visitor Host and Board no later than the day after each meeting.
- Alerts the Membership Committee when a member is absent two, three or four times in a six month period.
- Sends e-mail advisory letters to members when in violation of attendance guidelines.
- Sends e-mail notices to members that they have forfeited membership on a fourth absence in six months with copies to the President, Membership Committee and BDC Bookkeeper.
The Education Coordinator
- Arranges the ten-minute educational content of the meeting.
- Schedules members to speak on business topics of interest to members.
- Arranges occasional outside speakers to speak on business topics.
The Membership/Visitor Host
- Arrives at the meetings at 6:50 a.m. to greet visitors and make them welcome.
- Has visitors sign the visitor sheet and provides them temporary name badges.
- Introduces visitors during the meeting and explains club dues and breakfast fees.
- Emails visitors an application packets with letter.
- Processes applications, checks references and remits applications and $25 application fee to the BDC Bookkeeper within seven days.
- Inducts new members using BDC Induction sheet.
- Forwards application of newly inducted member, membership fees and Credit Card Authorization form to BDC Bookkeeper.
- Provides new member with a copy of BDC Bylaws.
- Chairs the Membership Committee and works with the Membership Committee to enforce the attendance policy and warns members who are in danger of exceeding the allowed absences.
- Works with the Membership Committee to evaluate complaints about members. If the committee receives a complaint, they bring the member in to hear the other side of the complaint. Their purpose is to bring the two members together to solve the complaint.
- Warns members who behave in an unethical manner or are in violation of the bylaws.
- Reviews weekly Secretary’s report and, when necessary, requests Secretary to issue Cancellation of Membership letters.
The Sergeant at Arms
- Opens the meeting, greets everyone, reminds everyone to turn off pagers and cell phones, explains the mission and purpose of the BDC and introduces the President.
- Times all speakers and members infomercials.
- Handles the music and video portions of the meeting.