Jan Carpenter, Owner and Creative Director at Cork Tree Creative, understands the impact networking can make in the community. Not only does networking help grow her marketing and public relations firm, it also opens up a referral network that can be used for Cork Tree Creative clients in the entire St. Louis area. BNI, Business Network International, believes in the motto “Giver’s Gain”. Essentially this means that helping other BNI members will in turn start to develop a larger network of referral “partners”, communicating needs and cultivating new relationships. 

Since April of 2014, Jan has developed outstanding relationships with at least 40 other businesses because of the local BNI Chapter based out of Belleville, IL also serving Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, St. Louis and beyond. And that number will continue to grow. Professionals in the BNI group are not only accessible to the Cork Tree Creative services, but Jan is learning about other organizations that she potentially can refer to her own clients outside her marketing agency’s scope. For example, realtors, business coaches and more attend BNI regularly. Also, BNI has a nationwide presence that gives members the option to meet professionals everywhere, not just locally. 

Other benefits BNI chapters have to offer are regular networking meetings, educational resources including newsletters and public speaking engagements, as well as free periodic workshops to help extend the reach of networking efforts. For Jan, it’s been a great way to learn about other businesses and share her knowledge on graphic design, website design, social media services and search engine optimization. 

Interested in joining a BNI group? Contact Jan Carpenter for more information at Jan@corktreecreative.com or give her a call at (618) 656-7333. Jan also welcomes interested parties to join her for an upcoming meeting to learn more. Breakfast meetings are at 7:45 a.m. in Belleville, offering wonderful food and a chance to connect with over 30 area business leaders. You can also access general information at the BNI website www.bni.com. Make 2015 a great year to grow your business, share talents and learn from others too!