The Connect Now Business Network is a locally founded and operated business networking group. The focus of CNBN is business networking in the form of lunch meetups, professional development, and sponsored events. An online community was growing for quite some time, and finally in 2012, the group began face-to-face meetings. See diversity statement here.
- The First Rule of Connect Now is to stay positive! (see below)
- RSVP and follow registration instructions for all events.
- Communications among members must be compliant with the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) at all times.
- A meal purchase is required for our business networking lunches. If you are unable to eat the food available, please purchase a meal and take it home to someone else, or some other creative idea of your choice. Please do not attend if you are unable to purchase a meal.
- CNBN Members is for one business per person per year. Each person cannot represent multiple businesses or organizations. Only present one business at the meetings in your power intro and in your materials.
- When conducting your 20 second speech, please only present 1 (one) business / topic. As mentioned throughout our policies, if you have a primary B2B or B2C and a C2C, only present your B2B or B2C. You can mention your other ventures as you get to know people.
- Have cash ready for your meetup fee upon arrival. You will not be admitted unless you pay your meetup fee.
- Get all materials authorized at check-in before distributing.
- When distributing materials, you can only distribute information about one business, which must be your own business, and not another person’s business. Do not distribute materials for a business owner who is not present or who is not a member. Do not distribute materials for multiple businesses.
- Please tip your server accordingly. This helps our group to remain welcomed by the restaurant owners and staff.
- Spotlight! Spotlights are where one Connect Now Business Network member is featured for 3 – 5 minutes maximum. Spotlights are invited and scheduled by the leader. Spotlights can only be B2B or B2C businesses, not MLMs, network marketing, or C2C type businesses.
- Speaking is different than a spotlight. Speaking spots are only available at lunch & Learns or evening events. If you are interested in speaking, you must submit a speaker application HERE. Only those who meet the full criteria will be contacted. Speaking spots are limited and in no way guaranteed. The Founder approves and schedules all speaking spots. An application must be approval before approaching leaders for speaking opportunities.
- If you approach someone about your business opportunity and they say no, do not approach them again with repeated or new offers.
- Violation of any Connect Now policies or rules, not limited to this page, may result in termination of membership, at the sole discretion of Founder, Jennifer Henczel.
- Polices may be changed or updated at the discretion of Connect Now Business Network and in consideration of the needs of the group. Rules may be updated at the sole discretion of Founder, Jennifer Henczel.
- CNBN strives to bring people together to build entrepreneureal circles of support, build relationships, build community, and build business. However, CNBN is not a non-profit or government funded organization in any way. It is 100% a marketing brand of and subsidized by Jennifer Henczel. We do not have the resources of large government funded organizations. Please be respectful of all involved, and enter meetings with the expectations that you are responsible for the connections that you make and keep.
The First Rule of Connect Now is to stay positive! Be a leader. Be yourself. Be energized by other local business owners. Got something to complain about? How about being the solution. Don’t entertain negative gossip. Help others turn negatives into positives. Be the This method of networking can greatly increase your connections and reach in the community. Choose your battles wisely. Remember, it’s just lunch. You never know who is struggling and needs some grace and some space. Let’s be there for each other. As a leader, be sure to lift others up. Be on your best behavior. Please remember that this group is run by a single volunteer and sole-proprietor, just like you. As an entrepreneur and business owner, this group was founded and is lead by, Jennifer Henczel, for the benefit of it’s members. Inspire others: “Leaders build up. Complainers tear down. Leaders inspire, complainers conspire.”
It’s against the existing rules and, well standard business practices, to pound people with the same thing over and over again, specifically when they have said no repeatedly. Bad behavior is bad for business. If anyone is found doing this, their membership will cease.
How is the group structured?
This is a low-cost, affordable meet-up networking membership model. Meetup fees are $5 members and $10 non-members
How do I RSVP for a meetup or event?
Registration is required for all Connect Now Business Network events at least one week in advance. You can RSVP through Meetup or Facebook Events here:
FACEBOOK EVENTS: https://www.facebook.com/fraservalleybusiness/events
MEETUP GROUPS: http://www.meetup.com/Fraser-Valley-Business-Network/
- People who do not RSVP will not be permitted.
- People who repeatedly try to show up to meetups without RSVPing, their membership may be revoked.
- Summits and other larger events will have earlier enrollment dates.
- Please also note that some of the events also require pre-payment through the website, in addition to RSVPing online, so read the instructions for each event carefully: www.connectnownetwork.com/calendar
Please respect the policies and culture of the the group, while using best business practices and etiquette. The benefits for you is expanding your reach. Our group is based on reciprocity and a philosophy and community and collaboration. Those who only show up whenever they feel like it, with no RSVP, and only for their personal gain, are being rude and disrespectful to the leaders, fellow members, and visitors. Don’t just be a taker. Most of our members RSVP, so if you are doing that, this message is not for you, it’s for those who continually show up without RSVPing. If you do not want to follow the rules, then perhaps this group isn’t for you.
What type of group is this?
The Connect Now Business Network program is is a low-cost, affordable business meetup networking model.
Is there exclusivity for industries or types of businesses?
No. In this low cost model, there is no exclusivity. However, with the variety of events and locations everyone will find a place where they can thrive.
How do the networking lunch meetups work?
- Upon arrival you pay your Connect Now Business Network meetup fee and give one business card for the draw.
- Networking starts at 11:15 AM.
- At 11:45 PM we order our food.
- Spotlight! One Connect Now Business Network member will be featured for 3 – 5 minutes maximum. Spotlights are invited and scheduled by the leader. Spotlights can only be B2B or B2C businesses, not MLMs, network marketing, or C2C type businesses.
- While waiting for and during meals, each person says their 20 second “elevator speech.”
- Important note: Each person who attends the business networking lunch is required to purchase a meal.
- Enjoy your meals and continue networking until apx. 1:30 – 2:00, depending on the number of people who attend.
- Please note: each person is responsible for paying their lunch bill directly to the restaurant at the end of each meet-up**
How do I compose my 20 second speech?
Click here for additional information about ideas for composing and delivering your 20 second speech. Focus on only 1 item per 20 second speech. If you have an event or other item to promote, mention it briefly after introducing your business. Your entire presentation must only take 20 seconds. Members can attend early and distribute information at each place setting. If you want to do this, please get authorization for your materials first from the Group Manager before distributing them.
Distributing Materials – Important note for those attending Connect Now Business Network meetups:
Only paid annual members can distribute materials. If you are a member, you can attend a few minutes early to put materials out on each place setting. Get all materials authorized by showing them to the host on the way in before distributing them. Do not distribute any materials that are not from your own business. Do not distribute materials for another business or business owner who is not in attendance. Only those in attendance are allowed to distribute materials. If you’ve had a marketing piece authorized, then you don’t need to get it authorized each time; authorization is only needed for new materials. External materials–those from businesses that are not in attendance, will not be authorized. Example Questions and Answers:
Q. “Can I distribute materials for a person I know who couldn’t make it today?” A. “No.”
Q. “Can I distribute materials for a business owner who can’t make it on Wednesdays?” A. “No.”
Q. “Can I distribute materials for both my business and my spouses business? A. “Only if your spouse is a member, and they are present at the meeting. Otherwise, no.
If you still need clarification about this or any other Connect Now Business Network topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.
When do I need to become a member?
Many people sign up right away, but some people would like to try it out before they join, so new visitors may attend 1 (one) Connect Now Business Network event maximum, before become a member. This is not a complimentary visit. Visitors must pay the attendance fees. Connect Now Business Network events include meetups, summits, masterminds, or any event provided by Connect Now Business Network. You must become a member to receive the member benefits and to continue attending.
What’s the focus of this business networking group?
The focus is to connect reputable business owners and managers for the purpose of enriching the community and exchanging referrals. The focus and intention of the Connect Now Business Network is for B2B and B2C business owners to connect. If you have a business and a C2C/MLM, please present your business (sole-proprietorship, partnership, or corporation) during your 20 second speech. As you build relationships, if you want to talk about your other ventures along the way, you can do that during one-on-one and group conversations. If you have no B2B and B2C business, and only a C2C/MLM type business, then feel free to present that. The important thing is that you must only present 1 (one) business during your 20 second speech.
Where do the meetup fees go?
The meet-up and membership fees go towards expenses and operation of the the Connect Now Business Network. For example: domain, web hosting, website, Meet-up.com account, Constant Contact email newsletter, social media marketing, SEO, equipment, printed materials (business cards, handouts, postcards, banners, etc), bags, draw prizes, promotional activities, administrative costs, operation costs, travel costs, staff and sub-contractor costs, and other technical costs.
Invoices and Receipts
We don’t create or provide invoices. We provide receipts that are generated by our payment system, which are 100% compliant with CRA. For live networking meetups, when people pay cash at our events, the leader of each group provides receipts from their own company. Posting the GST# is not required on receipts, because we are not a non-profit, but the leaders do provide it on their receipts. As the owner of the network and leader of the Abbotsford chapter, I put my GST on my receipts for those things. Also, when memberships are purchased manually, a digital receipt is generated, as mentioned above. If you received a receipt that does not have the GST# on it, you can see it here: GST 885937292 RT 0001
Is this a non-profit or community group?
No. This is not a registered charity, non-profit, or society. There are no committees or boards. To be very clear, the Connect Now Business Network is not structured as a community group, and is a program offered by Jennifer Henczel. Most meetups find it too costly to become registered as a non-profit. As with many meet-up groups, the income and expenses are accounted for through the sole proprietorship or corporation of the founder, in compliance with CRA. In this case, this group was founded by and is operated by Jennifer Henczel of Affective Communications (AC). Fraser Valley Business Network and Marketing Motivator are marketing brands, services, and programs offerd by AC. The Connect Now Business Network was founded by Jennifer Henczel, as a service of her sole proprietorship. Revenues are absorbed and reported by a private, for profit business. She alone operates the group, sets program policies, hosts the meet-ups and other group activities. As with any business service, Jennifer Henczel makes up any extra costs associated with Connect Now Business Network programs, and absorbs any profits that may be generated by the Connect Now Business Network. While she often takes group feedback into consideration, and implements many of the suggestions, all final decisions in regards to the group are made by Jennifer Henczel. Please feel free to contact Jennifer Henczel with any questions about the structure of the group: 778-823-2421
How are the funds processed and allocated?
Revenues do not go to a charity. Revenues are absorbed and reported by a private, for profit business in compliance with CRA. With that said, this is intentionally a low cost model, and little if any profit is not expected. Any monetary benefits are expected only from the nature of networking itself.
However, the founder is involved with community volunteering, so fund raising opportunities may be introduced into the group now and then. The fees are on the low end of standard pricing in the industry and are intended for maintenance, towards the mutual benefit of all members, as described in the associated costs above.
Although the the Connect Now Business Network program is technically operated as a profitable business, significant revenues are reinvested back into the Group with regards to raising the Group’s profile within the local business community. We can all agree that the greater the Group’s profile, the more business opportunities there will be for everyone.
Meeting fees and membership payments are not transferable and are not refundable in any way. If you RSVP for a meeting and can’t make it, your $5 is not refundable and cannot be transferred to another meeting or event.
The following Polices are introduced to help the Group run more smoothly and many of the ideas have been requested or first put forward by other Group Members.
When you join our Group, you will be a valued member. Any ideas you may have to help the group achieve it’s objectives, will always be welcome and given the due consideration it deserves.
We are fortunate to have so many amazing create people associated with this group. Your ideas are valuable. Where the request or idea requires further investigation, the member who first raised the idea/suggestion, will be asked to look into it further. This approach helps ensure that members fully consider their ideas before bringing them up for review.
All visitors and members must adhere to the policies on this page, standard business etiquette. The list of questions and policies here are not exhaustive, but posted as a guideline to provide some initial direction. if additional concerns are raised with you by the management of the group, you will be responsible for responding appropriately. For example, If a member repeatedly shows up to meetups without RSVPing their membership may be revoked. The policies and guidelines here may be updated and changed at the discretion of the group management.
As a member of this group, you are responsible for being professional and courteous to the restaurant staff and facilities. If you have a problem with the restaurant, report it to me–Jennifer Henczel. It is critical that we keep good working relationships with the business owners.
Connect with other Connect Now Business Networkers between meetups and events
Connect Now Business Network Facebook GROUP: facebook.com/groups/fraservalleybusinessnetwork
Connect Now Business Network PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/fraservalleybusiness
Connect Now Business Network Linkedin Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Official-Fraser-Valley-Business-Network-3927207
Jennifer Henczel Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/fraservalleybusinessnetwork
Jennifer Henczel’s Responsibilities
Here is a peak at the list of duties are complete on a regular basis:
- Enforcement of Connect Now Business Network policies
- Maintains the website
- planning and promoting the meetings
- Curriculum development
- Presentations (Mastermind Groups)
- Liaison with venue owners and guest speakers (Mastermind Groups)
- All administration, including setting up and providing a system that issues receipts.
- Developing Marketing literature and overseeing the Group Marketing Plan.
- Preparing weekly Meeting Agendas.
- Helping to ensure lunch Meetings and mastermind groups run smoothly and on time.
- Recording weekly, Member and Guest visits and ensuring fees are paid.
- Preparing facilities for lunch Meetings and other Member events.
- Member presentation and what assistance they are looking for.
- Processing new Members and ensuring subscriptions are up-to-date.
- Recording and processing member suggestions and ideas.
- Introducing new policies as needed.
RE: Women’s Groups
Most of our meetups are co-ed, but occassionally we have Women’s only meetups. Please refer to the BC Human Rights Coalition: (http://www.bchrcoalition.org/files/lawoverview.html) under the “Exemptions, Exceptions and Special Programs” section: “All human rights legislation allows for certain exemptions. The BC Code exempts organizations that provide housing, employment, and services to an identified group (such as women only) where those services are meant to address past disadvantage.”
How can I contact the person running the meetings?
Contact Jennifer Henczel via email or phone 778-823-2421.
These policies will be added to and change as the group progresses. Please check back often.