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Hub Firm

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“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” ~~Jack Welch

Just as no man is an island, no (or almost no) business transaction takes place in a vacuum.  There is usually a preceding and following event (or three.)  In the book The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret the author, Ivan Misner, refers to the concept of a hub firm at the center of these events.

Hub firms take time to develop and rely heavily on trust and competence.  In the hub firm model, one company has the relationship with the client and coordinates business across other companies in order to assist the client with those other transactions.

Hub firms cover a wide-range of situations—towing to a repair shop, power-washing before painting, and cleaning up after construction are a few everyday examples.  These are simple partnership arrangements while the true hub firm is more complex.  Let me give you two examples of these.

Consider the Financial Planner who works with a variety of clients.  Some of these are people who are staring a new business. A typical Financial Planner might recommend that the client find some resources and may have a few loose recommendations.  The savvy Financial Planner, however, has already aligned herself with a CPA, a business attorney, and a business banker, for example.  These professionals can all meet the client at once and map out a cohesive startup strategy.  Certainly, any member of the team can drive the hub relationship for their clients, as well.  This team approach provides competitive advantage and can save the client time and (usually) money, as well.  At the right point in the process they can introduce web designers, graphic designers, advertising specialists, and so on.

A second example has to do with a hub firm Realtor.  In this scenario, we have a home-owner who is listing their house.  The Realtor can mobilize a carpet cleaner, moving and storage company, and interior designer as follows.  The moving and storage company gets “clutter” and bulky items out of the home and into storage.  The carpet cleaner freshens up the floors and the painter does the same for the walls.   The landscaper improves curb appeal and the interior designer stages the home for quicker sale.  The Realtor coordinates these efforts and can utilize these pros, as needed.

Both of these identify the power of the hub firm model.  Not every client requires all the members of the team.  The hub firm “quarterbacks” those efforts.  Building a hub team takes time and commitment.  These trusted partners must maintain the integrity of the whole team with each project.

Your action step this week is to begin to build your hub team.  Consider some of your best clients and what needs they have and who you know that can help.  In some cases you will need to coordinate existing relationships.  In some cases you will need to replace existing relationships.  In still others you will need to establish and develop new relationships.  The effort is well-worth the trouble.

© 2011 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

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Written by bniguy

December 4, 2011 at 2:37 am

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