By Dominick Giambona
What is BTN?
Helping others, that is how this whole thing got started. Laura, Paul McKelvey’s sister, would be asked, “Do you know a good window washer? A Rain gutter guy? A plumber?” She didn’t but she knew Paul did.
It got to the point they had a list of people they were calling upon. Then it hit them, “you know, we got something here, let’s figure out how to market this. ” They created their list put it on the internet and marketed it to various HOA’s
Back then, it was called the World Wide Web, it was nothing like it is now. Websites were pretty mundane, and everywhere you looked there was a list. List of jokes, list of saying’s, list of restaurants, celebrity lists, you name it.
Here is the interesting part, the internet changed and as it evolved so did Paul. It evolved to the Ganahl Contractor Directory, and eventually to Building Trades Network. He knew he would have to change or be left behind.
When he went to a BNI (Business Networking International) meeting. He looked around and said that format would work great if it were only trades people. So he took the basic business plan of BNI and tweaked it a little to accommodate contractors.
Why somebody hadn’t thought of it sooner is beyond me. But I am glad he did. We have all been going through some tough times, yet as I look back I can honestly say that BTN and all the friends I have made at BTN helped pull me through.
Helping others is what BTN is all about. We have been helping , Veterans First, Furnishing Hope, Canstruction and number of other organizations in our community. It is in our charter it is in our mindset, it is what makes BTN work.
We are here to lift each other, with the help of BTN, even Paul. He is always asking what’s next, he listens to our suggestions, he is looking for ways to improve, he is not satisfied with good enough if he knows it can be better.
That kind of leadership attracts more of the same. We are not looking for any contractors. We are looking for BTN contractors.
The BTN Vision
So what’s next?… The BTN Resource Center.
Why?…. Because a lot of us are small contractors, working out of our homes, because we can’t afford the overhead of an office. How many times have you had to meet a client at Starbuck’s or you always had to meet them at their home or their office, because you didn’t want them to hear the kids or the dog in the background.
Don’t laugh! You big contractors, I guaranty, you remember those days.
So what is a resource center?… It is your place of business.
Why do you need to pay for an office, utilities, insurance, internet, phone and all that overhead when you only need it for a 5, 6 or 10 days out of the month? What do you do when business is dead in December and January but those bills keep coming in?
You go to BTN, that’s what you do. You pay for a conference room when you need a conference. There will be computer terminals there, printers, staplers and punches. There will be a take-off room for you to go over plans.
If you have an extra truck parked in front of your house, there will be a limited Fleet parking.
If you have machinery or tools in your garage, there will be storage units for rent. Yes, for rent, not down the road or across town, but right at the place where you do business.
Your wife & kids will love you because now she can park in the garage and the kids can park in the driveway.
The BTN resource center is a place where big contractors and small contractors can meet with clients and other contractors and collaborate on projects. There will be Seminars for Marketing, Business Coaching to help your business grow.
Some of you need a showroom, or have a staff and need an office 50 weeks out of the year. But, I bet you wished that BTN was around when you started your business. The BTN resource center may not be for everyone, it’s there for everyone.
Your place of business shouldn’t be the anchor that slows you down. What we have with BTN is a place with energy and opportunity for those with the BTN spirit.