Ionia InnovatorsFrequently Asked Questions
Can anyone join?
We welcome business owners and entrepreneurs in this group. Membership is limited to one business per category.
When do you meet?
I.I. meets every Thursday morning from 7am until 8:30am at the El Mariachi Mexican Grill in South Ionia.
How often do you meet?
We meet weekly. Over the years we have learned that the only way to build trust and get to know one another is to meet every week, so that’s what we do. It does help your business grow (even though it is early in the morning!)
Why do you meet every week?
It’s all about building relationships with other members. By meeting each week we have time to get to know one another, build trust, and increase referrals.
How will Ionia Innovators help my business?
Glad you asked! Being a member of I.I. most definitely can help you grow your business through direct personal referrals. When you have a whole group of people who know and trust your business, and who are actively referring you to others, your customer base will grow. You are likely already paying for marketing/advertising of your business locally. Nothing beats the return on investment of word-of-mouth marketing.
Will I get help learning to network?
Yes, we do help people get better at networking. We have training and articles here on the site that you can use, more education is offered by our educational coordinator at weekly meetings, mentoring is available should you want it, and just practicing your pitch each week will help you improve and gain confidence.
How do I join?
Simple! Attend a meeting and let a board member know that you want to join. A quick meeting to go over membership requirements will take place, and you will fill out your application. Once approved, you will be notified and your dues payment required. That is all.
What does it cost?
Currently we pay $75 per quarter to cover the cost of room rental and other incidental expenses.
What do you talk about for 90 minutes?
Each week, every member gets to present a 60-second commercial about their business. One member has a longer presentation for 10 minutes. We also have time for networking, a brief educational presentation, and group business.
What should I bring to a meeting?
Each member receives a folder in which to hold other members’ business cards. It’s wise to bring that each week, along with a good supply of your own cards. We have a special box for cards so that you can replenish your supply when necessary.
How long is a membership commitment?
We want you to be a member as long as possible! The longer you are in the group, the more trust you will build and subsequently the more referrals you will get. Dues are paid quarterly, which is the minimum commitment for membership.
Can I bring others to a meeting?
Yes! Please do. We want the group to grow, which results in more referrals and better business for all.
What if I can’t make it to a meeting?
We ask that you attend all meetings, but if you must miss one then it’s wise to send a substitute. Either send an employee or an associate, or try one of the individuals on our substitute list included in the membership binder.
Why the attendance policy?
Attendance at meetings builds trust and relationships with other business owners, which can result in more referrals. Consequently, attendance helps build your business.
How do I know I will get referrals?
To be honest, we can’t promise that (even though we’re reasonably confident that you will). The number of referrals you get depends on many factors: retail vs B2B, average ticket price, whether you sell a product or a service, and more. Generally though, members who attend regularly, build trust, and give referrals to other members will see their own referrals grow.
Are all member businesses local?
Yes, all of our members hail from or work in Ionia County.
It’s easy to join
The leadership team will review your application and contact you soon.
SoZo Coffee Roasting
576 N State St. in Ionia.