A Publication of WTVP

Businesses large and small face unprecedented challenges in today’s business market. Whether you are a firm of one or 1,000, business is more competitive than ever. Face it, being an entrepreneur ain’t for sissies!

How valuable would it be to increase your salesforce by 20 professionals at no cost to you? There is a long-established business networking group in the area that does precisely that: Greater Peoria Area Coffee Club (GPACC). This group of professionals—one person per profession—meets every week for an hour over coffee. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been directly attributed to the referrals passed by this group, which was started by a few professionals who wanted to gather, share stories and explore new opportunities.

A Realtor would watch for opportunities for a home insurer in the group, or possible termite inspections for the group’s exterminator. The CPA would look out for a chance to help the group’s financial advisor. The small business loan officer would look for a chance to help the business and management consultant or human resources adviser in the group. It’s called synergy, and each member of the group can benefit. No one in the group competes with anyone else (i.e., there’s only one financial advisor, one CPA, one estate attorney, etc.).

Knowledge of each other’s profession is built up over the weekly meetings. Each member has the opportunity to briefly tell his or her story and ask for a referral. Each week, one member of the group presents an in-depth description of their business, allowing colleagues to ask questions and gain understanding. This opportunity rotates throughout the group.

From knowledge comes trust, and from trust comes referrals, which helps all of the member businesses grow. A number of professions are currently represented, but fortunately, there are others still open. There are currently openings for several more dedicated, honest, hard-working business professionals who can benefit from an expanded informal sales force and referral network. iBi

Visit for a list of open spots and more information, or visit the group up to two times at no charge. Meetings take place on Thursday mornings at 7am at Re/Max Unlimited, 3622 North Knoxville in Peoria.