1. Conditions of membership
1.1 Members may be individual traders or businesses.
1.2 Members will not be allowed to participate in the club merely to obtain opportunities without providing opportunities for others. Records may be kept to monitor numbers of opportunities issued/received to ensure members properly participate. Members receiving opportunities but failing to provide a reasonable amount of opportunities may be voted out by a majority of members present.
1.3 The Club does not impose any restriction upon members also being members of other networking organisations but does expect that those members who are also members of other organisations will provide a proportionate amount of opportunities to members of Reading Business Club (Hereinafter may be referred to as RBC).
N.B. New members will only be admitted subject to their trade, profession, or service being different to that already available from an existing club member.
1.4 Members or members companies are expected to attend at least half of the regular meetings or they may be asked to resign from the club and be replaced by another person or business offering a similar portfolio.
1.5 Members may provide a substitute from their organisation, at any time, in their place.
2. Applications for membership
2.1 Membership vacancies may be advertised on the Club website and members asked to nominate persons/companies they consider would benefit the club if they were to join. They must approach the persons/companies to determine interest.
2.2 Any potential applicant(s) may attend up to two meetings free of charge during which time they are able to apply for membership if they wish. They are not allowed to attend if they are offering a trade, profession, or service which is already provided by an existing club member.
2.3 The application must initially be submitted to the committee of the Reading Business Club who will review the application on the basis that the applicant is not offering a service that conflicts with an existing member. The existing member/s may be approached by the Committee in the event of uncertainty.
2.4 Once an application for membership has been submitted and been approved in principal by the Committee, its details will be circulated to all members, this may be done at a Breakfast meeting when at least 50% of members are present. Members may then suggest alternative potential members to the service/trade/profession applying.
2.5 When there is more than one applicant for the position, each applicant will be asked to present themselves to members. Members will then vote on their preferred applicant. The applicant with the most member votes will be offered the position. Voting may be on a show of hands at a breakfast meeting when at least 50% of members are present.
2.6 Some trades/professions may be allowed to join subject to committee approval without referral to the members. This procedure will apply only in cases where there is no perceived competition for membership, i.e. when no similar business or profession has visited a Club meeting or function, or has been invited to do so by existing Club members.
3. Club subscriptions
3.1 Club subscriptions are invoiced four weeks in advance of their start date and cover the next six months period. Payment is due within four weeks of receipt of invoice, and in any event before the next six-monthly cycle commences, and is non-refundable.
3.2 Members who do not settle their account within two weeks of issue of the invoice will be reminded after two weeks that they have only two weeks left to settle their invoice. In the absence of payment thereafter, they may be deemed to have resigned.
3.3 Membership fees include the cost of breakfast for one company member per meeting, members may appoint a substitute from their own company to attend any meeting in their place.
3.4 Members may invite guests interested in joining the Club to a maximum of two breakfasts free of charge.
3.5 Applications for attendance at an RBC meeting received direct from non-members are permitted but must follow the same process and be vetted by two committee members to check on any conflicts before being allowed to attend. If the conflict is obvious, only one committee members is required to enable RBC to decline the application.
3.6 Guests will only be permitted provided they are not from a trade or profession that is in direct competition with another existing Club member(s).
3.7 Guests asking for information on particular areas of business should only be directed to the member(s) whose Club approved portfolio includes the services sought. This also applies to other guests visiting when not looking to replace a leaving member.
4.1 Members allocating opportunities on behalf of an existing client will be deemed the Client Manager in so far as that client is concerned.
4.2 The Client Manager shall assume responsibility for client co-ordination and will ensure the client receives the level of service expected.
4.3 Members do not have to act as Client Manager. However, where a member introduces another member’s services to his/her client, out of courtesy, any further introduction by the second member should first be discussed with the original Client Manager member.
4.4 If a member visits or carries out work for any client introduced by a Client Manager, any requests from that client that could result in further work either for the member, an associate, colleague, or any other Club member shall firstly be referred back to the Client Manager for consideration.
5. Code of Practice
5.1 Members agree to conduct themselves in a professional manner and live up to the ethical standards of their profession.
5.2 Members agree to uphold the reputation of the Club and that of individual members.
5.3 Members agree to carry out their work with all due integrity, without bias and without allowing personal views to influence their judgement.
5.4 Members undertake to respect client confidentiality and not to disclose client information to third parties without prior approval of said client.
5.5 Members agree not to use information obtained in carrying out work for one client that could be deemed detrimental to another client.
5.6 Members undertake not to receive any material benefits, other than normal fees, as a consequence of any recommendation made.
5.7 Members will carry out all work to the best of their ability and to the price agreed.
6.1 The Reading Business Club shall from time to time operate a mentoring scheme for businesses to help them either set up, manage business change, or assist with other issues.
6.2 The Mentoring Committee shall promote applications for mentoring assistance.
6.3 The Mentoring Committee shall review the applications received and decide on the most deserving applicant. Applicants are not allowed if they are offering a trade, profession, or service which is already provided by an existing club member
6.4 The accepted applicant (mentee) will be allocated a mentor who will guide the applicant through the process and identify RBC members who can provide help to the successful applicant.
6.5 The mentee will be given 6 months free mentoring by the Club but is expected to attend at least 50% of the normal breakfast meetings that take place during their period of being mentored.
6.6 Upon completion of their 6 months programme they are invited to join the RBC as a full member without going through the normal application process, subject to approval by the Mentoring Committee.
6.7 Mentees are required to provide a short paper describing their involvement in the mentoring programme and list the benefits they have received.
7.1 RBC may support local charities by sponsoring events during the year subject to the availability of funds and approval of members.
7.2 This support would generally include the financial proceeds of any raffle and the sponsoring of a summer event.
7.3 Members are asked to nominate charities to benefit from these donations.
7.4 A member representing the selected charity may attend an RBC meeting to present to the members.
7.5 Full membership of RBC is not available to charities.
8. Annual Meeting
8.1 An annual committee meeting will be held to review the performance of the RBC during the previous 12 months and suggestions of how to move the club forward.
8.2 The copy of the minutes is to be taken and circulated to all members for comment.
8.3 The annual meeting shall take place in February of each year.
9.1 RBC may host members events during the year subject to members wishes and the availability of funds.