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Business owners help each other
Photo: Cynthia Pirok (right) of Pirok Design and President of B.A.N.G. (Business Alliance Networking Group) speaks to fellow members during the June 22 meeting in Elburn. Photo by Ellen Huxtable
by Susan O’Neill
FOX VALLEY—Pirok Design owners Kevin and Cynthia Pirok are in the business of helping other businesses establish themselves. They work with business owners to build their identity through developing a logo and designing signage, a website and other supportive graphics. This coordinated package creates a well-branded presence within the marketplace.
Early on in the development of their business, the Piroks worked with Small Business Development Center manager Harriet Parker to create marketing strategies to promote their business.
Since then, they have referred other businesses to Parker for her assistance.
“The Piroks have a propensity to connect other people they know with the assistance they need,” Parker said. “They refer other businesses to the SBDC, and they help connect entrepreneurs and small businesses with each other.”
The nature of the Piroks’ business is to help other entrepreneurs. However, they take this one step further, Parker said. They belong to several business networking groups in the area, and Cynthia is the current president of the group in Elburn.
Elburn’s Business Alliance Networking Group (B.A.N.G.) is a group of approximately 20 business people who get together on the second and fourth Friday of the month. The purpose of the group is to help and support each other in the growth of their businesses, whether it is providing information, identifying resources or suggesting leads for potential new customers.
“A person might bring up an issue or a problem, and someone else will know how to solve it. It’s a neat group,” Cynthia said.
With what Pirok calls a good cross-section of businesses, the group is industry exclusive so that no two members compete for the same clientele.
Some of the businesses are “power partners,” which means that although two businesses don’t provide the same product or service, they have the same potential clients. Sometimes it’s just a matter of remembering to mention the people you value in your group while talking to an individual who could use what they do, Cynthia said.
“We all seem to be able to benefit from what someone else has been through or through sharing helpful information about an industry,” she said. “These people become your friends. That’s what businesses need to be doing with each other.”