Real estate agent Charley Egan offers both a low cost business directory listing and no cost business networking events in Glendale, California. And at the end, click to another article on 10 low cost business networking ideas in Los Angeles.
I first heard about him through a friend, Betsy Hall, who provides a variety of marketing services and printing. I've attended two of his events with nearly fifty other people in a variety of occupations.
I caught up with Charley and asked him how he got started and how he manages both the events and the print directory.
Charley's Business Directory
Charley's business directory grew from his desire to have a list of services to pass along to his real estate clients in the Glendale area.
"I started the directory about five years ago and the list grew by asking my clients which providers they personally liked and ones they'd recommend to others.
"I had these people on this list and they started talking to each other. The directory grew and I had to set up parameters for trust and expectations to have a bit of quality control."
Charley said the list mushroomed and while some people cycle through their listings, others have stayed for the long term.
"The next step with the directory and the networking events is to connect businesses directly with local residents."
Charley's Business Mixers
Charley, a former English teacher and journalist, refers to himself as a connector.
"I grew up in Southern California and there are people in business locally whom I've known since grade school.
"Before the mixers take place, I get butterflies and stage fright and wonder if anyone is going to show up."
Plenty of attendees do show and Charley provides a long table to put brochures and business cards on display.
Charley said he has gotten referrals from the directory and the mixers but it's also a labor of live. "People know me and trust me. Both the directory and events take up to 15 percent of my work time.
"I have to find a location in or around Glendale, put the directory together and arrange for printing, and then I do monthly mailers with real estate news on one side and 12 vendors offering coupons on the opposite side."
Charley said he has several thousand people on his mailing list and about 60 usually show at events.
For updates on Charley Egan's mixers or to be included in the directory, contact him through his directory's website, Charleysbusdirectory.info.
And read this for 10 low cost ways to promote your business in Los Angeles.