Frequently Asked Questions about RPCN
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Who are the RPCN members and which professions do they represent?
Most of RPCN’s members are professional consultants and small business people who are experts in one or more fields. Many members were employees of companies in the Rochester area at one time. Please refer to our Fields of Expertise page for a complete listing.
What does it cost to be a member of RPCN?
A one-year individual membership in RPCN costs $95.00. Affiliate memberships are also available for $140.00 These may include up to two members (a savings of $50.00 over two individual memberships). If an individual attends several presentations and workshop meetings, it’s less expensive to join for $95.00 per year than to pay $8.00 per meeting. Of course, if you are attending a lot of meetings, anyway, why wouldn’t you join?
What are the benefits of being a member of RPCN?
The greatest member benefit of RPCN is the spirit of cooperation of its members. Starting a consulting business can seem complex with many questions and deciding how to begin can be somewhat overwhelming. RPCN provides an invaluable support group where a consultant, whether new or experienced, can come to ask questions and get advice. RPCN members are known for their friendliness and willingness to help each other with no atmosphere of competitiveness. Membership can alleviate the sense of loneliness that can affect the individual in a one-person company.
When does RPCN meet?
RPCN meets on the first four Fridays of each month from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (presentations, workshops, or forums). Meeting information can be found on our Events page. Be sure to check schedules and details about our meetings because there are occasional changes.
What topics are discussed at RPCN meetings?
The usual types of topics for RPCN’s meetings are:
- 1st Friday Morning Technical Forum: Facilitated open forums in which the participants’ questions about technical issues are answered by others in the group.
- 2nd Friday Morning Speaker Meeting: Subjects vary widely and all are relevant to the operation of a consulting business.
- 3rd Friday Morning Business Forum: Facilitated open forums in which participants’ questions about business issues are answered by others in the group.
- 3rd Friday Morning Board Meeting: Issues are discussed and decisions are made to improve the effectiveness of RPCN. Everyone is welcome at Board Meetings, but only Board members can vote.
- 4th Friday Morning Workshop/Speaker: Often a training session about computer programs or other specific topics that consultants use to be more effective in their businesses.
Schedules and details about our meetings can be found on the Events page.
Is RPCN local or part of a national group?
RPCN is a local consulting network with most members located in the greater Rochester, NY area.
I haven’t been in business for a long time. I don’t know if I am current in my understanding of what software, or hardware for that matter, I’m likely to need to get started again. Can RPCN help me?
RPCN’s monthly Technical Forum helps people with technical issues (including hardware and software) find out the answers to their questions. There are also the monthly (4th Friday) workshops usually cover the “how to’s” of using software programs.
I am not sure about starting my own business. How can RPCN help me decide whether consulting is the correct path for me?
Virtually every RPCN member has had to answer this question. The best way to find answers is to come to meetings and ask other members how they dealt with this issue. Also, the RPCN Business Forums are interactive sessions in which you can ask any question dealing with your business and it is likely be answered to your satisfaction.
I have had a consulting business previously but that was a long time ago. What has changed in the last 12 years? How can RPCN help me do it right this time?
You can attend our meetings and forums and ask questions, and share experiences from past experience. RPCN members have a wealth of experience in starting up and managing their businesses and are more than willing to share them with you.
What is RPCN all about? How can it help me?
RPCN was formed in 1990 by a small group of people who had recently separated from their previous jobs at places such as Kodak and Xerox. It is now a local organization of beginning and experienced consultants. The primary mission of RPCN is to educate and support its members and help them begin and operate their businesses. This involves everything from the very basics of setting up a business to collecting money and getting referrals. Information is provided that every consultant must understand, but that is very difficult to acquire without an organization such as RPCN acting as a support group.
What if I just want to come to the meetings?
Although there are many people operating behind the scenes as volunteer leaders, there is no obligation or pressure to do anything. Of course, getting involved in RPCN is a terrific networking opportunity, a fun thing to do, an excellent place to meet and learn from other professionals, and will help the organization as well as help you to be better consultant.
Can RPCN help me evaluate whether my business idea is a good one?
Asking that question at a Business Forum will probably provide all of the information you need.
Will RPCN help me market my business?
Not directly. But RPCN will help you learn how to market your own business. RPCN consultants market their services continually, so this is a popular subject to discuss. Many of our presentations cover various aspects of marketing. If you have a specific question about marketing, you can ask it at a Business Forum (see Events page) and are likely to get a satisfactory answer.
Do people come to the RPCN website to find people like me?
They sure do! In fact, our Fields of Expertise page provides a comprehensive list of RPCN members’ skills. If a client is looking for your particular skill, clicking on it will lead them directly to your RPCN Profile. This is one reason why you want to join RPCN, rather than just attend meetings.
Are there members of RPCN who can help me get started? How do I get affiliated with one of the member businesses?
Yes! RPCN is a network of consultants with a wide variety of skills. Talking with almost any member about getting started is strongly encouraged. Attending meetings and forums can also be a big help.
Can RPCN help me get clients?
RPCN is not in the business of getting its members clients directly. RPCN shows its members how to run their businesses and how to get clients on their own.
When did RPCN begin?
RPCN was formed in 1990 by a small group of people who had recently separated from their previous jobs at places such as Kodak and Xerox.
Who is eligible for RPCN membership?
Everyone. There are no eligibility requirements for membership in RPCN.
What kinds of businesses belong to RPCN?
Businesses cannot belong to RPCN. Only individuals may join. RPCN members come from a variety of backgrounds and businesses. The easiest way to find out what kinds of businesses are represented is to look at our Fields of Expertise page.
Do I have to come every week?
There are no attendance requirements for RPCN.
Besides information learned at seminars and forums, what skills and experience can I receive?
You can interact with other RPCN members and learn from their experiences.
Are there subgroups in RPCN who which have similar professional interests to mine?
RPCN has a number of members with similar professions and occupations. For a list of members with similar skills, see our Fields of Expertise page.
What ethical rules exist for RPCN's members?
How popular is RPCN in Rochester?
RPCN is very popular with those who are aware it exists. It is also known as “the best-kept-secret in Rochester.” One of RPCN’s major goals is to become much better known locally and to become the “premier source of consultants in Rochester.”
What is the best way to learn from other RPCN members?
Approach them in person, by phone, or by email, introduce yourself, find out what they do, and ask questions.
How can I benefit from RPCN meetings?
Learn during the presentations or workshop meetings, ask questions, and help answer other peoples’ questions.
Are there examples of members whose consulting practice have truly benefited from RPCN?
Definitely! Many of our regular attendees come because their businesses have been helped by the things they learned from RPCN. Many successful consultants still attend RPCN events and often participate by leading meetings, making presentations, or helping to manage the organization.
Why is there a cost for some RPCN meetings?
There is a charge for the room we use at Brighton Town Hall. The room at the Pittsford Library is free (but not always available). Occasionally, meetings are held elsewhere, such as Barnes & Noble, where a fee may be charged.
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