U3: State of the Network on its First Anniversary

by Susan Robertson and Chris Naviaux - February 11th, 2010

U3’s founder Susan Robertson and Chief Financial Officer Chris Naviaux were kind enough to respond to some questions about their networking group, Unique 3 (on the web at www.unique3.com) as it moves into its second year of operation. Susan also serves as the head of Strategic Solutions, LLC, a clerical and IT staffing company. Chris is currently also heading his own company, Naviaux Brothers Construction.

Questions for Susan Robertson:

1, How is U3 differentiated from other local networking groups?
Unique3 offers Conference rooms in Indianapolis, Fishers & Noblesville. We are the most cost effective networking group only $99 for annual membership. We are a faith based group with a salvation message in our logo.
2. What are the benefits that members of U3 receive?
Our website allows members that are product based to upload their products directly to the website for sale. In addition they can upload their YouTube Video and banners.

3. What have you learned during the first year? With our event planning, we’ve learned how to organize an event better and gain successfully attract volunteers
4. What are you planning in the near future? We’re going to build our U3 Power Hours in Greenwood
5, How are you able to balance your work on U3 and your other job?
I could not have made U3 what it is today if it were not for our precious organizers Shelly Keyler, Geoff Heisey, Kimberly Finnegan, Lisa Worman, John Rollins, Sabrina Hill, Karla Shone, Melissa Hughes & Johnnie Firari
6. Describe the growth of U3 and how did you grow it?
We grew it by building a core group and appointing leaders, then working together as a team.
8. What are the geographical limits on U3 currently and what do you envision for the future?
We are Indianapolis and surrounding right now. We plan to stay only in Indiana for now.
9. Are you looking for persons or companies to collaborate with you? How will each side benefit?
We are always open to work with other business networking owners. We would collectively see how teaming together could be mutually beneficial
10. Who works with you and what do they do? Chris Naviaux is our CFO & business partner; Julie Strubble is our secretary; Tom with Inverted Staircase creates U3 videos; and Ron Sukennick does our public speaking.
11. Feel free to discuss any other aspect of things crucial to U3’s success; also, how do you measure success for U3?
We measure U3 success by the relationships that are created and formed with long lasting partnerships. We desire to see each member working together and referring business to each other.

Questions for Chris Naviaux:

1. Why did you see U3 as a good business opportunity?
Because as a business owner myself, I saw a lot of potential in a low cost/high payback networking model. Using this model would attract other business owners and allow for the expansion of membership
2. What are the long-term goals for U3 as you see them?
The long-term goals for U3 are to continue to provide opportunities for our members through advertising, business bashes, and power hours. As we increase membership, we will expand from the Indianapolis area
3. What will be the crucial factors for U3’s continued growth?
The crucial factors are to continue the relationships we have and form new relationships with other businesses to provide growth opportunities for current and future members at a low cost
4. Are there investment opportunities in U3?
At this time, the company is owned equally by Susan and myself. While straight investment opportunities are not available (short of selling portions of our share) at this time, U3 is always open to collaboration efforts with other businesses
5. Why is U3 different? What differentiates it as a networking group? (No cheating–don’t look on Susan’s paper; please answer this question on your own–thanks)
U3 provides a more open forum for networking without unneeded structure at a low cost. We welcome other networking organizations and keep our members’ interests at the forefront of everything we do.
6. What are your duties as Chief Financial Officer?
I am responsible for insuring the financial stability of U3, including growth plans for the future
7. How do your duties for U3 mesh with your other job?
While I perform CFO responsibilities running my own construction company, my duties for U3 are separate and do not overlap
8. Please free to discuss any other aspects of U3 that you feel are crucial to its current success and in the future.
Other than what has been listed, our volunteers and organizers have been crucial to our current success and future expansions. Susan and I would not be able to organize and hold the multitude of meetings each month without their help.

Thanks, Susan and Chris, for sharing with us.

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