Referral Network Boosts Business 75% for Clearwater Massage Therapist and Esthetician

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Despite a tough economy, the West Central Florida region of BNI (BNIWCF) serves as the catalyst for bringing business referrals to massage therapist Alice Lange, who now helps other entrepreneurs and the community.

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There are so many struggles with starting your own business," Lange said. “Most of the problems I faced I had no idea how to fix- I needed help from other professionals and realized I could depend on my fellow members for advice and help

At a time when most businesses are happy to maintain revenues, Tampa Bay area massage therapist and esthetician Alice Lange is enjoying 75 percent growth, with help from BNIWCF. BNI enabled her to build connections and maintain business relationships in order to boost client numbers and give back to the community.

Currently, there are more than 27 million U.S. small businesses, which generate 60% to 80% of new jobs nationally. (1) Given that increasing number, it can be tough to stand out and succeed. That is where perseverance, dedication, and business referrals come in.

After working at spas and clinics for 10 years, Alice Lange decided it was time to open up her own place and moved into a shared space to open Massage & Skin Care Solutions. At the same time of opening her business, Lange decided to join BNI – to see what benefits could come from business networking. As her business grew, Lange needed to purchase her own location to accommodate the increase in clientele; which is when she turned to fellow BNI member and successfully guided Lange through the purchase of her new office.

"There are so many struggles with starting your own business," Lange said. “Most of the problems I faced I had no idea how to fix- I needed help from other professionals and realized I could depend on my fellow members for advice and help." Through BNI, Lange gained 200 new clients in her first year due to the amount of referrals her members passed along. In addition to new business, she sharpened her public speaking skills, built last business relationships, and was able to provide others mentoring.

"BNI is a successful way to learn about and get business referrals," Lange commented.

Lange insists on helping other small business owners succeed, and offers the following tips for small businesses:
1. Get involved in charity work. Not only are you using your skills to benefit someone else, but you can create lasting relationships with people. (Lange helps raise money for 3 different charities and often goes to assisted living homes to give people free massages)
2. Think of solutions outside the box and don’t rely on one game plan.
3. Keep your prices low and go above and beyond for your clients.
4. Join a business networking program. It will help give you the confidence to become a strong entrepreneur and create business relationships

BNI’s success is measured by performance and numbers. In the past year, BNI of West Central Florida helped members pass $75 million in business to each other, which averages $40,000 in incremental business for each member.

About Alice Lange:
Alice Lange is a licensed massage therapist and licensed esthetician and owner of Massage & Skin Care Solutions in Clearwater, FL. She holds certifications in deep tissue massage, pre-natal massage, hot stone therapy, reflexology and sports massage. Alice has over 10 years of experience in the massage and beauty industry working with other spas and chiropractors. She has a degree in Biology from Western New England College and also from Bene’s International School of Beauty in New Port Richey, Florida. Her real skill and passion is her commitment to her customers. Her joy comes from watching her customers arrive stressed-out and leave totally relaxed and feeling beautiful. Visit .

About BNI and Tom Fleming:
Tom Fleming is the Executive Director for BNI in West Central Florida and the Referral Institute. When Tom acquired the region, BNI WCF had one chapter with 13 members. The region now has over 43 chapters with 1,800 members passing $75 million in business to each other in the past year alone. Tom is sought out as a local, national and international speaker on the subjects of marketing businesses by referral and organizational development. He is also a contributing author in two best-selling books on referral based marketing and has been recorded on many educational CD’s produced from his speaking engagements. Prior to beginning his career as an entrepreneur, Tom worked for various Fortune 500 firms, earned an MBA from Babson College and a Bachelor’s Degree in business from Boston University. Visit BNI West Central Florida at

(1) \ May 18, 2011: Small Business Stats for Small Business Week 2011—.://

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Karla Jo Helms
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