Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Local Company Launches Online Tip Exchange

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Local Company Launches Online Tip Exchange

Article excerpt

An Oklahoma City-based Web site development and hosting company has taken an age-old idea and brought it into the 21st century.

Tip clubs -- groups of professionals that meet for breakfast or lunch and exchange contacts, sales leads and information -- have been around since the dawn of business and industry. There is only one difficulty with joining a tip club: Members have to be able to meet at the same time at the same place.

Wheat Communications has come up with a way for business professionals in today's busy and varied workplace to take advantage of the benefits of a tip club while eliminating the logistics difficulty: host a tip club on the Internet.

Tip Exchange was launched earlier this week with clubs for more than 1,850 cities in the United States and Canada. There are no dues or fees to participate -- membership is free.

"The biggest advantage of Tip Exchange is the ability to overcome both time and location obstacles," said Wheat Communications President Paul Cardin. "You can participate in a Tip Exchange Internet Tip Club any time of the day or night. And you can do it from home or on the road. You'll never miss a meeting because of a scheduling conflict, and neither will the other members. And that means more contacts, more leads and more business."

Barbara Cardin, Wheat Communications co-owner, said that the couple's own mobility restrictions inspired the Tip Exchange idea.

"There are millions of home-bound business owners that would otherwise never be able to participate in a tip club," she said, such as those with physical limitations, family care-giving responsibilities and others. "We're proud that Tip Exchange can further empower business people with similar restrictions."

Unlike many traditional tip clubs, there are no limitations on the number of members per business category.

"By placing arbitrary limits on the number of members potential contacts are lost," she said. "And that means potential sales are lost, too. It's a free-enterprise economy out in the world, and it's a free-enterprise economy inside Tip Exchange. We're an early-bird worm-catching kind of place. …

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