Why BNI (Business Network International) Really Does Work For Local Business
I really do believe that BNI is a business network that really does work for local business.
That is why in 2015 I approached Graham Southwell who is the New Zealand director with the view to establishing a new BNI group in Westgate, West Auckland. I also really want to see the Westgate group build into the envy of other New Zealand networking groups, and this is why I actively seek to find business owners that can benefit from the group but also with the vision that a strong business network benefits all the members.
About BNI – why is really works
Unlike other networking groups I have looked at and belonged to, BNI provides its members with a structure and a plan to enable them to network in a deliberate and professional manner.
It is structured weekly networking breakfast which focuses on learning and positive business outcomes.
Being a group that meets weekly is one of the reasons that BNI works better than most business groups. I have belonged to groups that meet monthly and 2-weekly and its hard to keep the members focused whereas while initially meeting weekly may seem a little too often, it keeps the members focused and ultimately produces better results – more and better business referrals.
You will get business from being a member in this group.
With BNI there will always be just one member from any business category and this has often meant it has been hard for some people to join a group; however being a reasonably new group there are still places available for many of those “hard to get” business categories.
CLICK HERE to see if there is already a member in your business category.
What Is BNI?
BNI (Business Network International) is a business and professional networking organisation that allows only one person from each profession to join any group or chapter. There are currently 126 chapters in New Zealand and some 2,650 members with a number currently under formation. Worldwide there are over 211,000 members in over 7,800 chapters in 55 countries.
Last year the members of BNI in New Zealand reported they generated 60 million dollars of new business!
Thinking globally, BNI member referrals have generated USD$11.2 billion in revenue for the member businesses!
It is not some new fad – it is a proven business model that has been around for over 30-years.
It’s a breakfast networking meeting that follows a structured agenda as follows;
- The group has an education officer whose job is to spend a few minutes biding some educational type that may be useful to the group members
- Every member gets 60 seconds to talk about their business or something specific that they want to share this is your chance to train the other members so they can promote your business while they are out doing the business
- All members get to do a 10 minute presentation on a rotational basis for 10 minutes presentation is your chance to explain your business in more detail the other members as a group
- Prior to the conclusion of each weekly meeting there is ace session where you pass referrals between members. Of course you may pass referrals on in between meetings is appropriate too and we measure the number of referrals and the business generated from those referrals to ensure that we have some way of measuring the success of the group
- Prior to the commencement of the meeting and at the conclusion of the meeting there is good opportunity to meet and mingle with the other members
- Members are also encouraged to meet outside of the meeting to learn more about each other’s businesses
This video explains a little about why this business networking group is successful;
Connect With People You Want To Do Business With
There are many benefits in joining a networking group, but in my experience BNI has proven to be the best for my business as a mortgage broker.
Of course there is the business that I get passed to me solely due to being a member, but more importantly I now have a professional business group that can support myself and my clients and through this support we all get to make more money.
The key to any business networking is the group of people, and within the Westgate group we are passionate about growing the group with good quality people whom all the members feel comfortable referring to the people that they know.
This next video is about a BNI group in Hawkes Bay that made an effort to grow their group and the results they achieved has meant that all the members have benefited.
Just this week I went along to some free training provided by BNI and heard of a group in Sydney that has 61 members and at the meeting that Linda attended there were 40 guests. The group has generated over AUD$2 million in referals for June and she said that “all the members are on board to make the chapter the most successful ever” – so that is a challenge for our group.
Visit Your Local BNI Group
We are encouraging members and prospective members to share this opportunity with people they know and/or want to do business with to ensure that this does become a very effective networking group.
Of course I would love you to visit our local Westgate group but I understand that this will not suit everyone due to location, the time we meet (Thursday’s) or there may already be a member in a similar business.
But the best way to find out more about how BNI works is to go to a local chapter meeting and see for yourself what it’s like.
Meet the people, and see for yourself what the potential might be for you and ultimately decide if BNI would work for you.