Archive for June, 2011

It’s that feverish time of the year again: in July/August the BNI Leadership Teams for the next six-month term (starting in October) will be finalised. Have you put your hand up for a role yet? To help you decide which position is the one for you, we are running a new column on the various Leadership Team roles.

More Visibility & Credibility

Could YOU be the next president?

As BNI members, twice a year we all get the opportunity to raise our visibility and credibility by serving on our chapter’s Leadership Team for a six-month period, starting either on 1 April and 1 October. For the next round in October, the newly-appointed leaders will start their training in September.

President’s Responsibilities: Multiply Your Givers Gain®

As your chapter’s President your new responsibilities come with many added benefits. Each responsibility is an opportunity to gain more exposure and visibility amongst a large group of potential referrers.

As the President you get the chance to shape the future of your chapter by:

  • Running the weekly meetings and keeping members involved
  • Heading the whole leadership team
  • Setting goals for, inspiring and leading your chapter
  • Networking at monthly regional Leadership Lunches
  • Receiving training that makes you an even better networker

What Else Is In It For Me?

By being highly visible to members and visitors while running your meeting, you get the chance to increase your referrals. While numbers vary across chapters, the facts are clear – Presidents exude expertise, and as a result experience a significant raise in trust levels and number of referrals.

But that’s not all.

Each day, two BNI Presidents are featured on the BNI Australia Facebook page and Twitter account, including their name, chapter and link to their website. The BNI Australia Facebook page has over 800 fans and is rapidly growing its following. It is also highly ranked for content by Facebook, with an EdgeR ank score of 29, meaning that the majority of fans are viewing featured Presidents’ business details each day.

Leadership Team Resources

And you don’t have to go it alone: The world’s best BNI Leadership Team practices are now readily available on It’s a great resource that provides absolute certainty as to who is responsible for what on your team. There are videos, PDF files – and all the other information you need to easily perform well in your leadership role.

So, Are You Up To Being A Leader?

Soon your chapter will look to find amongst its members those who are willing to step up into a leadership role for the October term.

What great ideas and best practices would you implement as a President, or in another role? Which leadership position do you think would suit your personality best – or would be a great opportunity for personal growth for you?

Whichever position you choose – President, Vice President, Treasurer, Membership Committee Member, Visitor Host, Education or Events Co-Ordinator – you can be sure that your visibility and credibility will receive a boost that results in more referrals and business opportunities for you.

Ask your current President how you can become part of the next Leadership Team.

Categories : Leadership Teams
Comments (0)

The BNI Business Index was created to gauge the economic state of business worldwide, and keep you and others with an interest in business trends informed about the changing state of the global economy and its developments. Follow this link to the full, global BNI Business Index Survey report for Q1 2011.

Q1 2011 – A Strengthening Market has released its worldwide business survey findings for the first quarter of 2011. Almost 1,500 international business people participated in the survey, with 268 participants reporting from Australia alone. The results indicate that the global economy is improving: 69.4% of all respondents (68.6% in Australia) report that business has been growing or substantially growing for them over the past 12 months. This represents a slight increase – and a more confident outlook – amongst the surveyed businesses compared to the last quarter, when many businesses experienced a slower period.

Businesses Are Hiring

With confidence slowly, but steadily, on the rise in the post-GFC business environment, 50.2% of all those surveyed for the first quarter of 2011 (49.2% in Australia) said that they would, or possibly would, be hiring people over the next few months. While some companies may have experienced an individual downturn in growth or turnover, the overall sentiment is positive. A strengthening Australian market, busier businesses, and rising consumer confidence all contribute. Global and local natural disasters have clearly affected many businesses negatively, but the clean-up, building and restoration sectors have seen medium to strong growth in the post-disaster efforts.

Networking Pays Dividends

The most striking outcome of the most recent BNI Business Index Survey may have been your comments across Australia. Amidst a positive outlook, the global survey saw a large proportion of businesses lament still-restrictive developments due to government regulation, changing target markets, yo-yo market effects and natural disasters.
While these issues have affected Australian businesses as well, it seems we are in a better position than others surveyed. Many business owners have changed their approach to marketing, moving away from traditional print advertising to implementing online and social media strategies.

And we network, network, network.

Actively Creating Success

“Networking through BNI and the local Chamber of Commerce has substantially increased my business referrals.” Australian Business Owner

Our most successful Australian survey respondents overwhelmingly identified themselves as active networkers. BNI members, as well as members of industry associations and chambers of commerce have commented on the power of building new trusted business relationships, creating new referral sources and income through their ongoing networking within these communities.

And the successful results are consistent.
BNI-generated and other networking-related business growth has been named as the number one source of ongoing and post-GFC growth. And businesses that have consistently networked have seen less fallout from the credit crunch, as they had their trusted referrers and raving fans around them to refer relevant business to them as a first point of call.

Do You Want More Business?

So, if you have room for more business, get networking.

If you are not already a member, visit one of your local BNI chapters to see this powerful referral and business generator in action.

And as a member, speak to your leadership team about any ideas you have to make your successful chapter even more lucrative for you and your fellow members.

Because Givers Gain® at BNI.

Categories : BNI Business Index
Comments (0)

Do you have a problem with only very few visitors taking your business card from the chapter’s box?

Does your chapter miss out on business opportunities with visitors every week? You’re not alone.

But why is that? I believe it comes down to lack of (sufficient) information.

A visitor needs to hear specifically about what they think useful to be enticed to pick up your (or another member’s) card. Most members give meaningful specifics about their business in their sales manager minute. But we all do so much more than what we can convey in 60 seconds. Each sales manager minute can give a first-time visitor only a small glimpse into the wide range of each business’ service or product offerings.

Visitor Booklet: The Concept
As a Business and Marketing Strategist, our chapter members often look to me for growth ideas. When I proposed producing a visitor booklet to the group, every member saw the value and enthusiastically embraced the project. So, with a small financial contribution from each member to cover the cost, I developed and produced the visitor booklet for our chapter. Each addition is valid for up to six months, and is given to every first-time visitor. The booklet contains every member’s business card alongside a half page ad, enabling us to showcase our full range of products and services to visitors.

Growing Our Chapter
In addition, the booklet also describes the benefits that joining our chapter can offer. A complete application form is included to make becoming a member easy. The booklet is extremely useful for visitors who need to run the idea of joining past a supervisor: it clearly explains the benefits of joining, without the decision maker having to attend a meeting themselves. A number of members have purchased additional copies to display in their reception area, or to show connections that could be prospective visitors.

Generating More Business from Visitors
Thanks to our visitor booklet, our chapter is now looking forward to reaping the fruits of our labour – bringing visitors to our meetings, networking and promoting our chapter. Our initiative is a valuable and beneficial marketing tool that will increase the amount of business our members do with one-time visitors. It was a fantastic experience to see the whole chapter come together to enthusiastically back this initiative – and we are looking forward to enjoying more business from visitors in the months and years to come.

If you are interested in finding out more about our visitor booklet, please contact our chapter via our Facebook page, or contact me, Andre Vermast, directly by emailing

Comments (0)

Small Fish Business Coach - Simon Thomas

This review was kindly provided by Simon Thomas a Small Fish Business Coach who is a member of the BNI Forest Chapter which is located in Sydney.

The clouds parted, the sun sparkled, and the closest available car park at the train station opened up as I came around the corner. This was the perfect start to what turned out to be an inspiring and fulfilling day.

Having only been with BNI for 10 months, I was really quite unsure as to what to expect. I rode the train into the city with the anxiety of having to meet hundreds of BNI members from all over Australia. Jeepers, did I have a massive wad of business cards weighing me down, I was not going to be caught empty handed. I arrived at the CitiGroup Building and proceeded to the dizzying heights of the 39th floor. What a glorious day to be high above beautiful Sydney. The harbour was glistening; the grass was green from past heavy rains and the sky bright from the cleansing of all the usual visible pollutants.

Much to my amazement the hordes of people for the event were minimal, in fact there were a total of about 70 people there for the day. The good news is that it certainly made it easier to get around, meet more people, and have longer, more meaningful conversations. The bad news is that everyone who missed the event did not get a chance to experience the innovation, excitement, and success of all the presenters and their respective regions.

So why was it that I spent all of Thursday night lying awake thinking of exciting things to tell BNI Forest the next morning at 7am? The biggest impact that this event had on me was the opportunity for true success. Not only for my BNI group as a whole but for me personally – the potential for my business. Oh, and there was also the fact that sex is different when networking. More on that later.

So, the big question for me going to this event was, what can we, as a chapter, implement to help us grow and achieve amazing results? The top three reasons for success in BNI chapters that personally hit home for me:

  • Accountability
  • Teamwork
  • Commitment

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it. At face value, these are words that we expect but probably don’t spend a lot of time actually working on. But these really rang true for me because I had to ask myself: Are we as a group really being accountable for the passengers? Are we focused on developing a culture of teamwork where the truth in giving is all about others? And simply, is each and every member of the team as committed as they could be?

These words are not solely about BNI as an organisation. I walked away feeling like these should be engrained in our personal psyche and be a part of our mantra as business people seeking success for ourselves.

The truth in giving was evident throughout the day. This was borne out by the delivery of a lengthy and detailed email to my inbox the following day. It was from Bernie Hock – Regional Director (North Queensland). I had never met Bernie before, but we sat together throughout the day and he very happily provided me with insights into the success factors of his chapters. I now have the pleasure of going back to my chapter and assisting in the development of new ideas. Bernie agreed to stay in touch to see how we went. What an amazing display of commitment, teamwork, and accountability.

After the success of the day’s speakers, I whisked myself off to the evening event at the Grace Hotel. From the inspirational stories of how the BNI model can work for all of us, we moved into the more cheeky and fun part of the day. Networking.

All the way from the USA came Hazel Walker, co-author of “Networking and Sex, How Men and Women Do It Differently”. Hazel, with the assistance of Ivan Misner, surveyed over 12,000 people worldwide to get the insight into how we do it – networking – differently. It was an exceptionally humorous account of some of the findings and comments supplied back to the researchers. The takeaway from this session was that there is an absolutely clear difference in the way men and women communicate when networking, and that an awareness of this fact would benefit us all. I suggest you go check out the details at

So, all in all it was an amazing day, if with a difficult sleep that night. I spent the rest of my night wondering how I could take this energy and enthusiasm back to my chapter to initiate change. Needless to say, the following morning my chapter copped a bouncing, no-holds-barred, adrenalin-junky speech about the success of the previous day. The great news for BNI Forest is that they all jumped on board…immediately. The great news for BNI Australia is that I look forward to telling everyone about our success at next year’s BNI Members Day. See you there!

Categories : Events
Comments (2)