Archive for July, 2011

While many Australian businesses have struggled in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), BNI Members have continued to reap the benefits of referral business passed on by their chapter members.

And the trend, of more income per member annually, continues.

A Referral – “The Key to The Door Of Resistance”

During tough financial times, when businesses and consumers alike tighten the belt, a personal connection and recommendation becomes evermore important to do business. As humans, we always will buy from those we like, or believe we can trust, over those with the best price. Whether we are conscious of this decision-making process, or not.

Tough Times Softened Through Referrals

With another financial year ended, it is time to look back over how our BNI Members faired. Most businesses with a solid clientele from word-of-mouth or referrals faired better in the hard economic times after the Credit Crunch when compared to their competition.

More small businesses that could rely on their close relationships – and referring clients and connections – found themselves not just still operating, but also doing relatively well, more often than those purely reliant on advertising and price-based competing.

So, how are they doing now?

BNI Members Do More Business

BNI Members across Australia continue to network, give referrals and prosper. The weekly networking opportunity, 1-on-1 meetings (affectionately known as “dances” or “dance cards”), and the visibility and credibility built by each member, keep leading to referrals and profitability. And, we are certain, will continue to do so.

Since 30 June 2008, membership in BNI Australia has grown from 3,500 to 5,000 members, an increase of 50%. At the same time, members keep getting more efficient and effective in generating lucrative referrals.

Business generated by members almost tripled to $195m between the ends of financial years 2008 and 2011. The average BNI Member now earns approx. $40,000 p.a. – through BNI referrals alone.

Make Your New Financial Year A Success

So, how can you safeguard your business when the economy takes a dip or a dive? Your attitude, and the depth and quality of your network will be your key assets that will take you to the other side.

BNI provides a solid, proven referral-generating network that will support you and your business. Visit your nearest chapter to see its business-producing power in action.

Alternatively, even visit a few chapters to find the best fit for you. Look for a group of complementary businesses within that chapter to become part of a strong “powergroup”. Talk to those members about their experiences, and the level of success their BNI-generated referral business has contributed to the bottom line.

If you are unsure about which chapter to choose, you can always contact your region’s BNI Director, who will be happy to assist you in finding the best chapter for your business category and needs.

Go ahead, create your own economy!

Categories : BNI Benefits
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Last month we started our little series on the Leadership Roles within BNI to help you decide if and how you want to support your chapter in the new term starting in October. This and next month, the BNI Leadership Teams for the next term will be finalised.

In this issue we are taking a look at the role of the BNI Vice President (“VP”).

Anyone for More VCP?

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

Vice President: Steering The BNI Ship

As your chapter’s Vice President you are the driving force of your group, setting membership policies and accountability standards.

Your new responsibilities come with many added benefits. Each task is a chance to gain more visibility and credibility amongst a large group of potential referrers – your chapter and its visitors, and even other Leadership Teams.

As the Vice President you help shape the direction, member quality, and category composition of your chapter by:

  • Chairing and leading the work of membership committee
  • Presenting weekly and annual statistics, issues and their proposed solutions to your members
  • Stepping in for the President running the entire weekly meeting in their absence
  • Analysing attendance and participation trends
  • Networking at monthly regional Leadership Lunches
  • Receiving training that makes you an even better networker

Show Me The Money!

By being highly visible to members and visitors while running your slot at each meeting, you get the automatic chance to increase your referrals. It’s an undisputed fact: Vice Presidents, like Presidents, experience a significant raise in trust levels amongst their members – and receive an increased number of referrals during their term.

But wait, there’s more…

Many regions hold regular regional Leadership Team Lunches, at which the Vice President (along with the President and Treasurer of the chapter) gets the chance to meet their BNI Director, fellow VPs and other leaders. Great new ideas and initiatives are born at these meetings – and many a new connection and referral source is discovered.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path – and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, Will You Captain Your Chapter’s Success?

What change could you bring about? Which membership initiatives, motivational ideas and best practices would you implement as a Vice President, or in another role? What leadership position suits your situation best – or could be a great opportunity for personal and business growth for you?

Whichever position you choose – Vice President, 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 Vice President for their experience – and how you can become part of the next Leadership Team.

Categories : Leadership Teams
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