Archive for March, 2012

Members Details
Katika Funnell
Acupuncturist & Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Clinic Manager
Family Wellness Centre
BNI Forest in the BNI Sydney – North Shore

Tell us about your business:

Family Wellness Centre is a busy Natural Therapies clinic on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We have a team of 12 fully qualified practitioners and have been established for 5 years. We offer Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, Counselling, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Osteopathy & Psychology.

We pride ourselves on word of mouth referrals in the local area, with some clients coming from the Central Coast and Sydney City for treatments. We provide results using natural treatments for our clientele.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Ask more questions to the person you’re having a conversation with rather than talk about yourself. Asking questions can build rapport more effectively.

2. Aim to make two really solid connections at a networking event, rather than giving out 50 business cards to people who won’t remember you. Learning about someone’s business that genuinely interests you or you have a synergy with can be more fruitful than superficial introductions. Those 2 solid connections will be easier to follow up, most likely have an interest in your business, remember details about your conversation and remain a long term connection.
3. Be in it for the long haul. Effective networking takes time to build solid relationships. You never know where a referral may come from, but if you continue to build relationships, there’ll be many people out there commending and recommending your service.

What can’t you live without?

Yoga – it keeps me physically and mentally fit

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

The E- Myth by Michael Gerber. It’s really Small Business 101. I’m surprised how many people haven’t read it!

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

I joined because I wanted to experience the BNI system of referral giving and receiving. I have been a networker for 7 years and attended other networking models before.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

3 years

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Treasurer, Membership Committee

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

Building business relationships with people that have become friends. Their knowledge, perspective and support has been invaluable in growing my own business.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

Keep At it!

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

Through my BNI Forest chapter, I met a great chiropractor, Jason Karalus. He referred me one client that has turned into over 30 clients just from word of mouth of that one referral. I cannot thank him enough for giving me the perfect referral.

Your Dream Referral Is…

I’ve treated and helped a few celebrities and they’re always interesting to talk to about their life experiences. But I think Oprah Winfrey would be the ultimate. I would love to give her a treatment for stress relief and relaxation or even if she had a common cold!

Categories : Featured Member
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Members Details
Michael Scruse
Creative Director
BNI Yarra in the BNI Melbourne Region

Tell us about your business:

web.d3 is a website development and design agency that specialises in helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) maximise their online presence and generate real results for their business.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Listen
2. Educate
3. Never hard sell

What can’t you live without?

My computer, iPad and iPhone.

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

The Steve Jobs biography. It’s inspirational.

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

I was initially invited by a member of the Yarra chapter, Ann Watson. I met Ann through a very good friend and client of mine.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

Almost 4 years

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Treasurer, Membership Committee, Education

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

BNI has taught me how to form good, lasting relationships with other business owners, as well as how to clearly articulate what my business does and my ideal client.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

I don’t so much wish that someone has told me something about BNI, but I wish I had joined earlier. I had to be asked 3 times before I came along. Mostly because at the time I didn’t think I could afford it, but it’s seriously the best business decision I’ve ever made.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

Myself and the graphic designer of our group joined at the same time. Since then we’ve formed a fantastic relationship and they would be second biggest client – BNI being my biggest.

Your Dream Referral Is…

The owner or marketing manager of a development/construction company that requires ongoing work designing and developing sites for their various building products – an example would be Central Equity, PEET or Villawood Properties.

Categories : Featured Member
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Welcome to the March 2012 edition of your BNI Australia Newsletter.  This month we have a few exciting announcements and lucrative opportunities in store for you!

Do you want to grow your network, and add more revenue for your business…?  Of course you do!

Excellent, now all you need to do is read on….

Write to Grow Your Business – 
Become a BNI Guest Columnist 

We are keen to hear from BNI members and non-members who can offer written contributions on networking expertise that are interesting, educational pieces.

Being a BNI Guest Columnist gives you the unique opportunity to promote your business to a large network of readers adept at referral marketing. Reach many tens of thousands of potential new clients with one short, impactful article about networking or referral marketing.

How?  Find out here.

Feature Your Business on the BNI Blog!

How is this for a chance to network and meet new clients: Sign up to be a Featured Member on the BNI Blog and Facebook page!

Just complete our form and be in the running to introduce yourself and your business to your fellow 5,000+ BNI Australia members, and potential new clients.  Check out our latest featured members for some ideas how to create your profile.

Mark Your Diary –
Catch Up with Ivan Misner in 2012 

Dr Ivan Misner has been dubbed the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN, the “Networking Guru” by Entrepreneur magazine. And he is a New York Times bestselling author.  And he is, of course, the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organisation.

Ivan is considered one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world.  You can find out more about the man behind BNI here.

This year, BNI International’s founder will be in Australia for a whirlwind tour in May / June 2012.  Ivan will be visiting local chapters and promoting his new book, bestseller “Business Networking and Sex”.

This is a great opportunity to meet Ivan face-to-face and, and learn some new tips & tricks from one of the world’s top networkers.

Ivan will visit a number of central business areas around the country, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch him (make sure you contact your local director for your regional events). And then it’s off to pack your bags and take a trip down networking lane!

Don’t miss out, get out your pen and mark your date in the diary now (click city to bookings and details or contact your local director):

  • 31 May 2012 – Maroochydore
  • 5 June 2012 – Brisbane
  • 6 June 2012 – Sydney
  • 7 June 2012 – Melbourne
  • 13 June 2012 – Perth
  • 14 June 2012 – Adelaide

Check out Ivan’s calendar for regular updates or go to our Facebook page for Ivan’s visit dates.

Loyalty: Why Two is Not Always Better than One 

Let’s move to a slightly controversial topic… The BNI exclusive membership rules which Ivan Misner addressed in a recent article.

There are many different types of networking groups – but they are not all equal regarding what they can do for you and your business, and how they achieve that success.  BNI stands out above most of these groups, because there are proven rules and concepts that ensure that you as a member will get the greatest possible benefit form BNI.

The March issue of SuccessNet online carried an article from Ivan Misner, in which he highlights why members can’t belong to two BNI groups.  And why you can’t belong to BNI and a group like BNI.  Read When Are Two Not Better than One? and let us know your thoughts on this hot topic via a comment on the site.

2012 – What Will You Achieve Through BNI?

And while we are on the topic of the benefits of the BNI system for our members: This month we take another look at how the depth and quality of your business network are key assets that can get you through the financial storms have been blowing strongly, around the globe.

Female Business Owners: The Social Über-Connectors 

How does the fairer sex prefer to network? Based on personal experience and the results from the recent AWCCI national poll, BNI Sydney CBD South co-director Louise Greenup shares her insights into how and why women are social creatures uniquely adapt at networking,

Last, but not least, we would love to hear your thoughts on all things networking, so do drop us a line on our blog or Facebook page.

Until soon, in your next BNI newsletter edition.

Warmest regards,

Frederick Marcoux
National Director BNI Australia

Categories : Newsletter
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Women are social creatures and have a strong need to connect through language and sharing – or simply put, women build relationships through conversation.  Standing in a queue, socialising at a party, or attending a business-networking event: the majority of women find it easy to start a conversation and keep it rolling.

Women Share, Connect… and Create More Business

Data from a recent survey of nearly 3,000 women by the AWCCI (Australian Women’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry) revealed that almost 55% of women are attending business-networking events for social reasons.

There is a very simple reason why female business owners are taking the dual opportunity at business-networking events to also socialise – they have found their peers.

For many busy business women, this is a rare and welcome opportunity to share the day-to-day frustrations (and joys!) of running their own business, juggling the important work / life balance, and keeping up to date with industry changes (important to 46% of those surveyed).

Female business owners know how to utilise a networking event as an excellent chance to exchange ideas, vent frustrations, and brainstorm solutions with their equals and peers in a shared experience.  This in turn helps deepen relationships with other business women – and creates lucrative business bonds.

Connected women are strong advocates for each other’s business, not only singing the praises of their associates, but also directly referring business to each other.

Double Benefit: Do Business, Grow Personally

Women are highly adept at connecting by sharing information.

Not only are women receiving valuable business referrals from networking events because of their strong ability to form lasting, meaningful connections.  They are also able to learn critical information on how to better run their business and they are finding valued supporters for their cause.

Ladies, Nurture & Be Proud of Your Resourcefulness!

In my opinion, women are to be congratulated for taking the opportunity to socialise whilst networking.  It’s a very clever use of their time and energy.  Not only are women learning, sharing and growing their business, they are fulfilling one of nature’s most basic instincts: to connect.

As I continually move around the networking events in Sydney, I run into the same women giving the same elevator speech, but uniquely their cheer squads have changed at different events!  I believe this happens because many women have the ability to connect on varying social levels at these functions.  They thoroughly enjoy their time together as peers and are setting up a foundation for building a solid business relationship from that personal level.

BNI Member Sharon Veness of Bears In Boxes, for example, told me that connecting with business women on a social level first makes her more self-assured in her networking. She finds that once she has established a friendly rapport with another business woman it enables her to feel confident to discuss aspects of her business with the other woman.

Keeping up The Good Work

I encourage women to network, share ideas and be open about the challenges and joys they face in their businesses.  Most importantly, passionately support your fellow women in business.

Because, ladies, not only does your unique ability to network increase your referrals – it puts in place the foundations of a great, enduring business relationship that keeps on giving.

Louise Greenup is a Co-Executive Director of BNI Sydney CBD South, a  power-networker and connector.  Louise has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading forces for change in how people and businesses network effectively and profitably.  She proudly serves on the AWCCI’s Alliance Advisory Board. 

Categories : Networking
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The BNI Australia newsletter’s subscriber numbers and our blog’s rankings are steadily climbing. Add to that our new initiatives of Question Corner and Networking Tips now being in full swing, and one can understand the surge of interest from readers wanting to contribute a written piece, share their advice and their ideas. Many of our readers have already become actively involved; they have send in some great questions and contributions about BNI, networking and referral marketing.

And now, we have come up with a great offer to say “thank you!” for all your interest – and to give you a unique marketing and public relations (PR) opportunity.

BNI Columnist: Your Marketing Opportunity

BNI Australia is looking for guest columnists to contribute to our newsletter and blog!

The BNI Australia Blog publishes fresh, high-quality content every week and we are now looking for unique, interesting and educational articles about business networking – from you.

This is an opportunity for you to grow your personal brand and your business by contributing articles to the BNI Blog. Your articles are promoted again in the monthly BNI Newsletter, and regularly re-posted on our social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter).

How Far Can You Go?
Reach Thousands of New Prospects in One Hit

BNI Australia has over 5,000 members, and our Newsletter alone reaches a direct readership of over 30,000 business owners every month!

Add to that the BNI Australia Blog and Social Media exposure – and you are able to reach a minimum of many tens of thousands of potential new clients!

Share your ideas, your tips and your inspiring stories with members and non-members alike – and reap the rewards.

What’s In It For Me?

Being a BNI Guest Columnist gives you the unique opportunity to promote yourself as a thought leader and have your business noticed by a savvy, large readership adept at referral marketing.  You get the chance to reach and make yourself known to many tens of thousands of potential new clients with one short, impactful article about networking or referral marketing.  And let’s not forget the strong SEO and related public relations benefits for you and your business.  Plus, you will receive an opportunity to promote yourself and your business via a separate blog post when you become a BNI Guest Columnist Writer.

Now that’s a marketing opportunity that’s hard to beat!

Sign me Up!
How Can I Become a BNI Guest Columnist? 

We are keen to hear from BNI members and non-members who can offer written contributions on networking expertise that are interesting, educational pieces.

In order to maintain the high level of quality and consistency with the articles currently on the BNI Australia Blog, your articles will be reviewed and edited (as required) by a highly experienced, independent and BNI-approved copywriter.

We have negotiated a low fixed price for you, and BNI Australia is making no money from this arrangement.  At this low cost price, your sole investment for this great opportunity to reach thousands of new potential clients is limited to the cost of editing. This contribution is invoiced to you at cost by BNI Australia.

For more details about this exciting marketing opportunity, and how to sign up as a BNI Guest Columnist, please read on here.

Categories : BNI Benefits
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While many Australian businesses have struggled during the many financial crises – large and small – over the past years, BNI Members continued to reap the benefits of referral business passed on by their chapter members.

And this trend, of more income per BNI member annually, keeps going strong..

A Personal Referral Breaks Down Barriers

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

Referrals Keep Business(es) Strong

With 2012 off to a breathtakingly fast start, it is a good time to look at how our BNI Members faired in the past year or so. Most businesses with a solid clientele from word-of-mouth or referrals coped better in the hard economic times since the Credit Crunch when compared to their competition.

Small businesses that could rely on close relationships and referrals from clients and connections found themselves still operating when others were not as fortunate.  They also have been doing relatively well more often than those businesses reliant on advertising and price-based competing.

BNI Members Do More Business

With many competitors doing it tough, BNI Members across Australia continue to network, give referrals and prosper. The weekly networking opportunity, 1-on-1 meetings, and the visibility and credibility built by each member, keep leading to referrals and profitability. And, we are certain, will continue to do so.

Over the past 30 months, membership in BNI Australia has grown by approx. 50% to over 5,000 members. At the same time, members kept getting more efficient and effective in generating lucrative referrals.

Business generated by members almost tripled to $195m in the three years leading up to the end of financial years 2010/11. On average, BNI Members now earn approx. $40,000 p.a. through BNI referrals alone.

2012 – What Will You Achieve Through BNI?

So, how can you safeguard your business when the economy takes a dip or even another dive? Your attitude, and the depth and quality of your network will be a key asset that will get you through the financial storms.

BNI provides a solid, proven referral-generating network that will support you and your business. If you are not already a member – or a looking to rejoin after a business – your nearest chapter to see its business-producing power in action. Alternatively, even visit a few chapters to find the best fit for you (or even one of your clients and contacts – they are already “raving fans” of your business and will likely contribute further to your business growth via their new connections).

Whether a potential new or an existing member, look for a group of complementary businesses within a chapter to become part of a strong “power team”. Talk to those members about their experiences, and the level of profitability their BNI-generated referral business has contributed to their bottom lines.

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

And for 2012 … go ahead, create your own mini-economy! 

Categories : BNI Benefits
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Last year BNI celebrated its 25th anniversary. In a quarter of a century, BNI has gone from a spare room in founder Ivan Misner’s home to a multi-national company with more than 1,000 employees worldwide.
And today, BNI members pass over 6 million referrals and generate close to $3 billion in business – every year.

Before BNI Was Born

Back in 1985, BNI founder Ivan Misner ran his own consulting company. He had just taken out a mortgage for a new house when soon after he suddenly lost his biggest client. Unfortunately, the bank still wanted the monthly loan repayment, though. So, what to do? Advertising and PR wouldn’t help – his clientele was too niche and these options expensive. Direct mail or cold calling didn’t seem the answer either.

It All Started With a Simple Idea

Ivan, like many other businesses owners, already received referrals through his informal network of business acquaintances. But they were mostly an afterthought and coincidental product of a conversation. And many referrals too often were just vague leads in the cold light of day.

But the concept of referrals was good.
Ivan decided to harness the power of recommendations and referrals by making them more targeted, informed and plentiful – he knew he needed a networking system.

The seed that would turn into BNI was planted.

Today, BNI’s first employee and four of the original founding-members are still with the organisation.

How BNI Is Different

What Ivan realised was that no networking group existed that combined all the elements that he was looking for, and was convinced would lead to more quality referrals and more prosperity.

He wanted to be part of a networking group that offered a “system of mutually beneficial networking based on business referrals in a positive environment”. A system designed from the ground up to do one thing really well: generate the highest-possible number of high-quality referrals for all, from as many sources as possible.

BNI’s Keys to Success

Since its beginnings in the 1980s, BNI has provided the benefits and advantages that Ivan set out to achieve for his own business success. Little did he know then that his group of four would turn into the largest business networking organization in the world!

Today BNI is going strong due to:

And so, a simple idea keeps businesses prosper in Australia, and all over the world.

Meet Ivan Misner – Book for his Australia Visit Now!

Ivan will be visiting Australia in May/June 2012 to promote his book “Business Networking & Sex (Not What You Think)” – and to meet you!

This is your chance to have the founder of BNI speak at your regional events. First, find out more about where and when you can hear Ivan speak here.  Please contact your regional director or go to Ivan’s Tour Dates for the best way to connect with Ivan on his Australia visit 2012.

Support your business and your chapter – learn more about powerful networking from the founder of BNI, Ivan Misner in May/June 2012!

Categories : BNI Fundamentals
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Members Details
Peter Bailey
Queensland Finance & Leasing
BNI Wharf in the BNI Brisbane North

Tell us about your business:

Finance broker offering a full range of financial products for the acquisition of business and personal goods, such as cars, trucks and machinery.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1.Don’t wait for others to approach you.
2.Look people in the eye when you talk to them.
3.Engage with those you meet

What can’t you live without?

My annual ski holiday

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Anything by Brad Sugars is a good starting point

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

Referred to BNI by a bookkeeper client and saw it as a real opportunity to meet like minded business owners and to gain referrals.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

4 years

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Treasurer, Membership Committee, Education, Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

The business has gained additional clients and a strong network of support from like minded business owners.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

That meeting every week can become like ”Ground Hog Day”

Your Dream Referral Is…

An earthmoving or trucking business that has a constant need for finance and is sick of the banks.

Categories : Featured Member
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Members Details
Himanshi Munshaw Luhar
Beacon Holidays Pty Ltd
BNI Noon Networkers in the BNI Melbourne Inner East

Tell us about your business:

Beacon Holidays is a family owned boutique travel specialist, specialising in customised and tailor made holidays.

We understand that a holidays is a special experience and will do our very best to ensure that it is all that you expect and more.It’s your holiday, let us plan it your way.

We like to invite people to experience the Beacon difference. If it’s not good enough for our family it’s not good enough for yours.

We also specialise in culinary tours both in Melbourne and internationally, so join us on a cultural food tour and Taste, Experience and Explore with our Foodie Trails.
In Melbourne – Masala (Indian) Trails, African Trails, Turkish Trails.

Internationally Masala (Indian) Trails, African Trails, Turkish Trails, Vietnamese Trails.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

  1. Listen and hear what people are saying to you.Give them the courtesy you would expect.
  2. Think about the long term it’s all about building a relationship.
  3. Every query is an important one.Even if you don’t see an instant benefit.

What can’t you live without?

1. A good book to read before I go to bed.

2. Exploring a new place during my holidays and finding a hidden gem!

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Promptings – Your inner guide to making a difference by Kody Bateman.

A lot of times you ignore your instinct thinking it’s not a practical business decision. This book will make you rethink that approach.

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

Recommended by a friend in the industry.
I decided to join my chapter because the group is friendly and warm and I have been following the philosophy of givers gain my whole life.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

10 months

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

A great network of people who take the time to get to know each other and build relationships to do business together.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

Time & commitment will bring you results

Do You Have a BNI Story To Share?

I organized a holiday for a member in my chapter. After a number of destination choices and dates of travel, they were finally able to take some time off to go on the trip. She returned with praises of her experience and has been telling everyone who will listen about it.

It’s the reason you go to work everyday. To help create memories that matter.

Your Dream Referral Is…

A multi generation family holiday celebrating a big occasion like a milestone birthday or anniversary.

Categories : Featured Member
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Members Details
Denise Booth
Licensed Real Estate Agent
McGrath Estate Agents
BNI Point Break in the BNI Northern Beaches Region

Tell us about your business:

I am a Licensed Real Estate Agent specialising in the Sales arena of the Northern Beaches of Sydney

What are your top 3 networking tips?

  • Consistency
  • Energy
  • Enthusiasm

What can’t you live without?

My family

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

McGrath Estate Agents anyday
Its the most professional brand in Real Estate in Australia

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

Tim Helman our President at Point Break
Tim is a fabulous leader and works hard for his team

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

about 12 months

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Membership Committee, Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

Referrals and leads for buyers and vendors

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

The true meaning of ”Givers Gain”

Do You Have a BNI Story To Share?

Like Real Estate its a numbers game, the more you put out there, the more that comes to you

Your Dream Referral Is…

A motivated Vendor who is realistic in todays market

Categories : Featured Member
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