Archive for February, 2014

susanWell, that got you interested!

When Susan Boyle sang I Dreamed a Dream on Britain’s Got Talent, millions of people became swept up in her story. I read countless articles talking about the appropriateness of the song – “Susan dreamed a dream, and her life was transformed forever” and so on. But the song actually isn’t about dreaming happy dreams. As anyone who’s seen Anne Hathaway’s harrowing rendition of the same song in the recent Les Miserables film will know, the words are about her devastation and despair about how things have turned out for her.

Which goes to show how impactful titles are. They’re our first impression. And, if we don’t read on, they’re our only impression.

Think of the titles you see every day at work – emails (“FYI”, “misc”); meetings (“update”, “progress”); presentations (“Q2 review”, “our credentials”); documents (“our proposal”, “risk analysis”) and slides “background”, “summary”)…

Now think of the titles you see outside work – impactful newspaper headlines, eye-catching adverts, interesting-sounding TV and radio shows, books you simply have to buy based on the title alone…

The latter list is so much better. That’s not the way it has to be. It’s just the way it is. So, make your titles at work better. Include something that grabs and/or benefits the recipient. When you do, they’re more likely to read it. When you don’t, they might not read it at all. This makes your title their only impression of your communication – not the impact you intended.

Look at your Sent Items to see the standard of your titles. And/or look at today’s diary, to see which entries sound interesting. This helps you see how others view your titles. Then, of course, if you think they should be better, improve them.

From BNI UK Story Of The Week

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rolandgroupAh, Australian summer holidays: beach, shimmering heat and BBQs…

But not for us this year: my husband Roland and I swapped the swimmers for some thermal underwear, the sunhat for a beanie, and the thongs for winter boots.  Because this January, we were off to ‘Holland’ for a business trip cum family visit (for the latter picture a mad mix of 50-odd Dutch folk, Germans and Italians, and you get the idea)!

The BNI Family Comes up Trumps

We always try and visit at least one BNI chapter in each country we visit, so this year we booked ourselves in for a cold (at least by Australian standards) Friday morning to visit the Dutch chapter BNI Vivaldi in Apeldoorn.

Why this chapter, you might ask.  Well, apart from having family in the area, it’s through a typical example of BNI networking we came to visit: Frederick Marcoux introduced us to the Dutch BNI director Peter Hemmen a while ago, who suggested we get in touch with regional Chapter Assistant Director Frans Brugman. One email, and Frans had us booked in – easy, helpful, done.

But back to that frosty Friday morning…

Welkom bij Vivaldi – Welcome!

When we arrived at BNI Vivaldi’s meeting place, De Wilde Pieters (beautifully and calmly run by chapter member Robert Pieters, by the way) the reception was anything but frosty: Frans Brugman was already waiting with a warm reception. And each arriving member, without fail, made a point of greeting each other and all visitors with a handshake.  It was impossible not to feel included and welcome.

This generous reception created some strong first impressions and instant connections. Roland and I both ended up having some valuable conversations, and I received two referrals before the meeting even started. Thank you, Vivaldi members!

First idea to take home, for sure.

The Vivaldi Experience

While we were mingling pre-meeting, president John Uittenhout made sure he personally welcomed us and introduced to his leadership team, Reinier Gieteling (Vice president) and Remco Bosveld (Treasurer).

Another nice touch was that seats for all of us visitors were reserved with a professional name card – no rushing needed to grab ourselves a good seat!

Let me make a note of this, … idea number 2.

While Roland is a native Dutch speaker, I only understand (not speak) it to a fair extend, and members were very accommodating of that fact.  A few jokes were flying around in English, and everyone happily let me present in English. Visitors’ presentations were listened to attentively and made a real focus of the meeting – a nice recognition for having made the effort to attend (and appreciation that visitors account for such a high percentage of closed business in BNI chapters worldwide). Bedankt, Team Vivaldi!

Idea 3: show visitors more of the appreciation they deserve; little things go a long way.

danielagroupI’ll be back!

The meeting had a strong emphasis of giving every visitor and presenter the opportunity to share their thoughts and message properly, while staying focussed and on time.

Having experienced such a welcoming, inclusive meeting of this fun and professional chapter, I’m not surprised that BNI Vivaldi and its current 31 members can look back on an outstanding €12 million (approx. AUD 18 million) closed business over the past five years!

I, for one, will be back.

Next time preferably in summer, though.

Daniela Cavalletti is the founder of Sydney-based boutique copywriting and communications agency Cavalletti Communications (affectionately known as CavaCom).  Daniela and her team are passionate about helping business owners, authors and brands find their unique voice, boldly stand out and become the leader in their marketplace.

Daniela’s husband Roland Hanekroot is the founder of New Perspectives Business Coaching in Sydney, and the author of “The Ten Truths for Business Owners” series of business books. Roland works with small business owners to help them have more Fun in their business – because when your business is Fun, it means everything is working.

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Feb
07

Tony Hall l CEO l GreenBizCheck

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tony hallMembers Details
Tony Hall
CEO
GreenBizCheck
www.tradiesgo.com.au
BNI Beachside in the BNI Gold Coast Region

Tell us about your business:

GreenBizCheck is a global technology-based environmental certification program for business offering environmental certification for offices, retail, hotels, clubs, education centres, IT, food & beverage and recruitment. The program helps companies to quickly implement sustainable environmental practices which rapidly increase profits, attract new business, conserve energy, water, resources and minimise waste.
Companies are provided with a 260+ point online assessment with immediate reporting and action planning.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Spend time to get to know people both personally and professionally.

2. Keep moving around to get to know everyone in the group as they may know someone who can really help your business grow.

3. Resist the urge to drink too much if alcohol is provided!

What can’t you live without?

1. Morning espresso x 2
2. Personal Training at Vision PT Bundall
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
4. Two young and bright children Mimi and Nicky
5. Evening whiskey x 2

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

The E-Myth – helps you work out what you are good at in your business and encourages you to seek out others to compliment your skills.

It opens your mind to sales techniques you might not be across.

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

I was referred in by my personal trainer. I joined to get me out of the office and meet like minded fired up business people.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

6 Months

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

It has really helped me connect to local businesses and reflect on our own business every week. We have a very lively bunch of 35 motivated members at Beachside on the Gold Coast.

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

Nothing – BNI delivers on every promise so long as you put in the effort to give as well as gain.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

I am trying to personally do business with every member in our chapter so I can honestly refer them as a quality business to my networks. This has been very powerful as it fits theBNI Givers Gain philosophy perfectly.

Your Dream Referral Is…

GreenBizCheck is looking for ANY business looking to save money, boost profits, attract new business and make a real contribution to protecting our planet at a very low cost.

We are also looking for passionate and well-networked distributors to help us expand rapidly.

Categories : Featured Member
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email_DSC8905-BrianMembers Details
Brian Alexander
Director
Manning Tax & Business Consultants Pty Ltd
www.mtbc.com.au
BNI Riverview Taree in the BNI NSW Mid North Coast Region

Tell us about your business:

We are a Chartered Accounting firm specialising in using technology to make your business life less taxing.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

Leave your comfort zone.
Do as many one on one’s as you can.
Make contact with all new visitors to make them feel welcome.

What can’t you live without?

Windsurfing

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

E myth

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

I was in the foundation group after our real estate client invited me to be part of it.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

8 Years

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

President, Treasurer, Membership Committee

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

Great resource base of like minded business people. About 10% of our businesss comes from BNI.

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

Do your Member success program (MSP) and ten minute presentation ASAP to promote your business from the outset.
You have to build trust.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

Our Chapter is a huge success story. Many people have built their businesses almost solely through BNI referrals.
The key is to keep it positive and remember you get back what you put in. (givers gain)

Your Dream Referral Is…

A franchise group.

Categories : Featured Member
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StephanieSummit-smalMembers Details
Stephanie Campanella
Owner
Tradies Get Online
www.tradiesgo.com.au
BNI Business Express in the BNI NSW Region

Tell us about your business:

Stephanie Campanella wanted to combine her web design skills and thorough knowledge of the building and trade services industries.

Having been the daughter of a builder Stephanie fully appreciates the demands, challenges and opportunities of trade businesses.

From the early age of 12, Stephanie has worked in the family building and construction business and fully appreciates how tenders, quotes, invoices, estimations, accounting, bookkeeping, job management, supplier management and generally every aspect of how a trades business works.

Tradies Get Online was developed to reduce the headache for tradesmen and their families/staff to go online in the areas of accounting, website management, email marketing, eCommerce and website reports.

Most web designers are great creatives, but don’t understand the value of strategy in a website design. They’d favour ‘pretty’ vs ‘commercially viable’.

Similarly most techos can’t communicate and don’t understand business issues.

Stephanie is a unique character. She’s an awesome designer, commercially savvy and is a techo that can talk plain english and make sense.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

Always Smile.
Never Judge.
Be Memorable.

What can’t you live without?

Extreme Sports

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

jeffrey Gitomer – Little Red Book of Selling.

It opens your mind to sales techniques you might not be across.

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

I always new I had to network. Networking helps builds relationships and relationships impact business decisions.

I was told about BNI from many colleagues.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

18 Months

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

Education, Events, Visitors Host

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

Expand my network and learn more about other markets.

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

Stress less. Everyone is here to help.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

BNI made me get up, out of bed at 5am every Friday in order to get in front of 40 business owners.

It allowed me to ’get real’ about my business.

Your Dream Referral Is…

A tradesmen that wants increased lead generation.

I’ll build their website, and organise a communication with their clients. Keeping them top of mind.

Categories : Featured Member
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Josh-photo-26-7-13-low-resMembers Details
Josh Pennell
Senior Adviser
Ozplan Financial Services
www.ozplan.com.au
BNI City Corporate Melbourne in the BNI Melbourne Region

Tell us about your business:

We are an independently owned and operate financial advisory practice. This means no conflicted advice or remuneration as we are not affiliated with a bank, insurer or financial institution which really sets us apart from most of the market.

We provide high quality professional financial advice, targeted at business owners, high net worth individuals or people who want to become high net worth individuals. Retirement planning is also a big focus.

Our advice is goals driven. What do our clients want to do or achieve with their money? It’s not about seeing it pile up in the corner or an account….what do they genuinely need and want money for. We then help develop a plan to do this efficiently and we work with them over time effectively achieve this and keep them accountable to those stated goals.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

- Get involved: My time as President of our chapter was demanding & time consuming, but there were so many fantastic benefits that I got out of it.

- Givers gain is the BNI philosophy that we all hear about, but it is so true. Not just in business and networking, but in life.

- Show true appreciation and thanks for referrals. Too many times I see people not being truly grateful for the time & effort someone else has gone to in order to find a referral and help someones business. If you don’t show true thanks then why would you expect to get more in the future?

What can’t you live without?

Technology – Although there are many people out there who are more tech savvy than me. Making the most out of technology and the tools available to us (that our predecessors weren’t lucky enough to have) can create huge amounts of efficiency but it can also create wow factors for your clients and networking contacts.

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

The four hour working week. Unfortunately it’s not a reality for most of us, but the tips, tools and concept behind this book is that we can and should make our working lives more effective by changing our long held misconceptions and approaches to work and business.

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

I was asking my sister about some potential contacts via the company she worked for who I thought could be good referral partners for me. As a result her boss suggested BNI and I then searched it on the internet. After attending as a visitor I felt it was a great concept and really enjoyed the environment & interaction of everyone in the group.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

4 Years

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

President

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

- Lots of great business & quality clients.
- Excellent referral partners.
- Significantly improved networking and communication skills.
- Improved & refined ability to explain what I do & how I add value to my clients.
- Introductions to so many other great events & networking opportunities from my fellowmembers.
- Awareness & belief that you don’t find clients sitting at your desk. You have to build & use relationships & help others first to generate leads & business.

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

Don’t be overwhelmed. The relationships that already exist in a chapter can be extremely strong. I remember thinking how I seemed so far off breaking into those relationships & having good interaction with the group and individuals at the start.

This of course changed very quickly as we had very friendly and welcoming members, but it is hard at first.

So get involved, do as many 1 to 1’s as possible in the first 1-2 months and that will break the ice very quickly.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

BNI is a big commitment. Weekly meetings as well as 1 to 1’s and other responsibilities. In our busy lives, you do have times when it all seems difficult & like hard work & sometimes you start to question yourself.

The thing about BNI though is that it will always bounce back in such a positive way. Whenever I’ve started to feel like I’m in a small rut, suddenly 2,3,4 great referrals have all come in at once and in most cases because they are such warm leads, they have converted into business. This has happened on a number of occasions over my 4 years.

Stay committed, stay active, give to others and it will always come back to you

Your Dream Referral Is…

1. A married couple, aged 40+ with accumulated wealth, who are serious about creating an amazing retirement.

2. A self funded retiree who wants to enjoy their retirement, not fuss over managing their money. That’s what we are here for.

Categories : Featured Member
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bradfifocapitalMembers Details
Brad Bennett
Cash Flow Specialist
FIFO Capital
www.FIFOCapital.com.au
BNI United in the BNI North Sydney Region

Tell us about your business:

FIFO Capital: Invoice today, cash tomorrow.

At FIFO we simply buy your invoice(s), provide you with up to 80% of the invoice value immediately, and when your customer pays we remit the remaining 20% less our fee.

FAST: We can do this initially in 24-48 hours (later in 2-4 hours).
FLEXIBLE: There is no need to lock into an ’all of ledger’ invoice finance product (i.e. can be used only when needed).
COMPATIBLE: There is no need for real estate security & we can work with existing finance providers.
TRANSPARENT: There is a single charge per invoice & no hidden fees.
SIMPLE: We fund businesses banks will not.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Practise active listening. It works.
2. Focusing on others & not yourself builds trust.
3. Networking done right is essentially all about Karma.

What can’t you live without?

My iPhone business card reader App

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Currently I am reading ”Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off”, by Jim Cockrum. There are some great tips to browse that will maximise your digital marketing spend.

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

It was recommended to me by a number of my new colleagues at FIFO.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

Part of the newly formed North Sydney Chapter (BNI United)

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?

It is clear from my short time that by focusing on the other BNI members referrals I can generate goodwill & a willingness to support my own businesses objectives/growth, thereby increasing my own potential many times over.

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

…make sure you are an early riser…!

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

As a new member, not too many stories yet. However, as a former ’bean counter’ that worked hard at having NO network, I seem to have found a group of colleagues willing to help me overnight!

Your Dream Referral Is…

SMEs which:
- Have turnover under $5M
- Need fast working capital funding ($20K-$500K)
- Have B2B customer debtor’s ledgers.
- Have maxed out existing overdrafts / security
- Are new and/or have limited equity in their business
- Which have been rejected by banks
- Don’t want to be locked into ’all of ledger’ solutions

I am also keen to speak to their trusted advisors: small-mid sized accountants & lawyers, loan brokers, business coaches & bankers.

Categories : Featured Member
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