Archive for BNI Benefits

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.

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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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Just as every city has innumerable shops and cafés, it also has many different business networking groups.  Not every shop offers a good range, not every café makes a great coffee.  The same is true of business networking groups.  They are not created equal.  And there is a lot at stake when choosing which business networking groups to join.

This month Melanie Miller from BNI Infinity and Small Fish Business Coaching poses the question for our Question Corner.  She asks, “What makes BNI different from other networking groups?”

Good question!  So, what does make BNI stand out, and why should you join?

Networking Groups Are Essential To Our Businesses

Networking is key to the success of all of our businesses.  Why spend a fortune on advertising, or hours making cold calls, when we know word-of-mouth marketing to be most effective.

So should we join networking groups?  Yes, definitely!  In fact Dr Ivan Misner, the BNI Founder and Chairman, suggests we all join two or three, so we meet a broad range of people.

But how do we choose those two or three?

So Many Networking Groups: Which Ones Are Right?

Having worked in the field of referral marketing for several decades, BNI’s Ivan Misner is an expert.  He has identified six types of networking groups.  By looking at these six types more closely, we can decide on the best ones for our businesses.

1. Casual Contact Networks

The first type of networking group, the casual contact network, is a business group that allows many people from various overlapping professions.  As there are no restrictions on the number of people from each profession, competition within each category is often high.

The best examples of casual contact groups are Chambers of Commerce, which provide business owners with the opportunity to meet hundreds of other business people.

2. Strong Contact Networks

Strong contact networks are groups that meet weekly for the primary purpose of exchanging referrals.

They often restrict membership to only one person per profession or specialty.

Strong contact networks tend to be more structured in their meeting format than casual contact networks.  They often include sections for open networking, short presentations by everyone, longer and more detailed presentations by one or two members, and time devoted solely to passing business referrals.

BNI is a good example of a strong contact network.

3. Community Service Clubs

Community service clubs give you an opportunity to put something back into the community where you do business – while allowing you to make valuable contacts and receive good PR.

Two good examples of community service clubs are the Rotary and Lions Clubs.

4. Professional Associations

Professional associations focus on one specific industry, such as banking, architecture, accounting, or health.  The primary purpose of a professional association is for members to exchange information and ideas within their specific industry.

If you’re interested in joining a professional association you should join a group that your potential clients or target market belong to.  Ask your best clients which professional associations they belong to and join those.  The idea is that your potential customers will most likely have the same needs as your existing, best customers.  Joining the professional associations your best customers belong to will give you the opportunity to mix with similar people.

5. Social/Business Organisations

Social/business organisations are groups that (as the name suggests!) combine business and social activities.  The idea here is that you can have a little fun while you work (or do a little work while you have fun!).

6. Women’s Business Organisations

Women’s business organisations take all forms, from casual contact groups to associations and more structured strong contact networks.  While the structure and specific benefits of each group may be different, the goal is the same: To support the participation and effectiveness of women in business.

What Is BNI – And How Does It Compare?

BNI is a strong contact group.

And the biggest business referral networking group of its kind in the world:

  • BNI members meet weekly for the primary purpose of exchanging referrals.
  • Membership is restricted to one person per professional category in each chapter so there is no competition within categories.
  • BNI chapter meetings are formal and structured.
  • Everyone has the chance to promote their business and learn about other members’ businesses.
  • And, importantly, the meetings are fun!
  • The members of your BNI chapter become more than your business associates and marketing team.  They become your friends, and we all know how easy it is to do business with friends.

Visit Your Local Chapter 

So, as you plan your marketing activities for the year ahead, think carefully about where you will invest your networking time and money in 2012.

Visit your local BNI chapter to find out whether BNI is right for you and your business.

Categories : BNI Benefits
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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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Jan
24

BNI To the Rescue

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Written by Lead Jacobs – BNI Assistant Director & Member – Melbourne. Introduction by BNI Australia Editors.

Many people join BNI for the referrals and show their business but what they don’t realise is all the other opportunities it brings to you. Personal development, new friends, new life partners and a go to person for whatever the situation may be.  Our BNI members are a community of like minded individuals who go out of their way to really help each other.

Here is one story from a BNI Assistant Director Leah Jacobs of just one of those incidences.

Jane Banting - BNI Member to the Rescue

“For the 5 years I have been involved with BNI I never cease to be amazed by the side benefits. For instance the personal development, the contacts I have made and used the knowledge I have gained and used in my business etc. However my most recent experience is one I would like to share with others.

At the end of November I was participating in a class at the gym I attend regularly. I have been doing this activity regularly for over 30 years. I was in a step class where we use a low platform and I made a wrong move and fell badly. I immediately knew I had done something drastic because I had to be carried out of the class. There was a lot of swelling but very little pain. I was also pretty sure I had not broken anything and that it was muscular.

I decided to go to a physio instead of a doctor because I thought this could short circuit things. When I went to see Jane Banting (member of BNI Noon Networkers in Melbourne) she did not like what she saw, but what impressed me the most is that she took the extra step to consult a college of hers just to get a second opinion. She also said I had to see my GP in order to get a referral for an MRI.

After many phone calls (both from Jane and my GP) trying to get into a specialist Jane saw the urgency and contacted a sports physio who immediately called the top surgeon in Victoria on his mobile which he answered from the operating theatre.

Leah Jacobs - BNI Assistant Director & BNI Member

The sports physio explained the urgency and the surgeon saw me that night after 9.00pm while still in his operating clothes. He immediately booked me into surgery the following day and I was operated on late at night and the surgery finished after midnight.

I am recovering well, but I owe it all to the quick thinking and connections of a BNI member. Thank you Jane.

Jane Banting has a Physiotherapy practice in Glenhuntly, Melbourne and you can contact Jane on 1300 292 894.”

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