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  • #975619
    theresec
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    Hi, just joined, and I have a question. I have been approached to join a local BNI networking group (business networking). Does anyone have any experience of this network group, as in it’s worth in getting referrals? or any other info? thanks

    I am a BAS Agent/Bookkeeper, have been working as a tax accountant for three years but needed a better hourly rate and more flexible working hours. All i need to do now is get some more clients.

    #1075517
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Hi Therese,

    Have a look here: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/networking/13955-bni-any-thoughts.html

    I am also a member of a BNI chapter and have received business from it – and our bookkeeper has had to expand her staff twice to cope with the work! :)

    Kathy

    #1075518
    theresec
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    Thanks heaps Kathy,

    That link was very interesting and helpful. I can’t see anything negative (except perhaps the initial cost – but you don’t get something for nothing).

    I have visited this local group once and am able to visit one more time before joining. So i think i will give it a go.

    thanks again:)

    #1075519
    dextereugenio
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    BNI’s pretty cool.

    ive been part of some great chapters and have made some excellent contacts and even some friends.

    ive gotten tonnes of work from it (IT dorks always get the most referrals) and made some great connections.

    I am not a member anymore however.

    There are many PROs but there are some cons.

    * the initial cost is quite a big hit.
    * the ongoing weekly breakfasts ($15-$20+) can add up
    * unless you know the members of the chapters beforehand, it could take weeks or even months before you get work referred to you
    * the early mornings really really suck poo
    * you are expected to regularly participate in dance cards (meetings) and other chapter activities. (this can suck alot of precious time)
    * the structure can be a little annoying
    * chapters live and die by the leadership team and at times the bickering is akin to a bunch of teenage schoolgirls who all want to wear the same dress to the formal.
    * being made to public speak so early in the morning can be tough
    * you have to make a firm 110% commitment. if you cant make it, youre expected to provide a substitute. if you dont, you get black tagged. too many in a row and theyll kick you out!

    overall, i dont regret my time at all in BNI and with my new venture have actually thought about rejoining a chapter. i dunno though. i enjoy my early morning bloggings and eating good food.

    but i made some great connections which are still very active today and this is after 5+ years.

    dEx

    #1075520
    theresec
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    thanks DEx

    i appreciate your feedback. Yes the early Friday morning thing could wear thin but from the sound of your post, in business terms it’s worth it.

    So, with some determination to make it work for me, Im in.

    cheers

    Therese

    #1075521
    dextereugenio
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    hey T

    yeah it is a good step in getting some business.

    before you rush out and join a chapter i think you should do a couple of things.

    * visit a number of them. dont just join the first one. chances are your category is already represented so dont be surprised if you find the first 5-10 you cant go to because theres already a BK in there.

    * in addition to the above, visit a couple where you CAN join and that you like the “aura” of. ive been to countless meetings and chapters and some flow really well and others just plain out suck. of the good ones, find out how long the current membership team is residing for (they usually have 6 month stints) so you dont join only to find the great chemistry gone with the incoming leadership team. this is VERY common!

    * once you join, get caught up in it but not to the point where it affects your business. i have seen businesses crumble as people get “too into” BNI that they neglect their own businesses and though their standing in BNI is awesome, their businesses suck.

    thats pretty much about it. if you want any more info, PM me :)

    #1075522
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Hi Therese,

    Absolutely agree with dEx – visit a few chapters to see which one you click with. You’re going to be spending a fair amount of time with the businesses in the group – make sure you are going to enjoy it!

    Kathy

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