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Business Network International - BNI

Offline Marketing tips and techniques - how to market your online business OFFline. Also discussing Offline Business set-up and strategy.

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Business Network International - BNI

Postby NitaB » Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Has anyone joined BNI? If so I would love to her of your experience with them. I am considering joining of our local chapters and would like some imput.

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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:12 am
Location: Illinois

Postby Teena » Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:31 pm

Hi there NitaB,

A friend of mine joined about 18 months ago, here in Australia, but at approx $900 per year I thought it was rather expensive. The breakfasts had to be paid for on top of that, and you had to pay a fine if you didn't attend a breakfast. [It seemed to me that what you got for your money was someone arranging breakfasts :)]

My friend ended up leaving after a year as she didn't receive any referrals although she felt she constantly talked about - and referred - the other businsses in her group.

Her business was sound, an excellent service, but I do believe no-one works as hard to promote *your* business as *you*. :)

I'm not saying don't join, but do go along to a few of the breakfasts without joining, see how it works, ask for actual details of who's received lots of business via their referrals.

Pop onto other forums and ask all the same questions, asking for honesty.

As with everything where there's a fee involved, do all your research before you part with your cash.

Good luck!

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Last edited by Teena on Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nita, as with new cars...

Postby DBeavers » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:48 am

with BNI, your mileage may vary.

You are entitled to visit and and every chapter in your market. Including those where your position is filled. If you find a chapter with a vacancy for you, take the option of a second visit.

If it seems like that particular group will be a good fit for you, weigh your options, the costs, and the potential benefits. If the potential is there for a good ROI (Return on Investment), you should seriously consider joining.

But, recognize that BNI is not the only networking game in Illinois. I don't know your particular market, but some cities may have 2 to 6 other independent networking groups that might offer a better fit.

Some groups do early morning breakfasts, while others choose the lunch time option. A few may even meet after regular business hours.

Remember that with BNI, you have to commit to 12-13 meetings every quarter - sending an alternate in your place if you are unable to attend. You will only be allowed two unexcused absences.

BNI is a very regimented group, and I found all the "hoo-rah" just so much hype.

The four local chapters declined over time, with the original one absorbing members from the others as they lost their charter.

I was the only person to join in six months, and my chapter lost its charter. Instead of a refund of my remaining six months dues that were pre-paid, I was given a letter to take to another chapter.

It didn't matter to the Louisiana BNI franchise that the nearest chapters were over 100 miles away - How could I commit and offer good leads and referrals that far outside my market?

I've had much better experience with an independent networking group. More fun, lower costs, less rules and regimentation - and better leads and referrals.

Hope my input helps.

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Location: Sulphur, LA

Postby ElevatingYourBusiness » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:43 am

BNI is one of many networking businesses. I recommend it and a few others to my clients. They visit as many weekly networking groups as possible and then choose 1 to join.

One of my clients drives 30 minutes and to another town to attend the group he feels is better than the group 5 minutes from his house.

Really knowing whom your ideal client is will help you decide on and if a group is good for a particular person.

For example, I have found that the BNI groups in my area have many MLM and home business owners who want to make enough money to pay the bills and then a bit more. So, they're not a good match for me.

I found that it made more sence for me to join a club who has small to mid size business owners.

Hope this helps.
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 7:57 am

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