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BNI – A Proven Small Business Success Secret

As a proven small business success secret, BNI has definitely been worth the time and effort put forth over the last 11 months. In my previous article about BNI, Business Development Strategies – The BNI Way, I was still new to the Downtown Biz Links chapter, getting my feet wet and forging alliances.BNI Referral Networking

And this early part of the journey proved to me that not all BNI chapters are the same. In 2012 I set out to find a local chapter to see what it was all about. The first chapter I visited in didn’t work out, so I didn’t join. Five months later I looked into another chapter and determined that if I was going to give it a go that this one would be the one to test. And so test I have. Here’s the back-story.

As an offline marketer who converted to the online world in 1995 and then again in 2010(more on this in a future article), I knew the potential for the web and email was tremendous, and BNI could be one of the channels to allow us to connect with our target market of small business owners.

This journey was propelled after a talk with one of my mentors in August of 2010 as he recommended that I find offline ways to connect with small business owners looking to market their businesses online.

Now I must add that it would have paid to join BNI just to get to know the Regional Executive Director, Barb Olson, as her warmth, caring and knowledge of BNI, let alone people, has made the experience that much better.

Without Barb I believe I might have passed altogether and not gotten involved. So her being available both live and electronically has made this journey that much more enjoyable. Her experience and intuitiveness have proven to me that when it comes to networking groups, she is a rare find.

With all that said, I’m not sure that I would have continued with BNI if it wasn’t for her. So after many years of visiting other networking groups, chambers, and associations, I determined that BNI was going to be where I invested my time and energy.

The whole ‘Givers Gain’ philosophy has been one that I had to experience first hand to believe. After all, one can participate and be seen but not give and refer.

Over the last year BNI has proven to be a good source of referrals and fertile ground for budding relationships. Although it did not go as fast as I thought it would, several of these relationships have turned out to be very fruitful and a few others are starting to show signs of blossom.

The bottom line…

In this case, ‘A Proven Small Business Success Secret’ is not really a secret at all. It’s finding the right fit and then committing the time and effort on a weekly basis.

Is BNI for every small business and organization? No.

Is it going to work for you and your business?

Only you will know and time will tell. Go research, visit and test.

In closing for today…

As the New Year is just starting to pick up steam, I can see how BNI will have a positive impact on SBM’s growth and also how I can further connect and refer to people both inside and outside of our chapter.

More to come so stay tuned.

Dave Krygier




Business Development Strategies – The BNI Way

Ever heard of BNI? Well up until last year, neither had I. Well at least I hadn’t paid enough attention to know what BNI is all about.

You see, BNI, also known as Business Networking International, is a global organization that functions on the basis of referrals, with the philosophy of Givers Gain.

Up until the Spring of 2012 I’d never heard of BNI.

I had been involved in networking groups before like LeTip and even co-founded a group in the early 1990’s which was located in the Seattle area called the Northern Network.

From different Chambers to Associations, I had my share of networking and needless to say the guard was up. Networking on a local level was not a new concept to me, but a group of very successful marketers, who I met at a conference, highly recommended BNI and this caught my attention.

So I decided to visit two different BNI chapters in my neck of the woods and one of them fit me better than the other.

Yes, there are chapters all over and in my case there were several to choose from that didn’t have a business like mine. You see each BNI chapter can only have one profession or business of it’s kind as a member. This way you are not competing with another company for the same business.

BNI is very unique, at least to this publisher and small business owner who has been around networking since the start of his first little enterprise many, many years ago.

BNI has been a real blessing and in my opinion the connections one can make are well worth the time and small investment.

Look, I’m not saying that you put all of your time into networking. I’m just saying that maybe it’s worth looking into and investigating if you are in the business development mode right now looking for new business development strategies that convert prospects into clients.

Because one to two new referrals could be what makes your week, month or even your year, depending on your business.

I mean we can go back and forth about business development strategies all day long.

There are lots of them out there and plenty of people to help you implement whichever one suits your particular business. Maybe your business development strategies or ‘strategy’ are working just fine and the cash register is overflowing, but you know you need a backup plan?

Maybe BNI could fit the bill and be a part of your business development strategy over the next couple of years? The only way you’ll know is to schedule the time to check it out and evaluate for yourself.

So if you are a small business or professional on the business development path and desire to connect with other like-minded people…

BNI might just be the ticket.

But you’ll never know until you take the next step and visit a chapter in your area.

Until next time,

Dave Krygier