BNI has been a part of my life for many years now. We have a love – hate relationship. I get work from it; make some great contacts, make even better friends and it gets me out of bed in a morning. But the time needed to actually get results from BNI is high (3 – 4 hours per week).
- Also you have to take into the account the people in the chapter, are they of a high standard?
- Would you pass work to them?
- Are they credible enough?
- Do you like them?
All these questions need to be taken into account before you can decide on anything.
The 3 main things to consider before signing up for BNI are:
You need to have goals set, an example being: I want to make £40,000 in 1 year from BNI. Having a set goal means it easier to track if BNI is working for you. Each year I have set a goal for BNI for my business and the 1 and only reason we continue to stay in BNI is the fact that we hit these goals.
The BNI chapter politics is something you will have to take into account, some can be very clicky, others will have a good old fashioned gossip behind your back. You have to remember you’re seeing these people every week, they are going to learn a lot about you and how you run your business. (This should be a good thing!) We have always been very honest with other members and explained to them why we have or have not passed referrals to them.
They always say that the time you commit is going to be the biggest commitment and I 100% agree. The money to join is small and pretty much not important, the main thing you need to worry about is time commitment. To be honest you’re looking at 2 to 3 hours per week at the meeting then at least 1 extra hour per week for the following:
- 1 to 1 meetings with other members
- Helping to run the chapter
- Inviting visitors
- Getting referrals for other members
I am by no means a great BNI member but I am realistic with my time and for the amount of time I put it, I’m fairly happy with my return. The best thing I can say is: If you’re making money and lots of it, you don’t mind putting the time in. If week in, week out your putting effort in and getting nothing from it, that’s where the issue can arise.
By Ross Davies