Does BNI membership help?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Smithers, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,265

    Hey guys/gals,

    I am a part timer and currently have only 3 accounts (each week) and 2 (every other week). My wife helps out when she can.

    Anyway, a friend of ours (a CPA) invited my wife to a BNI meeting last week. For those of you that dont know what BNI is......It is a local chapter of business owners like Florist, Realtor, Accountant, etc that meet every week and promote their businesses among each other. In turn, when the members do their daily jobs, if they hear that someone needs a landscaper, YOU come to their mind right away since you have been drilling your company into their heads every single week.

    That local chapter is a part of the whole BNI community, which is nationwide and many cities have more than one chapter. Example, Detroit 1, Detroit 2,3, and so on....

    Anyway, in each chapter, there can be only one business owner from each industry, so that there is no competition. Only one florist, one dog walker, etc.

    So, here comes the question. Has anyone of you done it? The membership is $265/year and $75 one time application fee.

    Oh, i forgot to mention for those of you that might be interested that if you miss 3 meetings in 6 months, you lose your place in that local chapter.

    When my wife went there, the members were giving each other refferals like crazy. She said that the web-site developer got 3 contacts, and the florist thanked 4 people for prior refferals.

    So, has anyone been a member of a BNI chapter and how did it work for you? I need to grow next year and we think that that would be a good place to start.
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I did it for a while in '98. Quit it later in the year. I seemed like people were passing referalls for work that only people within the group needed. Not too many outside the group referalls. And I didn't feel like I could give a referal to companies I didn't know or trust. Just because I was in their group, I didn't know the quality of the companies or the people. It didn't help my company much, but it did for others.

    If you do get into it, find one that fits your schedule. I got into one that met at lunch on Wednesdays. Well by lunch time I am wet (sprinkler company, not lawn cutting), dirty, sweaty and stinky. And may be running late by then too. So find one in the morning or later evening.
  3. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,265

    Thanks, Dana.

    All of the one in our area are at 7am. Since i have a full time job, my wife will represent us every week.
  4. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    I just got a call from a friend last week about this same group. My friend is a prominent realtor here in Morgantown, and asked if I would be interested. After hearing the names of the local members, I told him I'm in. I know almost half of the people in the local chapter, and I will be the sole LCO here. There are quite a mix of businesses represented by this BNI group, and I think it could lead to good , qualified leads. BTW- the meetings here are at 7AM as well, so I should be able to attend each week w/o a problem.
  5. tx_angler

    tx_angler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    This sounds a lot like the Chamber of Commerce. Is it similar?
  6. CathyLynn

    CathyLynn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    We have benefitted quite a bit form the BNI set up at first, people need to get to know you but after a while things just start falling into place. In one year we have done over $20,000 in small, profitable landscape makeovers, received maintenance contracts for several properties. All of the people inteh group have a common goal, and it is a great way to network and get your name out there!

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