Anyone use BNI?

Mikegyver

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Longview TX
One of the local BNI (http://www.bni.com/) Chapters is needing a Lawncare/landscape person. It costs around $400 a year plus $50 a month for the meeting place and lunch. Supposedly I will be able to get all kind of referrals from it. Its basically a marketing group. Anyone have experience w/ BNI or another marketing group? I am just wondering if it would be worth the $1000 bucks a year plus a couple hrs a week of time. Supposedly this chapter did 6,000,000 in referrals last year.
Thanks
Mike
 

Oakleaf landscape

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
East Coast
My insurance agent has taken me as a guest to a few of his BNI events and I didn't really care for it. At his you meet once a week for an hour and a half. You can only miss 2 meetings a year or you are kicked out. You can have somebody from your company attend for you as a "sub". The few times I have been, I picked up a little bit of work but all lower end stuff. I'm a young business owner and I felt some people didn't take me serious because I'm only 20. For the $1000 and 75+ hours each year I feel I can make better use of that time.
 
OP
M

Mikegyver

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Longview TX
My insurance agent has taken me as a guest to a few of his BNI events and I didn't really care for it. At his you meet once a week for an hour and a half. You can only miss 2 meetings a year or you are kicked out. You can have somebody from your company attend for you as a "sub". The few times I have been, I picked up a little bit of work but all lower end stuff. I'm a young business owner and I felt some people didn't take me serious because I'm only 20. For the $1000 and 75+ hours each year I feel I can make better use of that time.
Well I am 18 if that makes you feel any better. Most of the people there could be my parents or maybe even grandparents. I know exactly what you are talking about...it happens everywhere. People think you are the "lawn boy"
To me it seems like a social more than anything. I went today to a meeting as a sub. Its the second meeting i've been to. Just seems like I could use that time and money for something better. BUT i'm really needing work.
 

PLS-Tx

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Texas
Not for me.

I think some good advertising will beat this any day.
 

weeze

LawnSite Fanatic
i did one last year called tradebank. i got a few customers out of it but overall it's just a waste of time. they get a cut of every job you do so you have to price the jobs a little higher than normal. you have to pay like $100 to join and you go -$300 in tradebank dollars to start off. they have their own money called tradebank dollars which you earn and spend. it's more like trading your service for other services. only participating companies can participate using the trade dollars. you can't work for real money in the program and the things available to buy aren't really things you need. it's just stuff like tv's, tickets to a game, eating out at a restaurant, or taking a vacation. you might could use trade dollars to go to the dentist or get an eye exam but not a real doctor visit. you can't use it to pay bills or do important stuff. it's supposed to be some way to just grow your business but there are better ways. you also have to report the money you make just like real money on your taxes. it just sucks all the way around lol. i just quit before i made any money and got out of it after i did a few jobs.
 

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