Jan 6, 2016

HOW TO GROW A BNI CHAPTER

by Steve Mix


In 2013 our chapter, Elite Referrals, was sitting at 20 members.  The new leadership team took over and at the first meeting we asked each other, 
  1. “Why are you in BNI and what do you want your membership to do for you?” 
  2. We also asked what our chapter would look like with 30 or 40 members.  
This was the spark to our growth.  We were at 30 members after one year and 50 members after two years.

What follows explains what we did to get there.

We decided to run BNI like a business, after all the "B" in BNI is business.  Each person had a specific roll to play and we held each one accountable to doing it.
  • President – Make sure you follow the agenda and don’t deviate from it.  Start and stop on time.
  • Vice President – Make sure the Palms report is entered each week and read with the results from the prior week.  Highlight the success we are having.
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Give a professional introduction of the feature speaker each week.  Ask the speakers for the upcoming meeting who they would like as visitors in the audience when it was their turn to speak.  This was a great way to bring visitors.
  • Education Coordinator – Be prepared with a topic that is relevant to the emphasis for the month.  Coordinate this with the Growth Coordinator and President.
  • Growth Coordinator – Start Power Teams – Attend meetings and make sure people were focused on inviting guests to fill in their contact spheres.
  • Visitor Host – We had a person who was very comfortable with sitting down with the visitors at the end of the meetings.  He would answer all of their questions and then get them to fill out the application that day and to submit a payment that day.
  • Mentor Coordinator – This person is crucial to having a growing chapter.  Ours met with each new member within the first two weeks.  They would explain the slips, agenda, who to do a one to one with and in what order.  They would also make sure they could login to BNI Connect and get registered for the Membership Success Program.

One-to-ones are the key to a successful chapter.  We did BNI Bingo and other incentives to get members to meet outside of the normal weekly meeting.  One to ones help with referrals, inviting visitors, and is the fastest way to build credibility with the members.

As you hopefully have read, February 1st to the 5th is International Networking Week and our Annual Awards Events. We would like to challenge each of you to bring a young professional to your BNI Chapter meeting during the fist week of February to celebrate International Networking Week. This could be someone who is still in college or someone who is early in their career. Getting involved in a BNI chapter early in their career will set these young professionals up for greater personal and professional success.

Good luck and just follow the plan.