Q: Can anyone join a chapter?
A: We only take one person from each industry classification. So if you are a residential real estate professional and we already have one, we can refer you to another BNI chapter, or we may help you open another chapter.
Q: What occupations benefit the most from networking?
A: It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. All professions can prosper from BNI given you take the time to learn how to target your market and teach your fellow members what you are looking for in referrals.
Q: How many members are in a typical BNI chapter?
A: A good mature BNI chapter typically has between 25 and 35 members. Some BNI chapters have as many as 60 members!
Q: Are there any other events besides the weekly chapter meetings?
A: Yes, from time-to-time there are regional workshops and other educational events. Some regions have golf outings and awards banquets as well. Contact the local director for more information or check out the regional calendar in this site.
Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?
A: You're encouraged to bring visitors for those occupations that are open. After the visitor has been prescreened and joins, their industry classification is then closed. BNI is primarily an invitation only organization and members only look to invite visitors who are interested in joining BNI.
Q: If all of the current chapters have someone in my classification, what do I do?
A: Contact the local director. You will then be given information on how to start your own chapter.
Q: How do I go about starting a new BNI chapter?
A: First contact the regional office at 888-531-3494 and we can schedule a chapter visit to see if you like BNI. Once you have been to a meeting our specialist will arrange a meeting with one of our Directorsand let them know you want to start your own chapter. Finally, you will need to find several other business people in different professions who are willing to start the chapter with you and make the process easier (a minnimum of 20 is nessesary to start). Your Director will then take you through the 8 week education process of forming your new powerful word-of-mouth team!
Q: How do you know new members are reputable?
A: The application asks for references and we have a membership committee that checks them. It's word of mouth, so before they even come to a meeting they have to have spoken to someone or been invited by someone in the group. Everyone has to have a sponsor, or one is assigned to them, and they interview them.
Q: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work?
A: We have a strict coad of ethics policy and it is imperative that anyone who gives a referral and finds out it was not satisfactorily handled must report that to the membership committee, who will then investigate.
Q: How much does it cost to join BNI?
A: The true investment in considering BNI is not money, but your time. You are expected to attend the meetings, meet and develop relationships with your fellow members outside of the meeting and this all takes a time commitment on your part. BNI is a networking organization and you are responsible to work your new network. The annual monetary investment is $1 per day. Most chapters have a small weekly room fee.
(Excerpted in part from Networking is Serious Business)