You’ll find answers to some of your questions about BNI and the Rose City Chapter here, but we encourage you to contact us with any other questions you might have.
Q: What is BNI?
A: Business Network Int’l was started in 1985 with a single purpose: to develop the referral business of the members. From that point, BNI has grown to the vast networking group it has become. BNI is in 42 countries with over 100,000 members. There are almost 1,500 members in Connecticut in almost 60 Chapters. We allow one person per profession to join each chapter, thus guaranteeing exclusivity to the members in their business category.
Q: Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?
A: BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. As such, BNI therefore requires its members to uphold the rules of its profession so as not to violate the professional’s ethical obligations. In the event that BNI’s general rules could potentially violate a professional’s ethical code, BNI’s rules are superceded by the dictates of the professional’s ethical code. Significantly, a primary objective of BNI is to educate its membership in ways to market and grow business. It is BNI’s intent to ensure that this is permitted.
Q: How many referrals does BNI pass yearly?
A: Last year, members of BNI passed over two million referrals which generated over a billion dollars’ (U.S.) worth of business for the members! BNI is a business and professional networking organization that allows only one person per professional classification or specialty to join a chapter.
Q: Can anyone join a chapter?
A: In order to build a strong referral network, only one person per professional specialty/industry is accepted into a chapter. For example, each chapter will only have one member who is a residential real estate agent. However, a commercial real estate person could be eligible to join this chapter. If your category is currently occupied, the area director can refer you to another chapter or even assist you in forming another chapter.
Q: How do you know new members are reputable?
A: Each applicant is fully vetted through an extensive process. Our membership committee researches education, experience, additional networks and connections, and past work. The committee also checks each reference. Each prospective member must have a sponsor, an existing member within the chapter, who is familiar with the applicant’s work and history. The information is then presented to the entire committee and put to a vote. Once approved, individual members should begin to build relationships with new members to further build the trust required to feel comfortable referring to the new member.
Q: If I specialize in a field within my profession, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my profession?
A: Rose City BNI understands that many professions are broad and that people often specialize within their profession. BNI does not expect, nor does it encourage, any professional to participate in an area in which the professional does not have expertise. On the contrary, BNI prohibits professionals from acting outside of the scope of their abilities.
Q: My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me?
A: Rose City BNI’s primary objective is to assist its members in ways to improve their business and to educate them concerning how they can effectively network. Business people get business when their expertise is known and others reach a comfort level with them. BNI provides a forum that allows members to meet other business peers who need to know effective and efficient business people.
Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?
A: Yes, members are always encouraged to bring visitors for those categories or industries that available in the chapter. This is how the chapter grows and remains vital. Visitor Hosts will welcome them and instruct them after the meeting the process to apply for membership.
Q: What occupations benefit the most from networking?
A: It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. If you’re focused and you have a dream and you’re willing to work to build relationships, you are the person we want in the group.
Q: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work?
A: BNI operates according to a code of ethics. Should a member feel that another member violates this code of ethics in any way, including poor work quality, that member would file a formal complaint with the membership committee who will help the parties through a conflict resolution process.
Q: What is the cost of joining Rose City BNI?
A: The Rose City BNI Chapter membership fee is $445.00 per year, plus at one-time $150 registration fee, $40 MSP training. We also charge $90 per quarter for facility fees. Facility fees cover the cost of renting meeting space and hospitality.
Q: What is the cost for renewing my membership yearly?
A: Your yearly BNI membership fee is $445.00 per year + the facility fees listed above.
Q: What is the Rose City BNI Snow Policy?
A: If the Norwich Public School System cancels or delays school, there will be no meeting.
However, if the school system is NOT delayed or closed and you are unable to make it to the meeting due to weather conditions in your area, as long as you notify either the President or Vice President, your absence will be excused. Your safety is first priority. As a professional, the expectation is that you will make every effort to attend the meeting, even during less than ideal weather.
School closings will be listed at http://www.wfsb.com/closings/index.html and on the Channel 3 news, as well as announced over many of the local radio stations. Also if you go to this link http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/weather/school-closings/, you can sign up for email or text message alerts that the Norwich Public School Systems are closed.