Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The breakthrough of 30 members of our networking group

The Hertford & Ware Networking group breaks 30 members

A couple weeks after our first anniversary of our business networking group in Hertford and Ware and we have broken through the 30 members mark and well on our way to the 40+ over the next few months.

We know from the stats that when a BNI Networking group hits this mark referrals for the members as a whole go up, this is because it becomes easier to find those referral and recommend the members to others, which is good for everyone, more business is good right?

We're now pushing this with a visitors day planned soon which should see us get another 5+ members into the group very soon.

We've also now settled into our new venue at Wodson Park in Ware, which is light and airy and great for our morning meetings, there is also plenty of parking too! which sometimes we struggled with at our last venue, so will be good for our visitors day.

Come and meet our networking group members

So would you like to have nearly 40 other like minded business owners promoting your business to their contacts and customers? Would it help your business? Why not come and meet us, all it'll cost is £10 for the meeting and you'll get breakfast included, you'll get a chance to tell us about your business and the sort of customers or clients you're looking for!

What else are you going to do at 0630 on a Thursday morning?

Want to come along? If so give me a call on 07940 846 413

To your success

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

How to get silent business referrals..

Google+ is the new (I say new, but it's been around for a while now) social media platform from Google.
It has been mistakenly dismissed by many business owners and that will be there own loss if they continue to do so. 
In this post I'll explain why you should take advantage of Google+ and its +1 button (Googles 'Like') and show you how it will be a great extension of your business networking in Ware and Hertford.

Which is the biggest search engine on the internet?

I've been plugging Google+ pretty much from the very beginning. Google has tried a social media platform before and it failed, but Google+ is going to succeed, they won't let it fail. 
Google is the biggest search engine on the internet and they make a fortune from the adverts (known as Adwords Pay Per Click) that are placed when someone searches for something. However the key thing you should be interested in for marketing your business are the organic & local display which are below the beige box at the top of a search display.

So how does Google+ help my business & business networking?

Obviously Google will favour it's own social media network over any other, it may not be fair but that's the way it is and I'd do the same thing. Google is bringing it's services together, you now only have one login username for all services and you can operate the Google services that you use from the top bar. 
Google whether you realise it or not has already brought Google+ and search together 
If you've got a Google account are on Google+ and performed a search, lets say for an electrician, If you are following a friend or acquaintance in one of your circles (Google's version of friends or connections) and that person has has given a local electrician that they know a +1 on their website or G+ page, something great happens. 

Google takes that as a recommendation and will show you that electricians website or G+ page in the search results and it will let you know by the side of the listing too. Can you see how powerful G+ can be for your business?
Google also now has a linking feature so with a bit of code you can link your website and page together to help get you seen in searches.

An extension of a BNI Chapter for more business networking 24 hours a day

Now that we know how big Google+ can be for our businesses, imagine you are in a BNI chapter with 40+ members and all of those members have been onto your website and page, they've circled you so they receive your updates and they've given you a +1 too, when people who are following them now search for your service or product guess who they're going to see in the search?

So let's do the maths imagine you have 40 members in your BNI chapter promoting your service, and each of those has just 100 people following them - that's potentially 4000 people looking at your product or service. 
Now imagine they have 500 and trust me as G+ grows this will be the norm and a low figure at that, I've been on G+ since the beginning and now have 548 people who have circled me, so 40 x 500 would be 20,000 people potentially looking at your product or service.

+1 button for business networking
If we said just 1% of those people turned in to customers or clients that would be 200 new customers or clients for your business.
Would that be okay?

But it doesn't stop there, if you have lots of +1s and your members are leaving reviews/ testimonials for you on Google Local then that opens you up to everyone else who is on the internet that needs your product or service. How does that work for getting silent referrals 24/7.

If you're not a BNI member and would like to come along to a business networking meeting in Hertford/ Ware to see how we can work together to help each others business then give me a call on 07940 846 413

To your success
Paul Jennings

PS catch up with me on Google+ - you can also visit My Page

PSS make sure you're on Google Local too, here's the link, it's free and takes about 10 minutes to set up.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

How responsible are you for others success?

Here's a question for you, If you're in a team or group of people working to achieve something together and in particular a networking group, how responsible are you for each member of that groups success and how much effort should you put in to helping them succeed?

Now I'm sure the responses vary from not at all responsible to depends on how many people are in the group, so if there were 20 people in the group it would be 5% responsible.......What was your answer?

Well I'm here to put to you that we are each 100% responsible for ensuring that each member is successful and we should put 100% effort in to helping them achieve their goals within the team!

So why do I believe this, well if everyone in a team succeeds the team as a whole succeeds if we concentrate on what others want or put another way help enough people get what they want we by default get what we want.

In BNI we have visitor hosts, members assigned to look after visitors that come to have a look at a BNI meeting, it's their job to guide them around and make them feel welcome to the meeting, however it is recognised in BNI that it is every members responsibility to be a Visitor host, In the same vein we have Mentors assigned to new members to help guide them through their early days of membership, however I think a chapter would be even more successful when each member also takes on the roll of mentor and ensures that each other member is succeeding in BNI.

If a member is succeeding in their BNI chapter they are more positive and upbeat and we all know how like attracts like, which means more people coming to the group therefore it grows which means we all get more business.

Agree/ Disagree, what are you thoughts?

To your success

PS I know sometimes you can lead a horse to water......but that's just people!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

What's a referral worth to our businesses?

Our networking group has been going (officially) for just over six months, and it's been a fantastic six months that has seen the group grow, and we've passed a great amount of business that totals on the £300,000 mark, we've passed 1,180 referrals which means each referral passed is worth on average £254.24. 

As mentioned in a previous post we measure this via referral slips and through the Thank You For The Money box, as far as I know we're the only networking group that does this to prove it's effectiveness and that it works for the members.

Of course the referrals system and TYFTM box doesn't generally take in to account, what we call 'Tiered' referrals, ie those referrals that come from referrals, a customer or client that has referred you on to their friends or family, this could mean that as it spreads out to a wider network, I'd expet if we were able to track these second, third or fourth plus tiers we could easily double the value of being part of a BNI group..... Just a thought.

I know one thing, in my years in networking, I've always had the best return on investment from BNI over any other networking group and it's well worth the investment, effort and commitment. 

To your success


Friday, 1 March 2013

My BNI Journey - Mark Stewart - Beanebytes Web Design

My name is Mark Stewart and I am the owner of www.beanebytes.com
I was first introduced to BNI in February 2012. At the time I had been running my business for only a short while and was frustrated with the levels of return on my marketing and sales expenditure.

As such it was with a certain amount of trepidation I attended my first meeting for a new BNI chapter in Ware, Hertfordshire.
The idea of networking had never really appealed to me as I expected it to be full of stuffy types in suits with lots to say about themselves.

A year down the line and I'm now a fully fledged, active member of the BNI Endeavour Hertford & Ware Networking group and enjoying every minute of my BNI experience.
Being a member of BNI has brought huge dividends not only to my business in terms of growth and revenue but also in my personal development.

At the start of my BNI journey the idea of public speaking horrified me.
My confidence in public speaking and selling myself to potential clients has grown beyond my expectations and this is largely due to my involvement with BNI.

I feel really grateful to be part of a vibrant group of local business owners from all trades and walks in life.

For any new business owner I could not recommend BNI more highly. 


You can catch up with Mark on Google+ 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My BNI Journey - Nigel Adams - Big Black Hen - Estate agent

I am +Nigel Adams the owner of www.BigBlackHen.com estate agents. 

When I opened an office in Hertfordshire, having previously been down in Somerset, I was invited to various networking events but I found them to be too informal to really benefit a business such as mine. All anyone seemed to want to do was to sell to me! Then I got invited to BNI in St Albans which was a very different proposition with its focus on accountability and results. 

I decided to give it a go and joined the Chariots Chapter in March 2011. As recommendations have always been my biggest source of new clients I felt it was right for my business model. I had a good year learning the ropes of network marketing and getting a lot of properties on the market, and selling, in areas that I hadn’t been marketing in to that date. 

When a BNI Hertford/ Ware Networking group started in early 2012 I joined immediately as this is the area that I do most of my business in. BNI has continued to be both a powerful source of quality leads and a major and growing revenue stream for my business. But it has been much more than that as by mixing with other business owners and entrepreneurs you get lots of really good ideas that you can use to build your own business. You also create an invaluable and supportive group of friends who you can call upon at any time. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.


Friday, 18 January 2013

My BNI story.....Paul Jennings - The Utility Warehouse Discount Club

I started BNI back in November 2005 when I joined a BNI chapter in Enfield called Vision, I joined as the Electrician of the chapter, I then left the chapter when I was moving to Hertford and was involved in starting a core group (a starting BNI Chapter) this chapter never got to launch so I joined a Chapter in St Albans called Chariots, I left when my membership was up at the end of 2008. 

BNI worked extremely well for my business as a way of getting new business and has been the best networking organisation for getting referrals to new business. I saw that BNI would work for my business from my very first meeting as a visitor, and made the decision that I would join halfway through the meeting.

I started my Utility Warehouse Discount Club Business at the end of 2008 and I then re joined a BNI group in 2009 that had an opening for my category, at the end of my membership I left BNI due to a change in circumstances. 

When a friend told me that BNI Endeavour was launching in Hertford/ Ware I didn't even think twice about making sure I was at the first meeting in February 2012 and already knew that I was going to make an application to join the group.....It was really a no brainer. I've always enjoyed BNI meetings even though they start early, it makes a great start to the day and I've had more from BNI than just business referrals. The other benefits I've found include growing my business contacts, making new friends, increasing my business knowledge and I've found the meetings to be fun with a bit of banter too. A surprising thing I also found out was that I get a great buzz from finding and giving referrals to my fellow members and helping them to grow their businesses.

BNI Networking has been one of the best investments in my business marketing I've ever made and the Return on Investment has been tremendous value, I'd recommend it to all business owners to at least give it a go for a year.

I help people to save money on their household bills and for those that need or want an extra income stream I help them to make money on a part time basis.

To your success