Business Network International (BNI) is a business networking group that has chapters across the United States and around the world. Members meet to promote their businesses and share referrals. BNI Connect is a BNI members-only social network that links their global network of more than 240,000 members.
Business Network International cost is comprised of a a $199.00 application fee and a membership fee of either $499.00 for one year or $799.99 for two years. Your local chapter may have additional fees, and there are BNI courses you can pay for as well. In addition, there are incidental costs, such as food and beverages during networking events.
Charlotte, North Carolina
11525 N. Community House Road, Suite 475, Charlotte, NC 28277 US
- May 2, 2019 - Lincoln International Is Pleased to Announce that Business Network International (BNI) Has Received a Strategic Investment from Pamlico Capital.
- January 25, 2019 - BNI® Hosts 12th Annual International Networking Week® Event.
- June 9, 2018 - Networking Rule #1: 'Take Off the Bib and Put on the Apron!'.
Business Network International meetings follow a fairly rigid agenda, with each item of the hour and a half meeting timed to the minute:
- 10 minutes of open networking.
- BNI Chapter President welcomes visitors and introduces the leadership team.
- Chapter President goes over the purpose of BNI, and gives a brief overview.
- The Education Coordinator or another designated person gives a 3 - 5 minute presentation about networking in general.
- Members pass the Business Card Box.
- New and renewing BNI members come to the front of the room for introductions.
- The President welcomes visitors.
- Members give their weekly presentation and ask for referrals from other members.
- Visitors are informed of the opportunity to join BNI.
- Vice President's report.
- Membership committee report.
- Treasurer announcements.
- Speaker or speakers give a 6 - 12 minute presentation.
- The "I Have" portion of the meeting (members give referrals and provide testimonials).
- Visitors stand and report on what part of the meeting impressed them the most.
- Referral Reality Check - Vice President picks two referral slips from two weeks prior and asks the outcome.
- Treasurer's Report - announces BNI membership anniversaries and gives visitors a scripted statement about the fee structure.
- BNI announcements, reminders, and special reports.
- Referral reward prize drawings.
- Meeting Close - BNI Chapter President closes the meeting by giving a scripted address to any visitors.
It depends on the makeup of the chapter, but typically business owners whose services complement other BNI chapter members' businesses get the most referrals; e.g., a member who owns a plumbing business refers people to a member who does electrical work.
The best way to find local BNI chapters is to visit the main website at BNI.com and use the "Find a Chapter" search function.
It's certainly not encouraged. Joining a BNI chapter is a commitment - there are weekly 90-minute meetings, often beginning at 7 a.m. If you're going to be absent, you're asked to send someone in your stead. If you miss three meetings in 6 months you'll likely be asked to leave the chapter. There are also One-to-Ones, meetings during which you sit down with another BNI member and learn each other's business. And depending on how active your chapter is there may be a number of other networking functions as well.
BNI Connect also holds events that enable members to meet other members from around the world.
BNI Connect or BNI Connect Global is a members-only social media network. It connects members with other members worldwide, so someone from, say, Oregon could refer another member to a BNI member CPA in London. BNI Connect also provides the opportunity to fill out and upload online referral slips (instead of paper referrals).
It's important to complete your BNI Connect profile, because other members are going to be searching for your services and you're far more likely to get a referral if you have a fleshed-out profile with your picture.
To attend meetings and other BNI events, to provide referrals to other members, and to keep your BNI Connect profile up to date.
No. BNI has a strict policy that only allows one person from a professional specialty to join a chapter.
You can get access to all the BNI podcasts covering BNI in general, the benefits of BNI Connect, and almost everything else having to do with BNI membership at BNIPodcast.com.