As well as running The Business Club North London I am heavily involved with many other networks and not least BNI with whom I have been a member coming up some 11 years! BNI has been key in building our financial services business 'Orchid Financial Services Ltd' and as a chapter we are constantly trying to improve, refine and develop our strategies for promoting ourselves and all the members.
Well how about this for thinking outside the box?
We have a local hospice charity - Sue Ryder Care who actually cared for a very good friend of mine when he was cruelly taken by cancer at a very young age. Emma Long from Sue Ryder would often stand in for members when they could not attend and she would always promote and talk about the businesses in the Chapter who supported the charity. Sue Ryder is well supported by the local community AND the local press and as a result could always obtain publicity very easily. We decided to organise a charity bike ride around a local resevoir in order to raise funds to pay for their membership of BNI. This was successful and has now resulted in a commitment by the charity to raise the profile of every business within the chapter on a regular basis in their press releases and they gain valuable exposure to business chequebooks!
But that's not all.........
Continueing along the theme of 'thinking outside the box' we have now part funded the membership fees for our local radio station 'Connect FM' who are looking to promote their marketing and advertising services via radio to local businesses. They were brought in by one of our members 'FRM Automotive' a local garage, who have a great deal of success in attracting new business through the radio as well as BNI. In return for discounting the cost of their membership we have been given another huge PR opportunity as they have produced a number of professional advertisments for yes, you guessed it - our BNI Chapter! We are now out on the airwaves on a regular basis with tempting invites to local businesses to come and find out why they need to be a part of our success and recieve more business!
So there we have it - BNI Synergy Peterborough has now sewn up the local press and radio ...... TV here we come!
Remember - Networking is a 'contact' sport! Think outside the box, be creative and make sure your glass is always 'half full' !
Orchid Financial Services Ltd
The Business Club North London
BNI Synergy Peterborough.