Networking power teams within Business Network International (BNI) –The power of smart lead referral groups.
I moved to Colorado October of 2012, almost 4 years ago now, not knowing anyone in the community other than my parents who recently transplanted from San Jose, California. RJ’s Amazing Entertainment, LLC started out with 1 person face painting, twisting balloons, advertising, and booking parties – me, Rina Jean Bindi.
Realizing that I was taking this business as far as I could, and needed help, I took classes at the LCBD in Social Media, Business Plans, SEO, and all additional resources that were offered. This included business development counseling sessions.
I’ve had to streamline my business, create a consistent user experience while keeping the quality of RJ’s Amazing Entertainment at the highest possible standards.
Working on my business and not just in my business creates a long To Do List: This is a list that gets reviewed and tweaked as my business grows.
- Create and manage five social media pages and a website (including writing a blog)
- Constantly seek out new talent
- Develop guidelines, policies and admin systems
- Keep abreast of costume trends
- Work on advertising, branding and competitive pricing
- Continue to get mentored at the Loveland Business Development Center
- Attend networking events to broaden the awareness of my business
A key bullet point on my list is networking. I can have the best business, best entertainers, and awesome systems, but none of that matters if nobody knows about my business! And what’s equally as important is finding the type of networking group that fits for my type of business.
I joined Business Networking International (BNI) Fort Fun in Fort Collins, Colorado in April of 2016 after visiting several other BNI groups in the Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor area. Why this particular group? After my first BNI visit at Fast Track, 8 AM on a Wednesday morning, I realized the power of the networking group and saw the possibilities unfold before me. Everyone stood up, one at a time, introduced themselves and talked briefly about their business. Light bulbs went off in my head as I saw referrals announced and passed to each other. I noticed “Power Groups” – teams or circles of individuals grouped together within each category that crossed over in different sections without directly competing.
That night I logged on to my computer and looked up every group that fit my time schedule and had individuals that might make up a great power team for me!
Most people walk into BNI, see a group and say, “WOW! This is really great!” and want to join immediately, without first doing due diligence. I would encourage you to take the time to visit many BNI groups and do a thorough evaluation of the businesses in each group. Make a list of pros and cons, talk to others about these groups and then make your decision. These groups are a commitment of time, energy and money, so you don’t want to jump in without investigating what your ROI (return on investment) will be.