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‘Word-of-mouth’ business group looks for members




28 August 2008


‘Word-of-mouth’ business group looks for members

It isn’t exactly the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker – but Wellington’s newly launched dedicated word-of-mouth BNI Capital Connections chapter – the seventh in Wellington – is looking for small to medium business owners and salespeople, including an electrician, travel agent and a chiropractor, to join their ranks.

After eighteen months on a waiting list to get into a BNI chapter, mortgage broker Brendon Ojala of Velocity Financial took the bull by the horns and teamed up with property manager Chris Wheatley to start their own chapter, and BNI Capital Connections was born.

“People in my firm are members of BNI and a lot of our external referrals come via BNI, but being a mortgage broker makes it hard to get into an existing networking group. We started meeting informally with our contacts for six or seven weeks until we got membership to 15.

“At that stage it’s always a temptation to think about going it on our own, but BNI has a proven and well tested structure that can hold a group of people together. The reputation of BNI makes it easier to attract other people to the chapter,” says Brendon.

So much so, the chapter had more than 50 guests at the launch.

Brendon says that while the chapter currently has a strong property focus, the leadership team is looking to widen membership and still needs a solicitor, web designer and recruitment agent, among others professions and industries.

Only one trade, business or profession in any one category can join a BNI chapter because members work together as a team to help each other build their businesses. It’s about relationships, not competition.

“BNI is a structured, disciplined meeting dedicated to developing business in a professional way, while helping people to grow their leadership and public speaking skills - and that’s very different,”

BNI is a national organisation and a double winner of the New Zealand Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards. Established in more than 30 countries, BNI was founded more than 20 years ago by the bestselling US author of ‘Master’s of Networking’, Dr Ivan Misner.

Chapters are run by leadership teams – President, Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, Educational Co-ordinator and two Visitor Hosts – on a six monthly cycle.




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