We all know that if we are unable to attend a BNI meeting that we are required to send a ‘substitute’. But have you thought of the benefits of being a ‘sub’ yourself?
Your BNI membership does not limit you to just attending your own group, but you can also visit any other Group (unless your category is ‘locked out’), so why not put yourself forward as a ‘sub’?
There are many members of BNI who openly admit to obtaining work or referrals from other groups – some say this accounts for over 25% of their BNI business!
You never know but the person you sub for may well be able to return the favour for you when you need a sub too.
Look at other Groups in the area you work in (BNI Connect will help with this) and check to see if your seat is ‘open’, then contact the President of that Group and ask to be put on the ‘subs’ list.
Believe me, they will welcome this as its the Group Presidents who always get contacted by members looking for subs!!
Just one word of warning – do not become a ‘super sub’, i.e. try and limit your visits to other groups to a max of one or two times a month.
My BNI journey has been an interesting and extremely fruitful one. Having started our business with
three part time partners I joined BNI with a view to capitalising on the business we had acquired, moving forward and growing to a stage where we could all jump on board full time. Having joined BNI in the July, under a relatively niche category I expected it to be a slow burn, whilst I learned the ropes, built up trusting relationships with fellow members, and explored the world of not only my chapter, but other chapters in Surrey too. The idea of not trying to sell to the members in the meeting room, but rather more educating them on what our business could provide for our clients so contacts could be made with prospective clients outside the room, was a new concept to me. We were delighted to get our first big order a few months in, and our story began in earnest.
By the following January all three partners joined in full time working together in our newly leased premises. Throughout the previous six months I had learned an enormous amount, acquired new skills to guide me into full member participation, gained trusted and qualified colleagues, and taken full advantage of all advice given! There is an enormous amount of satisfaction taken from both giving and receiving support from fellow members, and watching businesses overcome obstacles, reach milestones, and grow in a responsible way.
My journey is now nearly three years on, I’m delighted to be President of a growing BNI Chapter, and on looking back am amazed, not only at how our business has developed, but how I’ve grown as a person too, with as much support in any area of business as I needed at the time. We are a group of dedicated small to medium sized business owners, all looking to a bright future, getting there with the help and support of one another, encouraging and advising through the trickier times, celebrating the good times, and everything else in between! Our Thursday morning meetings are a powerhouse of business sense, education, support and a seriously good sense of humour – I’d recommend it to anyone!