360 Degree Support

The last three weeks have probably felt like you’re driving down a strange road at night with the lights off. You can’t see where you are or when the road ends. And then, in the middle of the darkness while you’re fighting to keep the car on the road, you hear a voice from the backseat saying, “Hey, let’s have a business meeting!”.

It sounds strange, and yet that’s exactly what thousands of BNI members have started doing. For the last three weeks, the traditional way of doing things are on hold, and yet you’ve logged into your weekly meetings. For 90 minutes we’ve been able to offer a vital piece of ‘normal’ amidst so much unknown.

Migrating our entire organization to an online platform while barely missing a beat was a remarkable technical achievement. What was so remarkable was that members made the transition so smoothly. Chapters have been meeting at their usual times, with members logging onto the Zoom video platform and running through the familiar meeting structure from their homes, just like normal. The majority of our country’s economy may have gone dark, but BNI kept its lights on, ensuring that even during this quarantine your network remains strong.

Even though nothing about this is normal, look how you’ve responded. Even with so much of the world coming to a halt, BNI members are still generating business referrals and opportunities for each other. You deserve a warm (and socially distant) pat on the back for keeping the revenue flowing. But the “Wow!” moment comes when you see how BNI members are stepping up beyond the numbers to inform and support each other. Members are generously offering their professional advice about finances and health; community & government resources are being shared with those who need them; we’ve even had members dropping off groceries at other members’ homes.

This is BNI at its best and I’ve never been prouder. Because during this time of crisis, you’ve elevated the definition of “Givers Gain” beyond business networking. BNI has evolved into an interconnected chain of people all watching each other’s backs.

I won’t predict how all of this changes BNI in the future, but these difficult times are showing us how having a network is crucial to our personal and professional well-being. Obviously, our organization isn’t a magic cure-all. Many of you have had your business shut down, money is tight, morale is strained, and all of us miss the lives we had just one month ago. BNI can’t undo that. However, BNI can do what it’s always done best: create opportunity. Need something? Ask for it. Your current needs may have changed, but the power of BNI hasn’t. Take advantage of the professional expertise of your fellow members. Ask your chapter for technical help transitioning your business online, ask for ideas to reboot your business when it eventually re-opens, ask for strategies you can use to attract new clients, even ask for help finding temporary work if you need to bridge the financial gap. More than ever, your BNI meeting is the best go-to resource you have for connecting an ‘ask’ to an actual result.

Finally, remember that social distancing will end. People will get back to work and back to doing the things they love. When that happens, BNI will be the best engine you have for generating new business and replacing business you may have lost. As it has been for decades.

If you ever needed evidence that joining BNI was the right move, look back at the business it’s created, look at the support it’s providing today, and look ahead to the benefits it can bring you when life returns to normal. No matter which direction you look, we’ve got you covered.

Stay safe and stay connected!

BNI ’s mission is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional referral marketing program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals.

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