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Power networking!!

Boxby

New Member
HI

I have decided that I need to up my game on the networking front. Am looking for somewhere with quite a good membership calibre, more than the BNI self employed type, movers and shakers, if you know what I mean.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Sandra
 
G

Gouldie0

New Member
Hi Sandra,

Sorry to hijack your thread slightly, but what are your thoughts on BNI?

I've been approached to join my local 'chapter' and I'm just thinking is this a really expensive way to network. Yes I may receive a few referrals but the overall annual cost is towards £1000!

Back to your OP, I'm in the same boat, looking to increase my networking trips and have been looking at a few local events in my area. These mainly relate to coffee mornings with a few presentations added on.

I'd be interested to see everyone else's recommendations.

Kind Regards

Neil
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
I'm an active business networker and a member of a number of networking groups.

The Power Lunch Club is a great organisation, has a high calibre membership and has some truly exciting things planned for the coming weeks and months.........its an 'invite only' group so members must be approached or recmommended by existing members.

I'm also a member of BNI and have to say that in my experience as both a member and assistant director in the Scotland West Region, I've noever found it to be full of 'movers & shakers' due to the commitments membership requires. As for 'self employed' members......every networking group is full of self employed members because if you own your own limited company or a sole trader you're ultimately 'self employed'.

The £1000 investment for BNI (annul membership and monthly subs) is pretty reasonable and the structure of BNI (Givers Gain principles) is specifically designed to deliver a positive return on that investment......I know I've definitely achieved that!
 
polr

polr

New Member
Sandra, have you tried Scottish Women in Business - making business connections ? I went along for the first time last week and was really impressed (and joined yesterday).

Our company used BNI for a time. We did get work though it but to be honest it took up a heck of a lot of time compared to the business that came out of it. We found the direct referrals were good but not so much the third party ones, which kind of defeats BNI's USP of 'referral based' but I guess this can happen with the pressure of finding referrals - not every one will be a good one!

I know a few people who have left BNI in favour of 4networking but I have yet to try this - might be worth a shot though and it's only £10 to try it out (I think).

Try this site for a few ideas too : Networking Events in Glasgow and Strathclyde
 
jimbairn

jimbairn

New Member
I'll second both the Power Lunch Club and 4Networking. Both are friendly, informative and refreshingly unstuffy. Yes, 4N is only £10 to try - you can try three different meetings before committing yourself and they now have groups dotted around the country , several in Glasgow and surrounding areas. More information here. Only downside is you might meet me at one of the meetings.
 
L

Lindsey Sharratt

New Member
I have tried BNI in the past and felt the same lack of movers and shakers! I have just joined a new networking group and am looking to grow networks in Scotland. There are a lot of movers and shakers in the group down in England and I am sure we can do as well up here :)

The reason I like this group so much is that you get a mix of face to face networking and a lot of ability to network online and access online resources. I got very frustrated with a lot of good stuff happening elsewhere that I could not attend! If this sounds good to anyone please let me know, I am very dedicated to making this as big as it can be, as that's how we all grow our businesses! I am starting up a group in Aberdeenshire as we speak but I am also looking for interested people all over Scotland. Also people are actively encouraged and supported to start their own networks if this appeals - and even paid for doing it (not the usual way these things work I know!)

The main problem I found with the BNI meetings I attended was that it's (A) expensive (b) insular and (c) very rigid. I believe networking should be fun and profitable for everyone involved. I did a lot of networking when I was actively involved in property and that was much more informal and relaxed, which worked better for me and I think was actually a better environment for forming lasting business relationships.
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
The main problem I found with the BNI meetings I attended was that it's (A) expensive (b) insular and (c) very rigid. I believe networking should be fun and profitable for everyone involved. I did a lot of networking when I was actively involved in property and that was much more informal and relaxed, which worked better for me and I think was actually a better environment for forming lasting business relationships.
Comparatively, I wouldn't say BNI is expensive....

BNI is £400+Vat per year
4Networking is £490+Vat per year
6Degrees is £360+Vat but only gives you 36 meeting per year

There's little difference in meeting fees between BNI and 4N, average is around £10 but many others are much more expensive, circa £25+

Membership of BNI gives you access to the world's largest referral organisation which, in the UK and Ireland alone, has 646 BNI Chapters that gave 659,066 referrals, leading to business worth £230 million last year.....insular? Don't think so.

The 'rigid' or what some might call 'structured' apporoach at BNI is what makes it successful and stops it from turning into 'a talking shop' that simply fails to generate genuine business opportunities for its members.

There are definitely other good networking opportunities out there - PLC and 4N stand out the most, but without a dobut BNI sets the standard that other networking organisations aspire to achieve......the facts speak for themself - £230 million in business.......fact!
 
L

Lindsey Sharratt

New Member
Hi there,

It's just my personal opinion, obviously the structure does suit some people, but I found that this equated to rigidity for me. I take on board your point about making sure you are networking with a point rather than just going for a chat but the idea of only having one business per industry per chapter didn't appeal (I see why you do it but it doesn't suit me personally) and while obviously the main idea of business networks is to generate business, I like the motivational aspect of having a lot of like-minded people sitting in a room, able to discuss their own areas and learn and grow from each other, bounce around ideas and problems etc etc - maybe that's my coaching mentality coming through!

Don't take it that I am knocking BNI, the fact that it is a "household name" as it were among businesses, and that it has experienced such long term steady growth, proves that your business model works. I am just personally looking for something more along the lines of what I was used to in property networking and a more informal atmosphere.
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
Hi there,

Don't take it that I am knocking BNI, the fact that it is a "household name" as it were among businesses, and that it has experienced such long term steady growth, proves that your business model works. I am just personally looking for something more along the lines of what I was used to in property networking and a more informal atmosphere.
Wasn't suggesting you were knocking BNI Lindsey, was just trying to provide a balanced view on actual costs. ;)

If you're looking for a more informal atmosphere then Bizini might be a format you'd be interested in......much more relaxed networking over a fantastic lunch.
 
G

Gouldie0

New Member
Jim, maybe you could clarify the costs on 4Networking for me?

It look's as though there offering a 6 month option for £200 + VAT, would i pay £10 per meeting on top of this?

As for BNI, I just find it a little to rigid and expensive - £100 subscription (not sure why I've been quoted this),£400 + VAT annual membership and £10 each meeting that you or a sub must attend each week. Just seems far to much hassle to me, networking should be more flexible.

I also found my initial BNI meeting a little staged, almost to good to be true and although I got several referral's - even though I followed them up and had very encouraging phone calls, how many have actually given me any work?

I have to say, I wasn't aware networking cost so much and the last few weeks has really been an eye opener.

The search goes on...................:001_huh:
 
L

Lindsey Sharratt

New Member
Thanks for your reply, I'm glad you understand that what I said wasn't meant to be a dig at BNI :)

I did have a look at Bizini but there was nothing currently going on up here. After a lot of research I got involved with Business Giants Network who are launching next month. We're looking to get groups started up Scotland wide, I will be doing our first Aberdeen meeting next month.

I like BGN because it's a nationwide resource which allows interaction between groups, but also concentrates a lot on growing and strengthening each group. The costs are pretty good too, standard membership is £324pa + VAT for which you get access to a lot of resources. Most meetings should be around the £10 mark but it's not obligatory to attend every one. I'm also very focused on making this more accessible to those who live in the rural parts of Scotland and struggle to get to meetings.

I think the great thing on this board is seeing how many people really appreciate the great value of networking, whichever network suits them best :)
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
Jim, maybe you could clarify the costs on 4Networking for me?

It look's as though there offering a 6 month option for £200 + VAT, would i pay £10 per meeting on top of this?

As for BNI, I just find it a little to rigid and expensive - £100 subscription (not sure why I've been quoted this),£400 + VAT annual membership and £10 each meeting that you or a sub must attend each week. Just seems far to much hassle to me, networking should be more flexible.

I also found my initial BNI meeting a little staged, almost to good to be true and although I got several referral's - even though I followed them up and had very encouraging phone calls, how many have actually given me any work?

I have to say, I wasn't aware networking cost so much and the last few weeks has really been an eye opener.

The search goes on...................:001_huh:
Hi Neil - the six month option at £200 + VAT is only avaialbe to 'first-timers' which is basically someone who attends a meeting for the first time and decides to join. If you wanted to go back for a second or third look you wouldn't qualify for that deal.

In all cases the £10 meeting fee is always payable on top of the membership fees. Other options for 4N membership are:

12 Month Passport £490 + VAT: full membership for a year, visit any group in the country and network up to 4 times a week for a year

12 Month Passport (4 Stage Payment) £135 x 4 + VAT: A 12 month passport in 4 easy payments - great if cash is tight but ultimately more expensive

12 Month Single Group £250 + VAT: Membership of one named group for 12 months. Network up to twice a month.

If you like the idea of being able to go to lots of different meetings in different areas, have no issue with being in the same room with your competitors and aren't concerned about not seeing people from week to week then 4N would possibly work for you.

I personally do BNI, 4N and PLC and am looking at a couple others including Bizini........ultimiately whatever you do needs to fit with your own ethos / preferences but expect to pay an average of £350/year + VAT plus at least £10 a meeting on top.
 
L

Lindsey Sharratt

New Member
Good morning all,

Just to let you all know that BGN has now officially launched. We are currently arranging the first event in Aberdeen, which I will post details of in the Events section when everything is finalised.

If anyone is interested in running groups anywhere else in Scotland, or already runs a group and would like to get involved, please let me know.

You will see more about what we do and what we offer on the website Business Giants Network.
 

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