Business networking requires commitment. One element of this commitment is the financial investment to join BNI. Although the initial investment to join is not significant, it is a symbol of a company's or an individual's commitment to embrace the BNI system, and to the other members of a chapter.
The investment to join BNI consists of a application fee, and annual participation fee. Please call the BNI Mid America office for details. Individual chapters may also charge an additional fee to pay for the space in which their meetings take place. These charges are separate, and in addition to the investment to join BNI, and are at the discretion of individual chapter management teams. You will also be required to attend a Member Success Program within your first 60 days.
If you wish to participate in BNI you may complete an application and submit it to the chapter you wish to join, along with payment. A new member application is reviewed by the chapter's Membership Committee, or the Chapter Director Consultant if the chapter is just forming. Prospective members are notified of the application status as soon as possible.
It should also be noted that many chapters levy dues against members in order to pay for the chapter meeting place. These charges are separate, and in addition to the investment to join BNI, and are at the discretion of individual chapter management teams.
Where does the Money go?
BNI Mid America is a franchised business region (one of thousands in more than 70 countries in which BNI operates) that pays royalties to BNI for the right to operate a BNI region. BNI Mid America is a training and support company that facilitates the creation of referral networking chapters in order to increase business and profits for our members.
The cost of membership is divided into two main areas:
1. Support of members and chapters (including materials).
2. Regional office and administrative and support costs, training materials, BNI royalties and BNI Connect fees.
BNI Mid America is a service company, and like all service organizations has the following expense lines:
Staffing: The bulk of a service organization's revenue goes toward paying staffing costs. To hire superlative staff, the organization has to meet market demands like any other employer organization. In the case of BNI, we benefit from the dedication and enthusiasm of our talented and experienced staff.
Marketing and Advertising: To survive, all organizations must dedicate a portion of their budget to marketing and advertising of their name, product, and benefit. This line pays for brochures, this website (and BNI.com), flyers, publications, public relations, specialty items, consultants, public seminars, and more.
Administration: All organizations need a semblance of administration and management in order to operate smoothly and grow. Most organizations like to keep their administrative costs streamlined, but all organizations have administrative needs. Administration includes rent, office supplies, computers, accounting, and other business necessary to conduct business.
Communications: Business organizations must communicate with clients, suppliers, colleagues, advisors, consultants, and the general public. Communication with local, national, and international organizations is a vital requirement for staying competitive and includes various networking techniques and strategies. A portion of an overall budget is allocated to these processes, which include travel, phone, faxes, meetings, etc.
Operational Overhead: To keep abreast of the times and remain competitive, all organizations must conduct or pay for research and development of new products, trends, activities, and strategies. In the case of a franchise organization, headquarters does most of this work. Hired specialists who consult in specific project areas might be retained to work on special time-limited areas. One example of BNI research and development was the development of the Member Success Program.
Training: As is said by many large multinational organizations, "Our most precious resource is our people." Investment in the upgrading and training of staff is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace and retaining staff. Training expenses represent a growing cost for all organizations. A significant portion of BNI's budget also goes to training BNI Directors, Leadership Team members and their committees.
Special Projects: To stay current and competitive, organizations must look for new programs to continually offer value and service to their existing clientele, maintain market share, and to attract new clients. One example of a special project is SuccessNet Online.
For more information please contact the BNI Mid America office at (314) 822-1030 or send email.