Policies

Welcome to BNI. This information is important reading for all members of BNI. You are urged to review this material closely and are required to read the policy sections.

BNI'S PHILOSOPHY

Success in BNI means you need to be a positive and supportive member of an organisation based upon mutual support. This requires commitment to your fellow members as well as to the philosophy of Givers Gain®: by giving business to others, you will get business in return.

MISSION STATEMENT

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

CODE OF ETHICS

followed by members:

  1. I will provide the quality of services at the prices that I have quoted.
  2. I will be truthful with the members and their referrals.
  3. I will build goodwill and trust among members and their referrals.
  4. I will take responsibility for following up on the referrals I receive.
  5. I will live up to the ethical standards of my profession.*
  6. I will display a positive and supportive attitude.

*(Professional standards outlined in a formal code of ethics, supersede the above standards.)

GENERAL POLICIES

Membership Committees of each Chapter have final authority related to BNI® Policies. Membership

Committees may put a Member on probation or open a Member’s classification for failure to comply with the Member Policies, the Code of Ethics or BNI® Core Values.

1. Only one person from each BNI® Classification can join a Chapter of BNI®. Each Member can only hold one BNI® classification in a BNI® Chapter.

2. Members should represent their primary professional focus.

3. Members must arrive on time and stay for the entire published meeting time.

4. An individual can only be a Member of one BNI® Chapter. A Member cannot be in any other program that holds Members accountable for passing referrals.

5. A Member is allowed three absences within a continuous six-month period. If a Member cannot attend, they may send a substitute; this will not count as an absence.

6. Members are expected to be engaged in the BNI® Chapter by bringing qualified referrals and/or visitors.

7. Visitors may attend Chapter meetings up to two times.

8. Only BNI® Members, BNI® Directors/Director Consultants can do Feature Presentations during the BNI® Meetings.

9. There are no leaves of absence except for medical leaves.

10. Members who wish to change their BNI® classification must submit a new membership application for approval.

11. All BNI® membership lists are for the purpose of giving referrals only. Before sending any other communication to BNI® Members or Director/Director Consultants, the recipient must give their consent. Consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.

12. All new Members must complete the Member Success Programme before giving their first Feature Presentation.

13. Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the International Board of Advisors.

ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES

  1. There is an initial registration fee. Fees are paid annually or biennially. Contact the local Secretary/ Treasurer for amounts. Fees can be paid by Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, BACS or cheque.
  2. BNI may establish Chapters in any community with people interested in developing a referral-based business. In addition, BNI reserves the right to open more than one Chapter per community.
  3. Membership fees are payable 30 days prior to the due date. Members who have not paid by the first day of the month they are due are considered late and will be liable to a £20 late charge. If fees are not paid within 15 days, the member will be officially dropped by BNI.
  4. Fees are non-refundable. A Certificate of Credit will be given, upon request, to members in good standing for the unused portion of their fees.
  5. Fees cannot be transferred from one person to another unless the fees were paid by the same company.
  6. BNI has a strict policy on returned cheques. A member has three working days in which to contact their Regional BNI Office and resolve the matter. Any returned cheques not resolved within this period will be turned over to collections. All returned cheques will be liable to a minimum £25 returned cheque fee. If a member passes a second NSF cheque, that member will be subject to immediate termination.
  7. BNI is a marketing service provided by BNI Global. BNI or any of its franchisees reserve the right to discontinue a member's participation in the programme.
  8. A member requesting a transfer from their current chapter to a new chapter will be required to submit a completed new member application to the Membership Committee of the new chapter. In addition, if the member has less than 6 months of paid membership credit, they must submit a renewal payment. Or, if the member has more than 6 months of paid membership credit, no additional investment is required. Upon acceptance into the new chapter, the credit from their previous chapter will be added to their membership in the new chapter as well as the renewal time, if applicable.

THE BNI AGENDA

  1. A/V check and Open Networking.
  2. President - Special Announcements.
  3. Welcome visitors and Introduce Leadership Team, Membership Committee, Visitor Hosts, Education Co-ordinator, Event Co-ordinator, Mentor Co-ordinator and Power Team Co-ordinator.
  4. President - Focus Core Value of the Week.
  5. Purpose and Overview of BNI®.
  6. Networking Education.
  7. Announce BNI® Network Leaders.
  8. Welcome New and/or Renewing Members to the Chapter.
  9. Members Introduce Themselves and Give their Weekly Presentation.
  10. Welcome Visitors to BNI®.
  11. Vice President and Membership Committee Report.
  12. Secretary/Treasurer Announces Speaker Rotation & Feature Presentation.
  13. Feature Speaker(s) give 5-10 minute Feature Presentation.
  14. Referrals and Testimonials and Referral Reality Check.
  15. Secretary/Treasurer's Report.
  16. President thanks Visitors.
  17. BNI® Announcements, Reminders and Special Reports.
  18. Close meeting. 

PROGRAMME GUIDELINES

Programme Guidelines are not policies, but are recommended practices that allow Chapters to run more smoothly and effectively.

Visiting Chapters

  • Members visiting other Chapters should announce that they are from another Chapter.
  • Visiting members must not do or say anything that competes with a member of that Chapter.
  • The Chapter should be cautious in giving referrals to individuals they don't know, including visiting members.
  • Visiting members should pay for their own breakfast.
  • Before visiting another Chapter, the visiting member should call the host President first.
  • A visiting member should visit on the same basis as a regular visitor, i.e. no more than twice.

 

Substitute Programme

The best substitute will always be a client, supplier, business colleague or a contact who may become a potential applicant but could be friends, family and/or employees. The primary purpose for a substitute is to represent a BNI Member. BNI recommends minimal use of a substitute. 

Multi-Level Marketing

  • Multi-level marketing members of BNI should represent their products and services in BNI and not the business opportunity element of their business.

INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS

An INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS exists to address policy issues relating to BNI. The Board is made up of regular members (like yourself ) from various Chapters throughout BNI. The Board's purpose is to ensure that there is open communication between the membership and BNI Headquarters. If you have an issue or concern that you would like addressed by the Board, contact your BNI Regional/Executive Director for more information.

WHAT DO I GET FOR MY MONEY?

Like so many performance activities, BNI Staff Members make the system look easy. BNI is operated by a professional staff who, initially created and now work to maintain, a user-friendly marketing system. Take away the BNI infrastructure and staff and the service provided through the programme will decline rapidly.

THE BNI FEES PROVIDE A MEMBER WITH:

  1. Potential for a significant amount of new referred business.
  2. Current information about latest business trends in other industries which facilitates the operation and growth of one's own business.
  3. Practical training and practice in public speaking and specific marketing/advertisement of oneself and one’s service/product.
  4. Special business contacts that can be converted into long term strategic alliances at the regional, up to and including global business community.
  5. Special coaching about referral marketing from trained BNI Directors. If any one of the above benefits were to be fully utilised by a member, the benefits would far outweigh the monetary investment for a BNI membership. There are numerous advantages to membership, not the least of which is the international affiliation to other BNI chapters and members. These more global contacts are becoming increasingly important to businesses and their respective clients.

The fees collected by BNI are distributed approximately as follows:

  1. Chapter Marketing: Brochures & invitation cards, visitor information sheets, books published by BNI,  trade shows, first class mail advertising to local businesses (postage, sample letter, and confirmation sheet included), periodic press releases, public relations support, website promotion, www.businessbuilder.com and www.bni.co.uk.
  2. Chapter Support: Orientation audio cds, vinyl card holders, badges, Team Leader manuals and training materials, Membership applications, BNI Directors’ assistance, free workshops, awards, certificates, pins, Member manuals, National Office support, www.businessbuilder.com and www.bni.co.uk.
  3. Administrative Expenses: Office expenses such as telephone, copier, computer supplies, stationery, etc.
  4. Staff Expenses: Compensation for office staff to handle telephone enquiries, respond to chapter requests, prepare press releases, etc. Note: The Chapter Leadership Team do not pay fees as compensation for their work in the chapter. Thus, for every 500 chapters of BNI, 1,500 people would be Team Leaders and, therefore, pay no membership participation fees.

COMPARE THE VALUE

Most business people advertise and we would never suggest that you stop advertising. However, 'Compare the Value' between advertising and referral marketing. Being a member of BNI is like having up to 50 or more salespeople marketing your product or service every day.

GOOD REFERRALS

Offer the opportunity to do business with someone who is in the market to buy your product or service. Although not a guaranteed sale, a good referral is an open door to discuss your business with someone who is interested in your product or service. Each member knows many other people. This extended network is a rich database of potential business available to members of BNI.

REFERRAL MARKETING

Is the most cost-effective form of advertising possible. BNI provides a structured environment for the development and exchange of quality referrals for both all business people. Did you know that 92% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family members more than any other forrm of advertising, either online or offline (source: Ambassador Referral software). 

The average Chapter of BNI gives over 80 referrals per month to its members. Based on data reported by our members over the last few years, BNI members received an average of over £38,000 per year worth of business from other BNI members. 

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