HOMESTEAD FAIR 2015
The 28th annual Fair begins this Friday, November 27.
We are looking forward to your weekend visit!
This Year's Fair is Bigger than Ever!
There's much to see, hear, do and try at this year's Fair, so plan on spending at least 2 days to take it all in – especially to see demonstrations, try some Make-Your-Own activities and attend some of the seminars!
Plan for your visit ahead of time by downloading a printable PDF of our 2015 Fair Program.
We hope you enjoy this year's Fair as much as we enjoy preparing it!
We had a vote this morning to update the cash jack pot. We had changed a while back to retain $50 when the pot was won - however, if we started with $50, and added $12 and someone new won - we would hold the $50 and the winner would only split the $12.
So, this morning, with a motion from Rob Roberts and a 2nd from Polo, we voted to put the $50 back in the pot!
Not to criticize other networking groups, but I think we have a pretty good thing going with T-Netters - referrals, FREE, eat if you want or don't.
When asked recently to visit/join several BNI groups, I thought, Where does ALL that money go? I mean, it is expensive. I belong to a group where we pay dues ($240 per year), but we have events at little/no cost to members/guests, so I wondered, if I invest $500 per year, what do I get? The answer is I would be HELPING TO BUILD A BUSINESS. Wow, sorry, I think I can invest $500 to build my own business.
This is the place where you can ask any question about BNI. Have you ever wondered why the organization does something or how to make the most of your membership? Well, here's the place to do it. Send your questions to email@example.com. Read below for answers to questions we've already addressed.
Q: Where do the dues go that I pay for my BNI membership?
A: Most people see only the tip of the iceberg when looking at BNI. For most members, BNI can appear to be just the weekly meeting with your chapter members, but it is so much more!
To begin with, the most valuable question a member (or potential member) should ask is; "Am I getting as much or more business referred to me as other BNI members in similar categories and if not, why not?" Secondly, "Is the amount of business referred to me sufficient?"
BNI is a private marketing business. In comparison to other business expenses or forms of advertisement, membership in BNI's marketing program is not an excessively expensive item. One reason we are asked about the destination of membership fees is that the operation seems on the surface, to be very simple and easy. BNI is not a simple activity. Word-of-mouth marketing is a performance activity that requires constant vigilance, energy, maintenance, and new growth.
Like so many performance activities, BNI staff make the system look easy. BNI is operated by a professional staff who, initially created and then work to maintain, a user-friendly marketing system. Take away the BNI infrastructure and staff and the service provided through the program will decline rapidly.
Benefits of Membership
The BNI fees provide a member with:
a) potential for a significant amount of new referred business,
b) current information about latest business trends in other industries which facilitates the operation and growth of one's own business,
c) practical training and practice in public speaking and specific marketing/ advertisement of oneself and one's service/product,
d) special business contacts that can be converted into long term strategic alliances at the regional, up to and including global business community and,
e) special coaching about word-of-mouth marketing from trained and talented BNI Directors.
If any one of the above benefits were to be fully utilized 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.
BNI is a Service Company. All service organizations have the following expense lines.
Staffing: The bulk of a service organization's revenue goes toward paying staffing costs. This can represent much of an organization's total budget. To hire superlative staffing, the organization has to meet market demands just as any other employer organization. In the case of BNI, we benefit from the dedication and enthusiasm of our talented and experienced staff.
Marketing and Advertisement: To survive, all organizations must dedicate a portion of their budget to marketing and advertisement of their name, product and benefit. This line pays for brochures, web sites, business cards, 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 maintain sustained growth. 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 equipment necessary to conduct its ongoing business.
Communications: Business organizations do not operate within a vacuum, but must communicate with clientele, 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 will be allocated to these processes, which include travel, phone, faxes, meetings, etc.
Operational overhead: To keep abreast of current times and remain competitive, all organizations must conduct or pay for research and development of new products, trends, activities and or strategies. In the case of a franchise organization, the head office 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 is the New Member Orientation Program. Another current project under development is the Education Coordinator Manual.
Training: As is said by many very large multi-national 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 market place and, to retaining staff. Training expenses represent a growing cost for all organizations universally. A significant portion of BNI's budget also goes to training of 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, to maintain market share and to attract new clients. One example of a special project was SuccessNet Online!
Beyond this statement about, "Where the Money Goes", each member, as an independent business person, must make their own decisions about where they should best place their own revenue against expenses so that they may best meet their own business goals and objectives. If BNI membership is a favorable expense or, if BNI membership is deemed not favorable, this is an individual business decision and should be made within the private confines of each businessperson's management team. One method for evaluating one's growth potential within BNI is to carefully interview other successful members within the same business category. These contacts may be arranged through consultation with the local BNI Director.
Submitted by Don Morgan, BNI Canada National Director