In India with most BNI chapters aiming to go platinum, and those that are already at platinum going to titanium and even centennium, it has become more imperative than ever to keep certain pointers in mind. Running large chapters need large teams, delegation, maximum participation by core members and support of the newer members to sustain the growth.
Here are 5 top tips to steer your chapter clear of large obstacles and take baby steps towards stability and sustained growth
- Follow the basics
No matter how large the chapter size, there is nothing more important than running your chapter with the BNI basics. Showing up early, staying late, participating in the meeting, taking roles, giving to your members and bringing quality visitors; all these basic make sure that the same flavor of BNI continues to percolate to each new member who joins and who gets bowled over by the format that make BNI so successful.
- Add new roles
Large chapters need more number of members to manage the running of the chapter. It may be a good idea to have new roles that seem to fit your chapter need best. For eg., some chapters have money spinner teams, which make sure that all members get support to generate more business through activities like joint calls to clients, chasing large ticket referrals and seeing them through conversion.
- Keep the culture intact
You are only as good as your most sub-optimum member is. As a chapter member each person plays a key role in making sure that the members follow the culture of the chapter. Making sure appreciation is done in public and critical feedback is done in private helps keep the energy of the chapter at a good positive level, making it conducive to build better relationships between member which will later fructify into business relationships and referrals being passed.
- Training, training, training
A chapter that attends trainings regularly is known to have lesser challenges in dealing with member issues, because there aren’t too many. When members attend trainings regularly, it helps the leadership teams focus on moving the chapter to the next level rather than fire fight on basic issues. Trainings feed their minds with knowledge on how to leverage their membership to generate maximum business for themselves and their referral partners.
Maintaining the right professional decorum when meetings are run is quintessential to the growth of the chapter by attracting the right kind of visitors to join. Exhibiting non professional behaviour through dressing or use of language or inappropriate humour used during presentations can cost you dearly.
So as you grow your chapters from 50 to 75 this season, make sure you do it the right way, by inducting the right kind of members into the chapter, by gently weaving the right culture among your teammates and by raising the bar at all times.