I retired from the army following 25 years of service and with some help from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, I decided to retrain. I set up Gearing Locksmiths and started trading immediately.
At the time my brother was a member of Blaze Chapter in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and recommended BNI, claiming that it had the potential to significantly help my business. I joined in October 2013 and saw the benefits from the very first meeting. With so many members in the room and so many possible customers – through their friends, family and most importantly work contacts, it was hard to see how I could fail.
Within eight weeks I had made back the entire cost of my membership and was getting referrals every week. I advertise elsewhere but BNI consistently brings in a third of my business. I enjoy the BNI meetings enormously and challenge myself every week to help find new business for my fellow members.
As a sole trader, I tend to spend much of my week alone. The interaction with other members at our weekly BNI business networking meetings and individual discussions, which we call 1-1s, gives my week structure, as well as keeping me focused. The training offered by BNI has been invaluable and I enjoy attending on a regular basis, which has helped me stay at the top of the key criteria we use to judge our own performance (traffic lights), since I joined.
In January I was very honoured and flattered to be asked by my BNI business networking group to take over the role as Chapter Director, a role I was not expecting to be asked to undertake so soon. I am looking forward to the challenge and hope to take my group to new heights.
BNI has without a doubt made my company what it is today and the future for Gearing Locksmiths is looking very good indeed.
Blaze BNI, Hitchin, Herts