For ten years I worked for the same gas and electricity company and if I’m honest, I was never completely happy. So just over six months ago I decided that it was time to take a chance and I set up Bright Utilities. My initial plan was to give myself eight months and if it didn’t work out I’d find another job.
At around the same time my wife’s birthday was coming up and I went to buy her a gift from a jewellery shop a friend of mine owns. We got talking and I mentioned that I had decided to set up on my own and if he had any gas or electricity needs to let me know. He asked if I had ever tried networking and began telling me about a networking group he belongs to called BNI. I was a bit dubious as my previous networking experiences hadn’t been great. They had all involved walking into a room full of people selling at you and shouting to be heard. Coincidently, during a conversation with another friend of mine the following day, networking and BNI was mentioned again. I thought it was probably time to do some investigating! I went on Facebook to enquire and someone ended up inviting me to attend a local BNI meeting, so I went along.
I walked into the meeting and was instantly blown away – the response was nothing like the previous networking events I’d been a part of. Everyone was interested in me and my business, no one tried to sell me anything – they actually listened to what I had to say. This was a completely different experience.
I wanted to join. However other than a laptop, BNI would be the biggest cost to my business so far. Not only that, but I was nervous about generating referrals for fellow members. What if I couldn’t get any? It was fair to say that the pros definitely outweighed the cons, so I put my concerns behind me, took a leap and joined.
BNI has given my business the push it needed to succeed in those first crucial months. It is responsible for over 50% of my business and I regularly receive two or three referrals a week. I needn’t have worried about gathering referrals, as I’m always recommending fellow members to my clients.
Without BNI my business would not be as profitable or as focused as it is today. The support and advice I receive from my chapter is second to none. I have nothing but gratitude and respect for my colleagues within BNI Network Central and other BNI members I meet along my personal journey to success. It’s fair to say that if it wasn’t for BNI, I would definitely be reconsidering my business.