You're considering finding alternatives to BNI. At the end of this post, you'll be Looking at seven local BNI alternatives and networking groups you can visit next week.
You may or may not be an existing member of a BNI MN chapter, but the one thing is for certain.
We'll be figuring out 7 MN referral networking alternatives to BNI MN, that you can go to next week.
A little note about me: I am still a BNI MN member and in large most of my results doing SEO in MN was kickstarted by BNI MN. IF you're not in BNI and HATE cold calling, you can suck it up and should both. But as a member that can produce more than 10x the referrals with with much less time, it doesn't make sense for digital marketing or any local companies unless they can corner the market in the immediate area – but our chapter has grown and contracted many times – they wouldn't leave if they profited.
Getting a low ROI for BNI MN?
We're discussing this because some folks who join a BNI MN chapter like ours are upset with getting a low return on investment. They spent a lot of time, but the referrals happen far in between.
As reported from another, in particularly this guy's chapter.
$60,000 Total Chapter Sales
30 Number of Members (average)
$2000.00 Per Member Earnings (average)
$ 600.00 BNI Dues Per Year
$1400.00 BNI Earnings After Expenses
192 Member Hours Spent on BNI Activities per year (average)
$ 7.92 Ave member earnings per hour
Yeah, $8 per hour isn't the best thing for your time if you're a very small service company with small budgets and such.
Sure, the top producing members could be brought down to a few…
…so you create a super profitable group thats 3X more profitable…
But sometimes a Minnesota BNI chapter gets so bogged down that it wastes a lot of time hearing the same commercials.
Might be easier for leadership to "trim the leaves" or even rebrand itself as a new chapter with new MN BNI members.
(Its what this chapter did, and now they're considered the top BNIMN chapter in 2019)
Consider the Local Chamber of Commerce vs BNI MN
Joining or even calling a business on your local city's chamber of commerce is still viable.
All of these are a community-driven collection of supported businesses.
They come together often and know that the fees paid into the local chamber vet out your every salesperson in their meetups.
An established business lives out of the Chamber of Commerce. (Plus a backlink from that does us well as well for SEO.
What about other similar Referral groups NRG (and others)?
NRG is the Networking Referal Group, but I thought it should have had a tagline that said: "drIve Energy to your Pipeline" or something.
However, its a local RE/MAX hosted group that is just like BNI MN.
Many groups are like this. Many business owners network, and there is an incentive for someone to host one of his or her own.
1) Leadership gets much more control. Keep Dues. And can spend more within the group.
2) More freedom in branding and marketing. (NRG was at Pride 2018 – and our BNI MN group could not foot the $2000 price)
What about FREE Network Referral groups similar to BNI MN?
Meetups.com is still a very excellent place, and if you're in the south metro, then vetting group for an Edina BNI chapter (that I talked to you above) might do you well. Everyone that wants to stay in the group, can, but its a free group headed by Web Strategy Viking. They're a BNI member but modeled a very strong group after BNI.
You can get vetted to the number one BNI MN chapter by visiting that group, and that is one way to join the group.
Maybe you're reconsidering BNI in MN as something viable…
BNI is a great organization for the solo entrepreneur (solopreneur). Focused on lead-sharing and networking, I joined BNI after my wife and I started our first company six years ago. I met a great group of men and women, including solopreneurs and salespeople, who met weekly over breakfast and really cared about helping each other grow their sales.
After a year or so, as we began to focus more on national clients, I left the organization. But five years later, I still maintain some of the friendships I got from the organization. Even if you run a larger organization, consider BNI for your local salespeople.
Recommended for: Solopreneurs & Your Local Salespeople
But given that you're here for other networks like BNI MN, then you should see these four rapid-fire suggestions:
BNI MN vs Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC)
I joined YEC just at the tail end of my qualifying as “young” — age 35 — but recently they upped the age requirement to 40. (Woohoo, I’m still young!) If you’re age 40 or younger and a founder of a company doing $1 million a year or more in revenues, this organization is for you.
I’ve found the number one asset of YEC to be online PR and marketing — there is also lots of networking and information-sharing through its exclusive Facebook group and LinkedIn group. Especially if you’re a young CEO in technology or communication, this is a great group to join.
Recommended for 40 and Under Founders/CEOs
BNI MN vs Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)
I mentioned my love affair with EO at the start of this post. The truth is, if I had to choose just one of the five, it would be EO. For founder/CEO’s of fast-growing companies doing at least $1 million/year in revenues or having received $2 million in venture funding, EO includes great speakers, events and networking.
But the lynchpin of EO is the Forum experience: Each month I get together with eight close peers and we all confidentially share our business, personal and family concerns. One member each month, with the help of a peer coach, does a deep dive “presentation” on an area of concern.
If you’re not doing $1M in revenues yet but you’re doing $250,000, you may also qualify for EO’s Accelerator program.
Recommended for: Founders/CEOs of $1M+ Businesses
BNI MN vs Young President’s Organization (YPO)
YPO is very similar to EO — the two key differences are that the revenue requirements for YPO are higher (depending on your type of business) and you don’t need to be a founder of the company, simply its’ current leader.
While I’m not in YPO yet, I’ve spoken for YPO Forums and met several great friends who are in YPO. And given its similarity to EO in terms of Forums and amazing events, I can whole-heartedly recommend YPO for those who qualify.
Recommended for: CEOs of companies with annual revenues over $12M
BNI MN vs Vistage
The only non-acronym here. I’ve only attended one meeting of Vistage, but I do know many CEOs who belong. It’s similar to YPO and EO in that all members participate in monthly Forum meetings with peers, except in Vistage, they’re joined by a paid coach/moderator who also does 1-1 business coaching with each member.
Also, with Vistage, the focus is strictly on business, versus EO and YPO which take a more holistic approach.
Recommended for: CEOs who want to focus on business and receive coaching
This post was done by a BNI member (that understands how to do SEO for small businesses within BNI) obviously. You found this page through searching BNI MN… but if you want more qualified customers for your business… without the time spent politicking, referring and meeting people then lets have a quick freebie strategy session or SEO audit.