A new group in Ancaster will allow businesses to network internationally with like-minded organizations.
The Business Networking International (BNI) Professional Excellence Ancaster chapter will be a part of the world’s largest networking organization and is set to launch on May 9, noted President Margaret Heesters.
As a member, the chapter allows businesses to connect internationally to other members of BNI chapters.
“If I have a friend who’s moving to Saskatchewan and is looking for a realtor, my first step is to contact a BNI chapter in Saskatchewan and look for a realtor there,” said Heesters.
In Canada, there are 284 chapters and in the past year, Canadian chapters passed $149 million dollars worth of business to other members.
There was $3.3 billion dollars generated worldwide.
Heesters was formerly a member of a BNI chapter in Brantford before she decided to open up a chapter in Ancaster because she found most of her services and clients were in that area.
When the Ancaster chapter initially began in January, it had 10 members, she noted.
There are currently 25 members representing different professions, including pest control, web design, a travel agent, a chiropractor and a nutritionist.
“The interesting thing about BNI is that it’s an exclusive membership, which means there’s only one real estate agent per group, one mortgage broker per group, or one financial advisor,” she explained. “When I contact businesses that might have an interest in our networking group, I ask them two questions: are you looking to grow your business and would referrals help your business? If your answer is yes, then BNIs are great for them to join.”
Heesters expects around 125 people will be attending the event, which will introduce the group to the community.
“The more exposure we get, the more opportunity we have to invite new members into our group and to let people know that we’re in Ancaster,” she said.
Regular meetings are held every Thursday from 12 to 1:30 p.m. and is kept at 90 minutes.
There is an application process but business professionals are first invited to a meeting to see if the chapter is a good fit for their business and vice versa.
References are also checked before membership is accepted.
Tickets are $20 and deadline to register is May 3. The event will run from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Knollwood Golf Club (914 Book Road W.).
For more information email Heesters or contact her at 905-512-5741.
Originally posted in Your Hamilton Biz.