Andrew Chikomba (President) Ph: 022 5762 782
Kerry Otto (Vice President) Ph: 0275 868 615

Giving as gain motto celebrated

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MEMBERS of a business networking group have clinked glasses at a function to celebrate their double figured anniversary.The East Auckland chapter of Business Network International (BNI) has marked its first 10 years at a dinner held at the Pakuranga Golf Club.

President Glenn Foster says members enjoyed the celebration and are grateful for the ongoing networking opportunities the group offers."It gives small businesses in particular a helping hand," Mr Foster told the Times. "It is commercial in some ways, but in other ways it has a public benefit."

BNI clubs typically have about 30 people and each member is from a different profession. "We run a reasonably structured meeting every week for an hour and a half," says Mr Foster. "We do some charitable work, but not to the same extent of [groups like] Rotary." 
A key focus of BNI, which has chapters across New Zealand and the globe, is on sharing ideas and gaining new business by word of mouth or referral marketing. The international group's motto is "give as gain" and members pay an annual subscription.

"It's based on the analogy that the more you give, the more you're going to get," says Karen Tatterson, vice-president of the East Auckland chapter. "As a small business person you get so insular, but we all have the same issues and the same problems. In this group there's a real melding of personalities."

Barry Ekins has been a member for nine and a half years and credits BNI for the survival of his web design business.  "It's been absolutely critical," says Mr Ekins. "I don't think I would have seen a year out if it hadn't been for BNI. We don't see too many businesses that join our group fail.
Source: Howick & Pakuranga Times Vol 40, No 87