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Business Breakfast Club Smashes £2M Target in Just Eight Months

Local Networking Group Calls for Local Tradespeople to Help it Hit £3m by Year End

Business Breakfast Club Smashes £2M Target in Just Eight Months


A CHESHIRE networking group this week revealed it has shared a whopping £2m of business between its members, this year alone.

The business breakfast club passed the mammoth milestone at the end of August and is now aiming to top £3m in turnover by the end of 2016.

But incredibly, the group claims its tally would be much higher if it hadn’t already passed thousands of pounds of business outside of the group – for a lack of plumbers, sparks and other trades at its table.

The Wilmslow chapter of Business Networking International – the most successful BNI group in the north of England and Wales – says local tradespeople could have shared at least £27,000 between them in just the last three months.

Jobs were brought into the group by its architect, builder, developer, lettings agent and car finance broker but, with no one there to claim them, they were passed to another BNI group. A further £4000 of business went astray when the networking group had no photographer sitting at its weekly breakfast meeting in Alderley Edge Golf Club.

It is now calling for people of those professions in the wider surrounding area, as well as gardeners and car mechanics, to cash in on the fast flow of work and help push the group towards its next big target.

Chapter director Andrew Rosamond, 54, said: “We are thrilled to break the £2m mark, but we could have done it much sooner if we had more tradesmen to refer business to, and network for, on our daily travels.

“We’ve recently seen more than £27,000 of business walk out the door. And those figures are just for work needed by our group members. The bigger picture is the external referrals we could get for those trades, which would hugely eclipse that number.

"We need more tradespeople at our business breakfasts so we can reach our full potential as a group. The potential for them is phenomenal."
Andrew Rosamond

"We need more tradespeople at our business breakfasts so we can reach our full potential as a group. The potential for them is also phenomenal."

BNI is a marketing referral network that insists on having only one member of a trade in each group. Wilmslow’s complement also includes an accountant, solicitor and graphic designer among others.

Each member is duty-bound to carry all attendees’ calling cards with them, in anticipation of opportunities to put their services forward. Any opportunity for work is then made known at the next meeting.

The Wilmslow chapter, which prides itself on its friendly atmosphere over breakfast, has been a regular event in the local area for 17 years. At present it has 28 members out of a target 35. Many of those have been attending for several years and come from as far afield as Stockport, Macclesfield and Knutsford.

“For most members it’s a no-brainer,” Andrew added, “as soon as they join, all other people from that trade are locked out and all chances of related work encountered by the group are referred to them.

“They’re expected to do just the same for others in the chapter, but what they put in they get back in multiples. The figures speak for themselves, I think, and there are Cheshire tradespeople who are missing out on a lot of earnings.”

Andrew, who runs a computer consultancy business, was also keen to dispel one urban myth about BNI.

Asked if internet rumours that BNI was a cult were true, he laughed. “Absolutely not,” he said, “there’s no golden calf, no stone owl, no secret handshakes, not even a dress code.

“BNI is simply a group of people who see the sense in helping each other do better business. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

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