Submitted by Heather Belanger – Member, Queen City BNI in Burlington, Vermont
As a business owner, like myself, or a valued employee, I’m sure you set goals annually. You’ve probably immersed yourself in hours of educational experiences’ around goal setting; workshops, podcast’s, etc. Maybe you S.M.A.R.T. them out or have a strategic business plan. Maybe you’re less formal about it. No matter the nature of the goals, or the formality of the setting methods, as business owners we know goals are important for the growth of our businesses (personal growth) and the motivation and retention of employees.
In BNI it’s no different. Goals and succeeding or failing to reach them is how we evaluate not only our individual memberships but also our chapter’s performance. As Members we set goals around how many referrals we want to receive to consider our membership successful and our chapters write business plans to direct the efforts of leadership and supporting leadership.
So, as we round the halfway mark of 2019, how are you doing at achieving your goals? Are you halfway there? If not, maybe this secret goal setting step will help. In all the hours I’ve dedicated to sharpening my goal setting skills I’ve only ever heard this mentioned once, TELL PEOPLE. Tell everyone what your goals are whether they are directly connected to them or not. Don’t only tell your employees or your inner circle, tell everyone. The more people you tell, the more visibility you create around your goals, making you more likely to achieve them. You never know who might have that connection you need to accelerate progress toward achieving your goals.
So how do you do this with respect to the goals you set around your BNI membership? I suggest you start by building awareness among your clients and vendors that you are a part of this organization by weaving it into all of the touch points of your business. Do you have an office or physical space where you interact with your clients? Do you display your members’ business cards in a promenade place? Do you have your ‘ask me about BNI’ table tent out and wear your lapel pin. Do you have a website, use email, or have an email marketing campaign? Copywriter and owner of The Write Stuff VT , Jodi Lawaich, shares these simple taglines you can add to your digital communications to build awareness about your involvement with BNI: Connecting you with a trusted referral network, Ask me about trusted referrals, or Trusted referrals start here. Hyperlink the tagline to your BNI chapter’s website and ask your clients if they’d like an introduction to any of the professionals in your trusted business network. On social media? BNI Vermont’s Social Media Coordinator and Owner of 802 Social, Molly Goodyear, shares the following hashtags to build awareness about the power of your BNI membership when posting: #bnireferralsatwork, #bnireferralsource, and #bnireferralsinmotion.
Implementing these simple things into your business will help not only you, but also your chapter achieve their goals over the next six months.
Heather is a Kitchen and Bath Designer with Lacillade’s Home Design Center. Lacillade’s Home Design Center collaborates with homeowners creating distinctive kitchens and baths with a focus on highly functional lifestyle design.