BNI’s origin goes back to 1985 in Southern California where Dr Ivan R. Misner was looking for a new way of generating business for his business consulting company. Cold calling was not Ivan’s favourite way of finding new clients, so he put together a group of business friends to work on building their businesses through networking and word of mouth marketing. What was at that time known as “The Network” was born!
Dr Misner quickly realised that the success of this group could be duplicated across many other groups of business professionals and he set about developing a structured system that he implemented in the Los Angeles area.
Over the following few years “The Network” grew steadily throughout many states in the US and Dr Misner became known as an authority on Business Networking and Word of Mouth Marketing, having published his best selling book; “The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret” – Building Business through Word of Mouth Marketing.
He re-named “The Network” to BNI (Business Network International) and the organisation began chapters in the Caribbean and Canada. The UK/European operation was formed followed shortly after by Australia in 1997, where there are now over 180 chapters and still growing. Today, BNI operates across four continents in 39 countries with over 5,010 chapters and 102,000 members, a clear global leader in the business of Word of Mouth Referrals.
Unlike other networking groups, BNI provides its members with a structure and a plan to enable them to network in a deliberate and professional manner. As an organisation, BNI keeps track of the number of referrals passed by each chapter and encourages the members to record the dollar value of the business they receive. In 2007 BNI Members worldwide passed 5.5 million referrals worth an estimated AUST$2.75 billion.
Dr Misner has published many books including “Seven Second Marketing”, “Business by Referral” (co-written with Robert Davis), “Masters of Networking”, “It’s in the Cards”, a brilliant analysis of what works on business cards, the second in the Master series “Masters of Success”. “Truth or Delusion” which busts networking’s biggest myths, “Masters of Sales” (co-written with Don Morgan) went to no. 1 in the New York Times, Amazon Books within its first month and the latest “bestseller”, “The 29% Solution”.
BNI in Australia
BNI commenced operations in Australia in late 1997.
Since then, a network of chapters has been established in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Regional Queensland, Regional NSW, Newcastle & Central Coast
As at October 2008 there were over 180 chapters. In addition, new chapters are starting every month. Click on the link below to visit a chapter, and one of our dedicated team will be in contact to assist with finding the perfect chapter for you. Planned chapters are also available and this gives you the opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” of a new chapter.
BNI operates under a network of professional Directors who regularly visit each chapter to assist members in their “referral marketing programme”. Directors are local and involved in the business of BNI so it is in their interest for members to be successful and profitable.
With a unique and ongoing educational and support programme, BNI is the pre-eminent business referral organisation in Australia.
The Australian BNI website and the BNI West Melbourne and Geelong website offer BNI members an unprecedented opportunity to network, promote their business through the unique “trade category” listing, and make new contacts both in Australia and abroad.