4 October 2017

BNI business referral framework can lead to big dividends

Sukri Kadola, founder and CEO of Singapore boutique and floral design house Bloem Singapore and newly-appointed President for the BNI Apex chapter of the BNI business network as of October 2017, says that BNI's referral system has led to some S$6 million in business closed for BNI Apex since 2012. BNI Apex is one of several chapters active in Singapore operating under the BNI referral framework.
Source: Bloem. Kadola.
Source: Bloem. Kadola. 

"What makes BNI interesting is the contacts and introductions - members are able to support  members by becoming their best sales and marketing support for business collaborations. BNI groups – we call them 'chapters', aim to help all their members to get more business referrals and help them grow their business," Kadola explained.

Kadola, who will serve 12 months, added that "Apex" was chosen as the name for the BNI chapter he heads in line with members' aspirations. "We want to be at the top of our game, by becoming peak performers. When we become successful as business owners, the success is shared collectively," he said.

BNI Apex meets once a week for breakfast, Kadola said. "While we have a serious agenda, we do not make our guests feel too intimidated or feel very confined. I guess you can say that we are like a family. At an aspirational level, we want to be the best people in the business from our respective trades. One of the key objectives I’ve set for the team is to develop our depth of expertise, learning the best industry practices, being in the know of the latest development that affects each of industry we belong to," he said. 

Kadola said that startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will find BNI relevant and appealing. "A membership  with BNI will benefit business owners and anyone in terms of sales or business development. A unique characteristic of BNI is that we have only one trade represented in each chapter, i.e. we will only have one chiropractor or florist per chapter. A greater selection of trades allows members to tap onto a wider base of contacts and potentially gain more business referrals," he said.

"A key highlight is the 'givers gain' value that we hold very close. So, anyone looking to be part of a BNI chapter need to acquire this mindset and understand that we have to start referring or giving before we should expect to receive.  This peer support we get as an entrepreneur or business owner, is a key benefit of being a member in a chapter."

BNI Apex meets for breakfast at Chef Wan's Kitchen  in the Esplanade Mall every Wednesday. There is an initial application fee, and annual membership dues to be part of a BNI chapter. Chapters may also have a venue fee.