At BNI Whakatane we’ve recently experienced an expansion in our numbers that could be related to the new Ohope Beach development project in the area. We’ve just added several members, which means a number of property-related businesses are now involved in the group.
The recent upswing in member numbers comes after a flat period where our membership dropped to just 8 businesses. To have our numbers drop to that low a level was quite a serious issue. People had left for personal reasons – three left in quick succession due to life changes. Some were leaving the area and others had changed businesses. At one point the group itself was in danger of disbanding.
Thankfully membership has increased steadily since that low point, something that could be put down to the improved financial circumstances in the area – particularly due to property development. With the Ohope Beach development project and other property-related projects, we’ve noticed increased economic activity in the area, which has been reflected in the mix of businesses involved in BNI Whakatane.
Something I’ve learned from the experience is that if you can just get a couple of new members (or even just one), the whole energy in the group changes. With new blood you have a new lease on life in a chapter. There’s greater enthusiasm and new ideas about how relationships within the chapter can be built. It’s easy to forget about the benefits of BNI, but when new members come in you’re immediately reminded about how valuable the group is to creating business opportunities.
Along with an accountant, lawyer and mechanic, we also have a building consultant, home loan provider and a real estate agent. We’re all excited about the changing times and hopefully the upswing in numbers will continue. We’d like to see an increase in the number of tradespeople represented in our chapter. So we’re actively trying to get electricians and plumbers to come on board.
Craig Parsons, President for BNI Whakatane and owner of Guardian Property Services based in Ohope