Two of East Lancashire’s leading professional services firms have joined forces to launch a new standard of networking, from the world’s biggest referral organisation, in Blackburn.
Forbes Solicitors and PM&M Chartered Accountants are launching a new Platinum Standard BNI chapter, the second of its kind in the UK, meeting every Tuesday morning at Blackburn Youth Zone.
Established over 30 years ago, BNI has over 200,000 members in over 70 countries worldwide. It works by organising weekly networking meetings for groups of businesses. Groups, known as chapters, use their combined network of contacts to find business opportunities and referrals for one another, to a specific brief that members outline at every meeting.
Each chapter follows proven procedures and processes to ensure businesses are able to generate the maximum amount of business for each other.
Expanding substantially on the established aim for BNI chapters to generate £2 million of business per year, the new Platinum Standard aims to generate £5 million per year for members.
The new standard is the brainchild of BNI Executive Director Mike Holman, who heads up 27 BNI chapters in Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
At the new chapter’s launch this week, Holman outlined how the Platinum Standard chapter will use a whole new set of standards and updated processes, aiming to emulate the most successful groups from across the world.
He said: “The largest BNI chapter in the world is the Guangzhou Abundance chapter in China, which currently has 111 members and turns over millions and millions because of the way they run the meetings and the standards they set. I’ve travelled the world looking at how different chapters operate and developed the idea for the Platinum Standard, which I’m proud to be launching here in Blackburn.
“We’re aiming to make the new chapter into one of the top five in the UK, generating more than £5million per year by building a group of over 50 local business leaders, fully enabled to meet standards that will set a new benchmark in referral marketing.”
Jackie Fisher of PM&M Chartered Accountants said: “Launching this new venture, we would like to offer an open invitation to business leaders who are new to BNI, or would be interested in taking a fresh look, based on the new standard, to come along to one of our pre-launch meetings to get an understanding of what we’re aiming to achieve and to see if it is something that would be of interest to them.”
Adam Bromley of Forbes Solicitors said: “At Forbes Solicitors we are huge fans of referral marketing which can be the route to success for many kinds of business. BNI is long established as a leading light in referral marketing, so we’re very proud to be at the forefront of launching this new Standard in Blackburn, which aims to set the benchmark even higher in delivering success for its members.”
As well as hosting the weekly meetings, Blackburn Youth Zone will be the chapter’s nominated charity.