BNI Bucks Demystified
I. Why is it so important to track BNI bucks.
1. Chapter Health
3. Business Development
1. Chapter health and growth is tied to BNI bucks. In today’s BNI world with over 100 chapters in Eastern Mass alone, BNI has become competitive, and there are 100’s of copy cat organizations. BNI bucks are the way for chapters to promote themselves and compete for new members. Patti Salvucci, executive director, feels that a chapter with 40 members should be generating a min of $1,600,000 per year and that is promoted by the directors.
2. For Tier 1 and Tier 2, Tier 3 Plus (more on definitions later) it is super important to recognize people. BNI bucks is a way to give a public thank to a member who went out of their way (net-“worked”) to get you a referral and put money in your pocket. They also want you to refer them, but they want recognition. We have seen members stop referring another member because recognition was never given. There is no accident that our society worships star athletes, musicians, and artists as people all want to be recognized and BNI is no different.
3. Business-For your individual businesses you should be tracking your revenue stream. If you want to have a successful and profitable business you need to know what your spending time and money on and what is working for you. In BNI the monetary cost is about $1,000 dollars per year, plus the time commitment of 150 hours per year. There are 50 1.5 hour meetings and 50 1 hour 1-2-1. The average BNI member charges $75 per hour so your commitment to BNI is roughly $12,250 per year. Are you generating this type of business? *Now, for our newer members BNI is not a get rich quick scheme so if you have been in BNI for a year, 2, or 3 and have not reached this level yet do not fret. We know many members who took some time to get traction and they went from doing $2,000 to $3,000 per year to $25,000 to $100,000 per year. It depends on your time in business, the trust level needed for you to get referrals (referral confidence curve from MSP), and other factors. There are many people sitting in this room who have been members for 7 plus years and would not stay if they were not making money.
II. Sources for BNI Bucks:
Often we are asked what activities in BNI should I track for my business? Our answer is that you should track everything! Any and all BNI activities that you do that generate referrals and income should be tracked. Examples:
1. You are at MSP and meet a person who is a great referral source and that person gives you a referral that closes. You should recognize that person in their chapter by thanking them on the website, and you should put BNI bucks into our chapter. We have seen over the years where a member receives a monster referral from MSP, visiting a chapter, Presidents meetings, and/or Leadership Team training. They actually travel to that members chapter to give public recognition in addition to the website. It is important to promote that members chapter and your chapter.
2. Within your own chapter there are 3 primary categories of BNI bucks that are tracked:
a. Tier 1 referrals. This is when a member hires another member known in BNI world as an Inside Referral. If Tom hires Paul to do an video for Tom on Tom’s business this is a Tier 1 referral and when the job is complete and Paul is paid he will put in the Gross Dollars. So Paul will need to pay employees and then take his cut, but for BNI purposes you are entering Gross Dollars not net. If Tom has Paul do 10 more videos he is not going to drop 10 more referrals, but it is now on Paul as the business owner to track the 10 more thank you to Tom.
b. Tier 2 referral- Tom refers Paul to the college admissions person at Bentley College for a video. This is called in BNI world Outside Referral. Paul get’s hired and makes a $10,000 dollar video and thanks Tom. Now, 3 years later Bentley calls Paul to do another video and pays him another $10,000 dollars. It is up to Paul to thank Tom for another $10,000 dollars. If Tom has left the chapter Paul thanks BNI, but it is important that these dollars are tracked. This is an area where most chapters are missing 10-25% of revenue that is being generated.
c. Tier 3 plus Referral- Paul get’s a call from Brandeis University and they say their pals at Bentley loved his work and gave his name to him. Paul as the business owner who tracks his business knows that Bentley came from BNI so now Brandeis is BNI bucks. Paul does $50,000 at Brandeis and it is up to Paul to thank Tom again for the bucks. Again if Tom has left the chapter than Paul would thank BNI for the bucks.
Chapters, like our chapter, who have been around for 20 years and with members who have been around for 7 plus years have a lot of this revenue and it is really important that we track it. We track it because of the three items discussed early:
1. Chapter Health
3. Business Development
By Tom Matthews and please contact me with further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org