You have the entrepreneurial spirit and have made the plunge to start out in business. Congratulations! Not everyone has the stomach for it. Even less the tenacity to see it through to the end. This step you’ve taken; it’s huge. Take a moment to appreciate it. Then consider the following.
One You, Multiple Hats
You’re bootstrapping your new venture. That means you’ll be Operations Manager, your own Marketing & Sales department, and fulfilling every aspect of the business on your own. You might source a few key supporters, such as an accountant, for specialized tasks but choose to track your own expenses and invoice to save on costs. You are not alone. This approach is all to common and forces entrepreneurs to find solutions in areas that often are not our speciality. Does this sound familiar?
There is another aspect to working on our own that will undoubtedly align with your experience too. The isolation and loneliness of entrepreneurship. At times it can feel like no one in the world has done what you have, and couldn’t possibly understand what it takes to see your specific business vision through to success.
That’s simply not true.
BNI: Your Tool for Entrepreneurial Success
What if you had a proactive network of experts in areas not in your wheelhouse, and you had regular weekly meetings with this network where you develop a depth of relationship with these people and offered up your own expertise in exchange? How would this change your current experience as a solopreneur, or small business owner?
BNI is a referral-based networking group that allows only one professional per industry to be part of the group at a time, thereby locking out your competition to gain solid referral streams. But the added value that some people overlook is the support your BNI relationships provide: the shortcut to solutions, sometimes free advice, and great comradery.
The Added Value of BNI
As a BNI member, you’re able to start using the services of the other members, or their vetted referrals, and eventually something great happens: you stop trying to do it all yourself. You can focus on your core genius, which often results in more time for billable hours, in addition to receiving more sales leads to close from your weekly BNI referrals.
One of the main reasons people leave BNI? They’ve simply become too busy from receiving referrals from their new sales team of 30 – 50 BNI chapter members. Of course it’s possible for members who’ve left to maintain their business at its current success and possibly even grow it at a manageable rate. But at this juncture, the successful entrepreneur will make the decision to stay and scale their business, continuing to leverage their BNI chapter members. Using the chapter business coach can really help here. And most importantly, never under-value the depth of reciprocity in contributing to your entrepreneurial success.
Recommended reading: Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish.