Slideshow

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Beth Misner - Speaker / Author and Co-founder of BNI Foundation

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship?

I married into a family business. I did not grow up with the idea that I wanted to work for myself, or own a business. All of my grandparents were in business for themselves, so I did have that example in front of my as a child. Once I actually became an entrepreneur, I knew it was the best fit for me. My husband, BNI founder and CVO, Ivan Misner, has always inspired me to be the very best entrepreneur I could possibly be.  

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

Our company is a franchised business called BNI (Business Network Int'l.). We provide weekly meetings for business owners to attend with the sole purpose of providing each other with qualified referrals for new business for themselves. It is a membership organization, and I'm proud to say that many of our members share with us that they are in business today because of the services we provide to them! You can learn more about BNI at www.BNI.com.

Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

I had to shift my mentality from being an employee to being an owner. There are a lot of things the owner does without even thinking twice about it that the employees never consider. For example, at the end of the work day, I was ready to stop, but as the owner, there are additional things to do that means you cannot really stop! There were times where we would work on the accounting (in the very beginning) until the early hours of the next morning! I really struggled at first with feeling resentment over having to do all these things. 

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

There was a time very early in our company when we went through a very tough time with the income. We had to think of some creative ways to increase the income. Since we are a franchise company, it can sometimes be difficult to stay in close touch with all the franchise owners in a way that keeps them excited about growing the business in their own territories. I had the idea to begin holding conferences with the franchise owners every six months, to bring them in to the headquarters region to meet us, conduct trainings, and do things to keep them excited about what they are doing. It was a great success and now there are BNI conferences all over the world in every country we operate, and also one BIG conference somewhere in the world for everyone each year. 

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

We started to watch the production numbers of the franchisees to compare the results of the franchisees who came to our conferences with those who did not. We found quickly that the franchisees who did not come to our conferences did not have as strong of a business as those who did. As a result, we began to mandate attendance to at least one of the conferences offered throughout the year. Coming together with everyone to learn and grow has an amazing impact on the production of the franchises afterwards. And they seem to really enjoy getting together with everyone. Many of them have become very good friends, traveling on vacations together with their families, and even some of them have married each other! 

Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

I am now helping to manage the BNI non-profit which focuses on children and education, the BNI Foundation. I hope that in the next five years we will have 100% participation in the BNI Foundation's programs by our franchisees and that 75% of all our BNI members will be contributing to support the work we are doing with schools all around the world. 

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business?

Start your business with all the roles in mind that you will need to have others doing as you grow. As you are able, begin to bring these people into your staff. Trying to do everything all by yourself to save money will cost money in the long run. You will never be able to grow as much as possible if you stay as a Solo-preneur, as you will when you grow a team to support your business. Also, be sure you have some kind of philanthropic cause you attach to your business. It will create good for the community, and it will create brand loyalty with your clients for your business. 

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link

Q9. Facebook profile URL link  www.facebook.com/bethmisner

Q10 Twitter profile URL link

Q11. Personal blog URL link http://bnifoundation.org/blog/  and www.bethmisner.com/blog


Q12. Company website & Company blog URL link www.BNI.com  www.AskIvanMisner.com

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