Case Studies: How BNI WCF Helps Businesses Increase Revenues

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Many businesses provide great products and services but no one knows about them. BNI WCF has helped many businesses find the solution to this predicament.

Recent studies have pointed to the fact that many businesses around the world spend billions of dollars on advertising with no guarantee that it will increase revenue or customer loyalty. Business Network International West Central Florida (BNI WCF) takes a different approach by offering businesses advanced training programs in business networking and referral based marketing to help professionals learn how to grow their business and their income within a relatively short period of time. Last year, Business Network International helped businesses generate over $2.6 billion dollars worth of business for members by passing 6.2 million referrals in 5,500 chapters in 43 countries. This year, 40 BNI chapters in the West Central Florida region are on track to pass $50 million worth of business to each other.

“For your business to grow; you must grow,” says Tom Fleming, Executive Director of Business Network International West Central Florida and Director of the Referral Institute in Tampa, FL. “Another way to look at this is, your business doesn’t grow and then you grow into it. Instead, it works the other way around,” says Mr. Fleming.

BNI WCF members Dennis and Laurie Jolicoeur of Edible Arrangements attribute their business success to four factors:

1. The Edible Arrangements® Franchise is a sound concept.
2. They have trained their staff to always put the customer first and back it up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
3. They have a strong commitment to give back to the community by donating to schools and churches in the area.
4. BNI. Having moved to the Tampa Bay area from Massachusetts Laurie and Dennis had no network whatsoever. By joining the BNI Grand Slam Chapter, Dennis and Laurie developed a quality network within a very short period of time. Within just a few months, the BNI network proved to be a crucial source for increased business, dependable employees, reliable vendors, and long lasting personal relationships.

BNI WCF member Dianna Gilley of Florida West Insurance says that college teaches all you need to know in order to practice your profession, but only the Certified Networker Program can teach you how to reach the people who need YOU and your product or service.

Dianna was trying to formulate a business plan for her company Florida West Insurance and was struggling. Struggling to get across her message, to set goals, and implement a real plan to grow the business! She also needed a good follow up plan to keep in touch with current clients. After the first module of the Certified Networker Program, she was able to figure out exactly why she is in the insurance business and it was the start of a true business plan that helped her to design the web site, brochures, newsletter and other marketing materials to show the passion the company has for protecting families through the use of insurance.

One of the things that impressed Dianna about Certified Networker is once she had taken the modules and become a Graduate; she learned that she was allowed to come back for a refresher course at anytime for free here in the Tampa Bay Area. Dianna says there is not one college or university to her knowledge that would be willing to offer a past student refresher courses or continuing education courses for FREE.

As a result of BNI WCF Certified Networker, Dianna’s business grew from $600,000 in premiums to $2.1 million in 22 months.

BNI WCF refers to their training programs as an economic stimulus package for the West Central Florida region. While BNI WCF provides networking opportunities, the training programs allow business professionals to grow so their business will grow.

The bottom line is people are great attorneys or car mechanics or dentists or plumbers, but the concept of marketing a business by referral is different from their chosen industry and area of expertise. BNI WCF makes the distinction with members between working “on” your business by growing it through referrals and other activities, and working “in” your business such as fixing cars, dealing with clients, etc. People are knowledgeable in terms of their chosen expertise but many have never received training on how to run or grow a business by referral. Growing a business by referral is so much more than passing out business cards and shaking hands. In fact, that’s nothing more than direct selling.

About Tom Fleming and Business Network International:

BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world and offers members and prospective members the opportunity to share business referrals or initiate a local chapter of BNI.

Tom Fleming is the Executive Director for BNI in West Central Florida and the Referral Institute. When Tom acquired the region, BNI WCF had one chapter with 13 members. The region now has over 40 chapters with 1600 members passing $50,000,000 in business to each other in the past year alone.

Tom is sought out as a local, national and international speaker on the subjects of marketing businesses by referral and organizational development. He is also a contributing author in two best-selling books on referral based marketing and has been recorded on many educational CD’s produced from his speaking engagements. Prior to beginning his career as an entrepreneur, Tom worked for various Fortune 500 firms, earned an MBA from Babson College and a Bachelor’s Degree in business from Boston University.

Visit BNI West Central Florida at


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Karla Jo Helms
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