Organization helps small businesses in a big way

Photo Credit: KETK News/Nicole Vowell

POSTED: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 5:29pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 5:36pm

East Texans are helping each other’s small businesses grow through one organization—
Business Networking International or BNI, is a global group with local chapters all over East Texas.

They meet once a week, the Tyler chapter meets every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Potpourri House.

DeAnn Wells, member of BNI and owner of ‘Exclusively Yours’ advertising in Tyler says, “The general goal of this organization is to refer more business locally to each other."

Wells says many times small businesses don't have the big advertising budget, so in this group they rely on each other. Wells calls them her ‘power team,’ She says, "We have a group of basically 35 people that are going to go out and everytime they hear someone needs pens or pencils they're going to hang them our card and say this is the person you need to use."

And local business owners seem to be benefiting from being involved in BNI, Wells says, "The proof is in the pudding the first meeting that we had I had an order places right then."

KETK attended a meeting Wednesday July 2, and spoke with local business owners about their success.

Cindy Waterman, Co-owner of Waterman electric says, "The benefits of BNI have changed our lives."

She says, "The numbers so far from this group for the first 6 months are over 12 thusand dollars worth of business."

Ann Head, realtor at Remax Tyler says, "It has totally changed my business." Head says she's reaping the benefits of BNI—big time.

Head says, "I have sold close to 30 houses just from referrals in this group."

Other business owners KETK spoke with say this word-of-mouth method of advertising is working from them.

For more information about how to join your local BNI Chapter please visit:

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