My introduction to Edge
In early 2019 we engaged David Rouse from The Photography Business to create some content for our new website. In another lifetime, before we both had our own businesses, David and I had worked together and after the photography shoot we caught up for a beer. David mentioned that he was part of a networking group which met every Wednesday morning and invited me to a visitor day which was being held the following week.
My business partner and I had previously spent quite a lot of time and energy making and maintaining connections within the legal industry, however we hadn’t spent much time networking externally. Because our work comes from such a wide range of referrals we were interested to see who the members of the chapter were, and if there were many opportunities for cross-referrals.
The visitor day
I had no idea what to expect when I turned up to my first meeting as a visitor, except that I had been told to bring lots of business cards and to be ready to give a 30 second pitch about my business.
During the meeting I was really impressed by the energy in the room, and how experienced and friendly the members of the chapter were. It was clear that this was a group who not only knew what they were doing, but also knew how to have fun doing it.
I visited for another couple of weeks and shortly afterwards submitted an application to become a member. I have held the Criminal Law seat since April 2019.
My first year at Edge
My first year at Edge has completely exceeded my expectations. The experience has allowed me to connect with other like-minded business owners who genuinely want to help each other succeed, both within Edge, and also in other chapters.
Not only does Edge have fantastic lawyers holding seats for Family Law, Conveyancing and Commercial Law, but I have connected with many other brilliant business owners who have been able to assist me, my business or our clients – whether it’s helping us write content for our website, valuing property for our clients who are bail refused and need to offer property as surety, or getting my personal insurances in order!
I have also received some great referrals from both within and outside our chapter – though as a criminal defence lawyer it’s probably important to stress that none of the referrals have been for the members directly! They’re definitely a law abiding group of people (at least so far…).
From a financial perspective, there is no doubt that the investment has been worth it. The amount of closed business I have generated in the first year has far outweighed the costs associated with becoming a member, and because the meetings start early and finish at 8.30am, I still make it into the office by 9am.
Looking to the future
I have just submitted an application to renew my membership and am looking forward to my second year at BNI Edge. I am excited for what 2020 is going to bring for the Edge chapter, as well as how much value it is going to bring to my business.
Having visited a number of other networking chapters during the last year, it is clear that each chapter has their own vibe and personality (and that the breakfast is much better at some chapters rather than others, which is also an important consideration at 7am on a Wednesday morning…) If you are thinking of joining Edge, I would definitely recommend visiting a few chapters to see which you think will work best for you and your business. And even though I might be biased, I definitely think I’ve hit the jackpot with Edge!