When Gosforth full time mum of two toddlers, Sam Mcallister realised that times were tough and she needed an additional income to help put food onto the family table, she looked at the options available to her and started her own cleaning company.
Now, 18 months later, Rise and Shine Cleaning employs three cleaning staff with more to follow this year. As well as good old fashioned hard work, Sam has attributed her success to the contacts she’s made at her local business referral group.
“I first visited the Gosforth based Brandling Chapter of Business Networking International, (BNI) in August 2015 when I set up the business,” she said. “On my first visit to the group I had little money even for food as I was a stay at home mum. I knew then however that if I let the opportunity to join BNI go then I would live to regret it. I loaned the subscription fee and it was the best thing I ever did.”
The business referral group meets every Friday and members help each other find work for their respective professions.
BNI is the most successful business networking referral organisation in the world with more than 12,500 members in the UK and Ireland alone, passing over 676,000 referrals worth over £497 million every year.
When joining BNI, Sam’s initial intentions were to go to meetings to gain enough business to enable her to work around her children’s schooling and to earn enough money to help with her household bills. Since joining however, her business has grown rapidly thanks to dozens of referrals from her fellow members. She now has a good, regular clientele, a solid foundation and prospects of bigger contracts on the horizon.
Being a part of BNI has also given Sam other benefits too.
“I have a lot more confidence within myself. I’m no longer afraid of asking for the contacts I need to get my business where I believe we will be within the next two years. I have had masses of help, guidance and support.
“I would like to grow further within the next six months and have the availability to employ a further two new members of staff. With the help from my colleagues at BNI I know I can achieve this.”
It’s not just Sam who is celebrating. The chapter has recently celebrated having passed £1 million worth of business amongst its members.
BNI Brandling meets every Friday morning at Marriott Hotel Gosforth Park.