Networking as a franchise system
The franchise system, Business Network International, has more than 100,000 members in 37 countries across the world. According to an article in the Sunday newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the network is on the increase in Germany, too.
Business Network International uses business contacts and mouth-to-mouth propaganda to find new enquiries and contracts for its members. The participants in Germany are divided up into a total of 4,900 groups, so-called “chapters”. There is only one representative from each professional sector in each local group. Those people who join not only take part in regular meetings to exchange experiences but also carry around the other members’ business cards to recommend their products or services. The annual membership fee costs 700 euros.
The idea was thought up by the marketing expert, Ivan Misner, who founded the first network group in California 20 years ago. He is the franchisor of the national organisations. According to the report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the Business Network International members drummed up business worth 1.7 billion euros last year.