BNI Staffordshire
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BNI Staffordshire owners Tony and Stephenie Altham have been recognised with an outstanding performance award after the franchise smashed all of its previous records for business networking in 2019.

The married couple have been at the helm of the networking and business support group since 2015, but last year saw it hit a number of milestones.

 
This includes seeing membership increase to 205 and the launch of five new groups – taking the total number of ‘chapters’ in the BNI Staffordshire network to 12. The amount of invoiced business generated between members also surpassed £10 million for the first time.

Tony and Steph bought the BNI Staffordshire franchise when Tony saw its potential for growth after joining BNI as a member to grow his other business, corporate gift company AdGiftsOnline.

Now – following the success of BNI Staffordshire in 2019 – the pair have entered The Sentinel Business Awards in the Growth category, sponsored by Dains.

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Tony said: “It has been a busy year for us, we have launched new BNI groups and have increased membership, which obviously means our members are generating more business.

“We have become more active on social media and have plans to expand further into Staffordshire in the New Year.

“BNI is all about generating business for one another. We focus on quality referrals and making sure people get a return on their investment by getting what they should be getting out of it.

“BNI works for every business – but not necessarily every person.”

Tony added: “Things are going well at AdGiftsOnline too, we have taken on a new business development manager who is helping us to identify new opportunities with some major corporate clients.

“We are expecting growth to continue, and are hoping to hit revenue of £3 million in the next few years.”

In 2020, Tony and Stephenie have plans to expand BNI Staffordshire to 350 members through the organic growth of existing BNI chapters and the launch of new groups across the region.

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Their long-term aim is to increase membership to more than 1,000 members, who would be expected to generate £60 million of invoiced business between them each year.

The couple are also preparing to bring both businesses under one roof by moving into new, bigger offices at Newcastle’s Lymedale Business Centre.

Tony said: “A lot has happened in the last 12 months, and now we want to top what we have achieved in 2019.

“The first step for us will be moving BNI Staffordshire and AdGiftsOnline into one big office which will help us to become more efficient, communicate better and have the capacity for further growth.

“It will also mean we can take on an apprentice and increase staff numbers to around 15.”

By Laura James

Source: Stoke Sentinel

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