The newly formed FishHawk BNI Dream Team currently meets weekly on Zoom and is looking for more members.

Are you a local professional looking to grow your business? If so, the BNI Dream Team might be able to help.

FishHawk resident and realtor with Abadi Realty Jennifer Abadi started the group, which has quickly grown to 15 members, late last year. Her husband participates in a BNI group in Brandon and when Abadi noticed there wasn’t a FishHawk chapter, she decided to start one.

“We both love what BNI stands for and how it could help us grow our business,” she said.

Founded in 1985, BNI is a global networking organization. Only one person from each professional specialty is allowed to apply to a chapter of BNI, eliminating the possibility of competition among members.

The FishHawk group meets every Wednesday morning, currently via zoom, for a 90-minute meeting. Members also meet individually to learn more about each other and their businesses.
Abadi feels the BNI model is very effective.

“The thing I have learned that I find most valuable is the value of building relationships within your networking group,” she said. “The more you know someone and trust them and their expertise, the more likely you are to refer them and vice versa.”

Because members get to know each other and their services well, they feel confident in recommending other professionals to friends and business contacts.

“We hold ourselves to a high standard of customer service and we expect the businesses we refer to do the same,” said Abadi. “It reflects poorly on us and our business if I refer someone that has poor communication, or shoddy work ethic, etc. For example, I know the painter in my chapter well because I have built a relationship with him. I know that if I help you purchase a home that needs to be painted, I could refer him and count on him to take care of you. He will be responsive, priced competitively and do the job properly.”

The group still has many open seats and is currently looking for a CPA, family law attorney and representatives for most trades, including an electrician, plumber, HVAC and handyman, in addition to many other professions.

To learn more about BNI, visit www.BNITampa.com. If you are interested in joining the FishHawk BNI Dream Team group, contact Chapter Launch Specialist Nick Campbell at campbelln89@gmail.com.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.