(This post forms part of a series of powerpoint slides from a presentation I gave at the Career Development Association of Australia Conference 2010 entitled: The Roller-coaster Ride from Permanent Part-time Employee to Private Practitioner.)
Here's a sample of the websites/institutions available to assist the Career Development private practitioner with business ideas, marketing, and general information.
BNI is unapologetically a marketing organization. Is costs somewhere around $1000 to join and for a year membership. You are expected to attend a breakfast meeting each week and be an active advocate for the other members of your group.
Each group only has one representative of each business, so there is effectively no competition. I can see that it would be beneficial, and everyone I have known who has belonged says it is excellent for leads and generally keeping your enthusiasm going.
Each week you give a little blurb about what kinds of leads you are looking for that week, and the other members try to assist.
Have I joined? For me, the deal breaker was making a commitment to turn up for breakfast each and every week during the year. It is effectively $30 per week to market your business, and may be really good value, as long as you're able to make the time commitment. You're only 'allowed' to miss 2 meetings, and above that need to find someone to substitute for you.