Golden Group Roofing Expands Reach By Joining BNI

In this interview with Greta Bajrami, co-founder and CEO of Golden Group Roofing and Solar, the entrepreneur shares her company’s successful journey with Business Network International (BNI). Business professionals and entrepreneurs who join local BNI chapters participate in weekly networking meetings to increase exposure, network with other community professionals, and receive referrals to grow their businesses.

Joining BNI to strengthen her team and drive growth

Since founding Golden Group Roofing in 2011, Greta has become a leader in the external remodeling industry. Starting as a roofing contractor, Greta’s business grew rapidly. In just a few years, Golden Group expanded into the home siding and solar arenas, with four offices in the Greater Boston area generating $10 million in annual revenues. As leader of a thriving business, Greta has proven to be an unstoppable champion of entrepreneurship, advocate for women business leaders, and supporter of industry professionalism. 

BNI

In 2023, members of Golden Group’s sales team joined four local BNI Chapters, first in Lexington and then in the Westboro, Hudson, and BNI Plus chapters. In this interview, Greta shares how her company’s team has benefitted from participating in BNI.

How did you first learn about BNI?

I first learned about BNI through my activities with local Chambers of Commerce and through participation in other industry, professional women, and entrepreneurial networking groups. When I looked into BNI, I saw that its values and purposes aligned with the Golden Group culture.

What Were Your Initial Objectives in Joining BNI?

Right from the beginning, BNI seemed like a good fit for us for several reasons. First, membership would provide personal and professional growth opportunities for our team members. We also understood the value of building our team’s leadership skills and developing relationships with other local business people. 

Overall, joining BNI seems like a good way to strengthen our team, expand our reach, and generate new business opportunities. Another key goal of our joining BNI chapters is to become an integral part of the business ecosystems and entrepreneurial communities in areas where we have offices.. 

How did Golden Group’s journey with BNI begin?

BNI membership isn’t for specific companies. You join BNI as an individual representing a company. Golden Group’s co-founder and COO Freddy Campoverde took the initiative by joining the Lexington Chapter, which now has 26 members. Each member represents an industry or subset of an industry.

What Were Your First Impressions of BNI?

Almost immediately, John Campoverde, our BNI representative in Lexington, saw how effective being part of the group would be for expanding our professional sphere. Many of the 26 members in his chapter were in the construction and building industry space, including electricians, architects, real estate agents, landscapers, and interior designers. Other connections in finance, insurance, the law, IT, marketing, and other fields would give us exposure beyond our typical reach. 

How has Golden Group Roofing’s Involvement with BNI grown?

After getting a thumbs up from John, we joined three more chapters in communities where we have offices. Dominic Allard, a roofing and siding consultant, is our representative in Westboro. We have Etjon Rapi, a roofing and solar consultant, in Hudson. In roofing and solar sales, Xavier Carmona is a member of BNI plus, which has a larger Boston-area geographic footprint and is specifically for young professionals.

What happens at BNI meetings?

Each group is run somewhat differently. In general, though, BNI meetings are held weekly at 7:00 am. They begin with each person giving a one-minute elevator pitch. Next, members share referrals they have received from and given to other members, along with reporting new business resulting from these referrals. About once a month or every other month, members give a longer presentation where they can share more information about the company, discuss industry trends, or talk about whatever they want group members to know.

How has BNI reinforced your company values?  

First, they have to wake up and be there by 7:00 am sharp or they lose their opportunity to do their elevator pitch, which is disappointing and embarrassing. To avoid this, they have to plan for traffic and other potential delays. Our customer-first attitude is a signature of Golden Group, so this policy translates directly to being professional on the job. Arriving on time to a customer’s home shows that we are reliable, we respect them, and we value their time. It matters.

Giving their elevator pitch over and over again also teaches our salespeople how to sell themselves and builds their confidence. Each elevator pitch they give is somewhat different, but they still have to stay consistent and on point about what Golden Group represents. Over time, they refine their pitch and become more comfortable presenting themselves as Golden Group reps. They can represent us accurately, in the most positive way. It can be a bit daunting at first, talking in front of dozens of professionals, so it keeps them on their toes. 

What are some of the lessons your BNI team has learned about business relationships?

The overall BNI experience helps our salespeople get out of their comfort zone. Being part of BNI, they get more comfortable shaking hands and talking about Golden Group in different professional and informal settings. They realize that relationships are king when it comes to driving business and being active in the local business community. It’s impressive to see how much my team has transformed during their relatively short time as BNI members. They’ve become much more confident and polished.

What has Golden Group as a company gained from BNI participation?

The obvious answer is we get exposure and referrals. When 20-30 other people in the room learn about your business, they naturally disperse it to their social groups, helping us reach out further. 

There are other benefits as well. BNI reinforces the leadership skills we embody in the Golden Group culture so they can better represent us and professionally interact with customers, a huge part of our value system. Becoming confident leaders also helps strengthen their career path and role at Golden Group. Even more broadly, it gives them a sense of place in the roofing industry. 

How has BNI helped you as a local entrepreneur and business owner?

As a business leader, I always want my team members to appreciate what we do and feel good about the company. At the same time, I have to be realistic about the fact that I can’t make them drink the Kool Aid. There’s only so much you can say, and the rest they have to believe on their own.

When they go to their BNI meetings, our people hear about their peers’ frustrations, successes, wins, and losses. GGR has a family feel. When our BNI reps come home to GGR, they feel positive about being part of our company and doing this magic with their friends every day. It’s beautiful to see they are thankful that we’ve built this together and love being here each day. 

How does BNI membership enhance your local reputation?

Every business owner wants to earn respect from others in the business community. It’s something we’re always seeking. It’s one thing to get respect from homeowners, but it’s a completely different thing to get respect from other business leaders in your community. Going to a BNI meeting can make you feel vulnerable to others’ reactions and criticisms. It’s a risk. You want to get the seal of approval from professionals who will judge you at a much higher level. In that respect, it’s like winning the Oscars or a Grammy Award from your peers who are used to dealing with the best. 

As the founder of Golden Group, how do you view the company’s experience with BNI overall?

Our participation in BNI has been very gratifying. It’s empowering for me to watch our sales team network with 20-30 other business people in these towns and have them directly involved in our growth. John, Xavier, Dominic, and Etjon are becoming stronger as individuals and professionals by building relationships and earning the respect of entrepreneurs in our community. 

I consider what we’re doing in all four BNI chapters a true success. Particularly in Lexington, our first BNI chapter, we’ve surpassed our expectations and have become a pillar for home remodeling in the community. Thanks in part to BNI’s seal of approval, we feel we have earned our Oscar and proved that we are here to stay.   

Get in Touch with the Exterior Remodeling Experts

Work with award-winning Golden Group when it’s time for your next home exterior modeling project. You’ll enjoy our expert craftsmanship and integrity when working with our professional roofing, siding, and solar team.  Contact us today.