Blog | 1230 TWC - Part 2

Make Your Customer Feel Valued – 15 Feb 2018 6pm to 9pm

Make Your Customer Feel Valued

Interactive Workshop with Claire Boscq-Scott, Founder of The Busy Queen Bee, in collaboration with Rohini Rathour,  takes you on a step-by-step journey of how to make your business profitable through excellent customer service and happy engaged employees.

Limited places.  Book your places at HERE

Do you…

  • Run a business?
  • Want to have loyal customers?
  • Want to have engaged employees?
  • Want to increase your profit?

The answer…

If you say yes to any of those questions, this is the perfect workshop for you.

Collaboration for Networkers – Yes or No?


Definition of collaboration = the action of working with someone to produce something (Oxford Dictionaries)

Synergies

Do you always see the synergies, that is, the possibilities to collaborate when speaking to others when you are networking, or perhaps when you’re listening to others’ 1 minutes?  Maybe you don’t see the synergies straight away, but you do when you revisit your notes later…  Why would you want to collaborate with others?  Let’s take a look at some possibilities.  Or, help others to collaborate.

What about the Experts?

You are an expert in your own field, your own business.  But are you an expert in all subjects required for successful business, for something new and different?  Let’s consider your area of expertise is weight loss.  Amongst those around you at a networking meeting is an image consultant, a beautician, a venue Manager and a multi-disciplined practitioner in alternative therapies.  Getting the picture?  Let’s go further and consider that during the subsequent meeting you have together that you decide to “do something” together. 

GDPR
GDPR

Next steps in collaboration

To set up the project and manage the finances, needs the help and advice of an accountant and/or bookkeeper.  The project also needs marketing, using both traditional methods and social media.  And of course, you're likely to need Contracts (KoffeeKlatch will have just the thing for you) that keep you legal and abiding to GDPR regulations too, for working with these experts.  Guess what? You’ve met all these people!  They are part of your ever-expanding network. 

What knowledge and expertise do you have?

You may have some knowledge in these fields, but you are by no means an expert.  With others, through collaborative networking your business offering is now different, strongersuccessful.

Got you thinking, right?

Can you think of synergies and reasons to collaborate, now?  

Thought you would!

Disaster Dahling! Or How Our Networks Work!

Afternoon before the business conference, check list in hand, everything ticked and ready to go for the Conference set-up.

The phone rings, the voice of the venue owner (2 separate ownerships) throws a virtual bucket of ice-cold water over me.  “I’m really sorry Jackie, but we have no power – although our people are working on it, I think you need to look at an alternative venue for your business event.”

He had tried to pre-empt the situation by speaking with a venue just a few yards away and they had agreed to host our event – but, I’d never been in that venue, so needed to visit before making that decision; and just how bad was our original venue?  And had he spoken with the new owner of the other half of the venue?  No.  Working since 7.00 am that morning from my home office, I’d literally stepped out of the shower when taking his call.

So with dripping hair and no make-up – not a good look – I made my way to the potential new Conference venue.  Fortunately, a 10 mins drive away from me.

The booked venue was indeed a shambles of refurbishment - more like a bomb-site, more so on the floor-level where the business exhibition stands were scheduled along with the business clinics and advisers; the lower floor level was for the seminars and workshops.  So we waited for the owner of the other venue to arrive – as you’d imagine, a million things banging around my head, which finally settled into a plan.

The new venue was great, and we could use 2 floors, as planned.  OK, back to the office with 90 mins to spare before people start to arrive to set up, to let everyone know of the venue change.  And breath! 

Phone calls to The Mayor’s office and others, emails to EVERYONE!  Some would receive 2 emails with change of venue details, but that didn’t matter – better 2 than none at all.

Back at the new venue with car ready to be unloaded, to be told that we can only use one floor – that means speakers and exhibition stands on one level, but, separated by a huge circular bar – we can still make this work!

In between times, I’d spoken with the representative of the 2nd owner of our original venue – with me so far?  who was totally unaware of the situation up to that point. 100 chairs were on their way, plus tables, but, we didn’t need 100 chairs at the new venue, just half, since they had their own chairs……

When the furniture delivery arrives, there are too many chairs and insufficient tables – off to get more tables!

Time moves on – people arrive for setting up stands – then, sleep… 7.30 am start to finish last minute set-up of the event which opens at 9.00 am.

The Day

Exhibitors start to arrive, and despite notices from the “old” venue and emails, some state that they’ve not seen either.  Trouble is, it’s not possible to take responsibility for another’s computer system.  Others are happy and accommodating of the whole situation and continue to have a successful day. 

“Huge congratulations for pulling potential disaster out of the fire this week! The BBA day was a triumph. I met some lovely people and hope we may be able to help each other sometime in the future.”  Susan Feehan

Why am I Sharing this with You?

I'm an experienced events organiser, with a wide network of contacts, grown through my own business – 1230 The Women’s Company as well as managing other events regularly such as my local business association (event above). 

Stuff Happens!

And as we look around at the current disasters in the World, my above experience is small fry.  I had planned and pulled this together in 12 months. Last minute stuff happens, unexpected stuff, like venues going into liquidation – had 2 of those with my monthly lunch-time networking meetings of 1230 TWC.  Venues catching fire, all manner of things that potentially could have brought a halt to the event. 

The event above was local to me in Beckenham, but not all my chosen venues are, so unless someone lets me know (as you’d expect,  it wasn’t the owners of the liquidated or fired premises, who did) how am I to know and make alternative plans?  In the case of one restaurant liquidation, a passing chap who’d booked a table for the following day, spotted the notification of liquidation in the restaurant window.  He went back to his computer and tried to find anyone who may have had a booking with the venue.  Thankfully he found us and let us know – how considerate is that!

Having a Plan

The invaluable check list!  And I’ve been nagged to write a book on how to organise an event -something I’ve done with my own businesses since 2002 and earlier when I was a fund-raising manager.  So watch this space!

Yes, you need a check list!

Networks

networking

At the root of all event organisation is – your network.  You need a venue, so look to your network for personal recommendations.  You need speakers, so you look to those that you know, either as speakers, or for their connections and recommendations.  The speakers will “spread the word” of the event to their networks.  Dependent upon the type of event, you may need exhibitors.  Again, you look to your network to invite them to exhibit and they will let their networks know.  And when possible, you need a team, as I had around me for the described Conference – substitute “team”, with network.

You need a builder, copywriter, a web designer, solicitor.. you name it, whatever your needs, your network will fulfil this.  If you are a business woman, then obviously you look to your network within 1230.co.uk

Following the Conference above, I asked on Facebook what readers would have done in such a situation.  Many said “call you!”, another suggested steps for me to take, the last being to call her, as did others.  

All that is about connections created through networking.

Networks are the most important things in our lives. Whether we need to share our excitement, our tears, need help, want to offer help, it’s all about people we know.  Don’t forget, our own families are networks, and, surprising to some, they know people too!

The Importance of Networks

So this blog isn’t about sharing the potential disaster of a last minute change of venue, but most importantly, the strength of a supportive network.  If you’ve not been before, come and try us out  1230.co.uk and for September, grab September Sizzle while you can.

Hidden Disabilities (dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and ADHD) – a Practical Seminar – 21 September 2017

Jenna Ide and Meredith Hurst will be speaking along with a barrister, Peter Oldham QC. Cost is just £25 plus VAT.

The seminar is aimed at senior HR managers and directors.

My colleague, Jenna Ide represented the dyslexic employee, Ms Kumulchew, in her successful case against Starbucks, which you may have seen in the BBC news last year (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35521061).

The details for this seminar can be found at the following link: http://www.thomasmansfield.com/blog/posts/hidden-disabilities-a-practical-seminar-on-21-september-2017

Please feel free to read Jenna Ide’s article on “Hidden Disabilities” which was recently published in the Employment Solicitor Magazine (http://www.employmentsolicitor.com/hidden-disabilities-employers-need-know/), which may help to give you a flavour of why it is important for employers to take special care when it comes to dealing with employees with “hidden disabilities”.

If you would like to book any places at the seminar, please feel free to drop me, Susi Gillespie an email or let me know if you have any questions.

Divorce – the case for co-operation and the role of collaborative law

A series of cases over the last few years has highlighted the need for co-operation in divorce proceedings before the courts. Failure to co-operate, particularly in the disclosure of financial information, can ultimately lead to a prison sentence: and as cases such as Parkinson v Daley [http://www.tmfamilylaw.co.uk/2017/04/co-operation-and-contempt-in-divorce/] have demonstrated, this is no idle threat.

The case for co-operation

With the real threat of a prison sentence underpinning the requirement to provide complete disclosure of financial assets, the case for co-operation is clear. While I would not wish to downplay the distress that divorce brings, there are several, obvious advantages to a ‘cards on the table’ approach, even without the threat of imprisonment. Reaching resolution to the divorce proceedings draws a line under the relationship and allows both parties to move on. Doing so quickly and as cooperatively as possible can have real long term benefits to all involved, especially when there are children to consider. Co-operation also reduces the need for additional court hearings and the escalation of legal costs which is in no one’s interest.

Collaborative law puts co-operation at the heart of the divorce

Divorcing couples may not feel like co-operating, particularly in the early stages, when the divorce may be most raw and painful. However, increasing numbers of couples are recognising the benefits in the longer term of putting differences to one side in the interests of achieving a swifter and more flexible settlement. Collaborative law puts co-operation at the heart of the divorce process, and allows couples to work through issues such as financial arrangements and childcare details leading to a more intuitive and realistic setting. While courts are bound by rules as to the content of the orders they can make in divorce proceedings, a key benefit of collaborative law is the opportunity for each couple to draw up a settlement that is uniquely tailored to their circumstances.

Dispute resolution over court proceedings

Even if collaborative law, which involves the parties and their lawyers discussing the issues face to face, feels like a step too far, other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation are available. As with collaborative law, these other forms of dispute resolution achieve the divorce in a less stressful, and more timely, cost-effective way. Given that the courts will ultimately require co-operation and disclosure of assets and liabilities during a divorce, it makes sense for couples to ‘put their cards on the table’ at an early stage. Collaborative law offers a great opportunity to do this.

I’ve explored the sanctions for non-cooperation with the court process, particularly in the context of financial arrangements, in more detail in my latest blog [http://www.tmfamilylaw.co.uk/2017/04/co-operation-and-contempt-in-divorce].

If you’d like to discuss how dispute resolution in general and collaborative law in particular works in the context of divorce, do get in touch!

Sevenoaks Business Networking Lunch

Business Networking With Like-Minded Women Entrepreneurs - Just Like You!

Bookings by Friday 1 December

Our Sevenoaks Business Women's Networking Lunch meets at Otto's Coffee House & Kitchen
located in a charming 16th century Grade II listed building.
This ensures our networking lunch is a special treat - so good, you won't believe it's business as well!!!

24
Days
22
Hours
58
Minutes
55
Seconds

Venue directions

Otto's
37 High Street,
Sevenoaks, TN13 1JD

At the 1230 TWC Business Women's Networking Lunch you can expect great conversation, a speaker on an aspect of business, and a great lunch.

Meeting on the 1st Monday of each month

Your Host

Susi Gillespie Family Law

Meet your Host
Susi Gillespie

Susi Gillespie is a results driven family lawyer with more than 10 years’ experience. Susi worked in a Legal 500 regional firm from qualification until 2016 and has now joined Thomas Mansfield upon them opening their doors to Family Law clients. Susi is a trained Collaborative Lawyer which means that she is able to offer her clients an alternative method of dispute resolution from the traditional adversarial approach. Collaborative Law provides a means of achieving family led solutions in a non- confrontational way by agreement and discussion in several client/lawyer meetings. . Susi is also a keen advocate and has Higher Rights of Audience for those cases that (now exceptionally) cannot be kept away from the court arena.

In 2010 – 2015 Chambers and Partners UK recognised Susi as a ‘Notable Practitioner’ and latterly as an ‘Associate to Watch’ praising her for her ‘enthusiasm and straightforward attitude’.

As well as being a member of Resolution, Susi also sits on the regional Resolution Committee and on the central Committee for Cohabitation and Equalities.

Can't make this month's lunch? Book in for the next one here!

Insert Image

How did you meet?

Since we met, or rather were introduced, I’ve been asked this question several times. I’m just back from the “Make It Happen17” Conference - a celebration of International Women’s Day - in Marbella, that I collaborate on with this lady. Who is this you’re asking and how did you meet? As my family has been known to say – let’s have the short version!!

Connection

OK, some time back Steve Clarke thought this lady and I should have a chat, as both of us work with and support other businesswomen, so he introduced us over Twitter; busy as ever, the Tweet was missed over in Spain. A few days later, Annabel Kaye also thought this lady and I should chat, so she did a Twitter intro and bingo, this time we connected!

That is, with Ali Meehan of Costa Women fame – a social and business network of women in Spain. At the time, Ali was helping another entrepreneur with his conference and as a result I was invited to speak in Spain – at that point I became an international speaker! Gosh that venue was so hot, air-con not working.


What happened then....

Moving on… Ali and I decided we must “do something” together which would benefit the members of both our organisations… Flight prices escalated then, but in 2015 the first celebration of International Women’s Day with CostaWomen and 1230 TWC took place in the Andalucía Lab. An attractive, brilliant Government owned building in the heart of Malaga - conference room, helpful AVA staff, and atrium for the stands at our disposal.

So there it is, that’s how Ali and I met, and the rest as they say is history.

CostaWomen
1230 The Women's Company
Make It Happen

Cardinal Sin & Speednetworking!

I suppose it’s a bit like Father Christmas….. "He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice"… and that’s where the similarity stops, with me that is.

For every event, we/I have a check list:

  • Perspex stands - A4 and A5
  • Balloons
  • Roller bannersx 2 1230 TWC
  • Blue Tack
  • Brown tape

And so it goes on… and this gets checked as the items are brought out and as they are assembled prior to loading a vehicle/leaving the office

Except for my recent trip to the Make It Happen Conference in Marbella, Spain.



I
forgot
my
hooter!!!

business networking

I won’t bore you with the reasons why this happened, but it was an essential item for me to run the speednetworking session at the Make It Happen Conference.

On arriving at my hotel I set off in hot pursuit of a replacement (“hot” being the operative word, since it was an 80o day) - not even unpacking my case - no time, as it was just 2.5 hrs to the networking party that evening, and the Conference was the following day with 7.30 am start!!!!

toddler bicycle

Thinks…. There’s a primary school nearby, I wonder if they have a bicycle with said horn on that I could borrow? Just for a day. Seemed inspirational! Now you need to know that my Spanish is non-existent… well, I can say “please” and “thank you” and order chicken and chips – that’s just about it, oh and sparkling water.

I will leave it to your imagination as to how the conversation went with the teaching staff, suffice to say I came away empty handed, and they wondering who this totally insane English woman was!

So a quick phone call to Ali for shop suggestions, 1 hour later proved unfruitful. Must have lost some weight though in the hot running around - so a positive there! Dear Patrick (Ali’s OH) came to the rescue and saved the day with a choice of 2 hooters.

And I think you can say that the Speednetworking was a success!

hooter business

Toot Toot!

theDigital

Q1. Your name and what you do?
I’m Shaheen Schleifer, owner of theDigital which I’ve run since 2014.

Q2 Why did you start a business and your biggest business challenge when you started?
I started my business to take control of my future and help people. The hardest thing to deal with was the ‘advice’ of people who had never run a business. Although well-meaning, it was not helpful.

Q3 Who do you help / serve in your business?
We help small businesses, start-ups and sole traders who need online digital services (websites, social media content) but have a limited cash-flow. We train all our clients so that they can update their website and social content. They benefit from the development and enhancement of staff skills, and reduce future costs for updates.

Q4 How did you know they were the people you’re meant to help?
As a website designer for previous clients, I noticed how small businesses struggled to pay for essential items such as websites. I also noticed the frustration with continuous payments for updates. I decided to help by changing the business model for website design.

Q5 What do you think of business networking?
There is no business without networking. It provides a relaxed environment in which people can discuss the problems they are having with their business. Sometimes I can help, sometimes I can recommend other people who can help. I love being part of this skill connection.

Q6 What do you think of women-only business networking?
It’s essential to business. They are many experiences women share and we can help each other through these problem, or in general business.

Q7 Who is your female in business idol / role model / business celebrity
Jane Fonda. She has successfully created and led many different types of business, and has shown entrepreneurship at many different ages of her life. She is not afraid of succeeding or failing in public, and she talks about her success and failures candidly. She defines the ‘always be learning’ mantra and she never gives up.

Q8 Your Favourite book by a female author (business or pleasure)
Either Jane Fonda’s autobiography or Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

Q9 What’s your favourite restaurant for a business networking lunch?
Heddon Street Kitchen

Q10 Tell us your best business “win” so we can celebrate your success with you. And finally, please add anything you think is relevant to your business story here, our audience is business women.
I’ve currently helping an existing client to expand her business. This client has been in business a long time; she was looking to spend less time serving clients at her business place and more time sharing her knowledge, but she was having concerns about the effect on her income.
We decided to use her love of sharing knowledge to build an extra income, which in time could become her main income. We are doing this by creating a library of online content which can be monetized. We are currently developing videos and a course to publish online and which will feature a professional body of which she is a member.