Jackie's Blog | 1230 TWC - Part 5

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"I always feel inspired and refocused when I come to 1230 TWC"
Johanne Narayn


Category Archives for Jackie’s Blog

Learn to Earn

Yesterday’s 1230 TWC Maidstone meeting was pretty powerful!

Not only was I surrounded by some magical inspiring women, we were also in a new venue – Trish, owner of Nelson’s Restaurant looked after us superbly and the food was delicious.

But there was more than that…

Lucy Hall gave us guidance and expertise in setting our Strategy Checklist in her workshop – 1 in a series of 4.  Unwittingly, she guided me to a new strap line – “Learn to Earn”.  Lucy asked us to think “Why am I doing Social Media, what do I want to achieve?”   My response was – “I can learn and earn.”  Thank you Lucy!

This set me to thinking – We’re all in business to make money – right?  We have to stay ahead of the competition; it’s also said that we learn something new every day.  So not only is Social Media a great way to learn stuff, we also need to learn to give our businesses the successful edge, to enable us to earn.

So, think about it.  Are you learning to earn?  Let me know how you do this.  The best example gets a FREE 1230 TWC Membership!!

Before I leave this blog, I have to mention Britt Whyatt our guest speaker.  Britt and I have been in touch virtually for a while, but meeting her yesterday was something else.  If you get the opportunity – no, make the opportunity, to hear her story – believe me, you’ll be blown away as I was.

Let’s imagine

..that you’ve never been to a networking event – well, it happens.  You could be a start-up, never seen the value of going, whatever.  How do you know which to attend?  What do you do when you get there?  Do you need to prepare?   What do you do afterwards?

3 magic pointers to help you make those decisions

What is business networking anyway?  Networking (formal) is a low-cost method of making contacts with like-minded people to build trusting relationships for business growth.  Formal networking is at organised events, informal networking is talking to anyone, anywhere – supermarket, school gates.

So…

1)  Where to go

This decision can be confusing and difficult with so many choices.  If you’re a start-up business, funds are often tight, so it’s tempting to attend only “free” networking events.  They’re “free” inasmuch as you don’t pay an entry fee.  They’re not actually free because you need to factor in your travel time, time there, plus what happens afterwards.  You’re likely to meet a lively and enthusiastic bunch of people.  The down-side is that there is no structure to these events, there may be a speaker, but you are left pretty much to your own devices.  And if you aren’t prepared in how to manage your time whilst you’re there, attendance could be a total waste of your time.

Paid for networking events, in the main have a successful structure – perhaps a speaker and particularly important, the opportunity to showcase your business offering with a 1 minute talk to everyone present.  Notice I say “your business offering”, not “what you do” – we’ll come to that in a moment.

All networking takes effort, and success from your time doesn’t happen overnight.  Would you marry the first person you meet?  Well, some do I know, but generally you take time to get to know the person before leaping! It takes time to build relationships and is often a slow-burn so you need to attend regularly – otherwise, how does anyone know about you, you’re invisible.

Don’t be a networking butterfly, dashing here there and everywhere.  Try some events out, make the decisions and attend regularly – remember, you’re building relationships.

2)  What to do & Preparation

Having done your research on the type of people likely to be there, make sure you have the following with you:

  • Business cards or flyers
  • Pen/pencil paper (to make notes when listening to other speakers).  This helps you identify those to follow up with – don’t dismiss anyone.  Useful for referring to in future.Also useful should you not have any cards with you as you’re waiting on the printer – it happens.Always have these with you for those informal times too!
  • Pockets!  Pockets are extremely useful when networking.  Your business cards in one pocket, those received in the other.  For us girls, this means no fluffing around in handbags!
  • Your diary – to book those all-important one-to-ones – strike while the iron is hot!

If you’re a newbie to networking what to do when you arrive may seem daunting.  At paid for events (certainly at 1230 TWC meetings) you’ll be introduced to someone to get you started.  If not, then look around to see if anyone else is looking a bit lost.  Groups of people will generally open up and include you in the conversation.  If not, then ask the organiser to introduce you.

Don’t get stuck in your comfort zone, circulate to make the most of your time there.

3)  Afterwards

So what do you when you return to the office armed with business cards, flyers and notes?  Quantity doesn’t count, it’s quality of contacts.  So which can you manage better – 300 contacts including follow-ups, or 3?

  • Follow up – always do what you’ve promised.  Arrange 1:1 meetings to find out more.  BTW – your 1 minute should focus on how your business could benefit the audience.  Saying “I’m an IT trainer” is likely to turn the lights out in their eyes, but if you say “I can save you loads of time” then the spark will be there and they will come and find you.
  • Add the contact details to your database – you do have a database, don’t you?
  • Either phone or email – email doesn’t need to be lengthy.

Best of luck in building your relationships and business – you might find this short video helpful too  Please give me a call if there’s anything I can help you with.  020 8650 8015

Radio Guest #wibradio

Last Thursday I excitedly drove for nearly 2 hrs (in my new car, first long trip, eeek!) to take part in the Channel Radio programme Hosted by the lovely Sian Murphy on “The Women in Business Radio Show” #wibradio.

Down country lanes until I came to Haguelands Farm, Burmarsh – what a fab pretty place.  Apart from the Radio Studio, I discovered afterwards the Fish Shop – bought some wet fish, into Alpaca Annie shop, stroked some beautifully soft scarves, slippers and all manner of lovely articles and bought some Alpaca Poo!  Don’t ask, but apparently it’s excellent on roses.  I also popped in to see Faye in her hair and beauty salon and saw the finishing coats of paint being applied to The Bistro to open on 7 May.

And of course – the broadcast!  Always a pleasure to see Sian of course and charismatic Paul Andrews and to meet lovely “Geeky” Keith – I only mention this because Sian had decided the topic for the broadcast – “Geek Baiting” – you’ll find out why….

Have a listen here to see what we got up to + lots of useful information including details about VOIP.

Thanks again Sian for inviting me!

Are you in a relationship?

For your business, that is.

It is often said in business that success is determined not by what you know, but by who you know.  Relationship building in business is essential.

Word of mouth referral is responsible for 70% of business taking place! That is 70% of business activity is down to people who get to know you, like you and trust you, whether or not they have bought your products or used your services, they feel comfortable in recommending or referring you.

So that would seem a pretty fool-proof and economical way to grow your business; to make money.

Yes, but it doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time and effort – by you!

Effective and successful networking isn’t just about “the money”.

It’s about learning from your peers, sharing experiences and support.  Which in turn all add to your well-being and that of your business!

If you are going to be successful in business, face-to-face networking is an essential part of your business’s marketing strategy.

So here are 10 Relationship Building Rules to make networking work for you:-

1.  Regular Attendance

  1. Networking is about developing trust and relationships over time – so you need to attend regularly

2.  Give and Help Others

  1. Be prepared to give and help others – what you give will come back three-fold – see where you can make connections for others

3.  Genuine Interest and Listen

  1. Show a genuine interest in people and really listen – you never know who they know!

4.  Follow up

  1. Always follow up contacts, by phone or email

5.  1:1s

  1. Arrange 1:1s – to find out more about each other and business opportunities – so always take your diary, whether paper or electronic, with you

6.  Invitations

  1. Invite business contacts to experience a networking meeting – spreading the word extends opportunities for everyone

7.  Circulate

  1. Circulate – don’t stay in your comfort zone

8.  Preparation

  1. Be prepared – have plenty of business cards, perhaps an A5 flier, and certainly have a 1 minute talk prepared – you can “wing-it” much later on! (let me  know if you’d like a copy of the 1230 TWC 1 Minute guide)
  2. Remember
  3.  “Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievement” anon

9.  Information Networking

  1. Never go anywhere without your business cards; that includes supermarket, hairdressers, dentist, school gates, etc….  These are your informal networking opportunities.

10.     Gold

  1. Treat your network, your relationships, like gold – don’t abuse your contacts
  2. Networking is not about selling, it’s about building the relationship.  Follow the above RBRs consistently and it will work for you.

I would love to hear from you about your networking experiences and please share your own networking tips

3d render pot of gold coins isolated on white

 

1230 TWC MD  Jackie Groundsell

Watch your language!

Oh ***** away, *** off – you know the sort of thing.

My brain pinged the other day during a conversation as to what and when certain language is or isn’t acceptable.  In the group were legal and HR people who explained how they had problems receiving perfectly legitimate emails, but because the topic was about inappropriate language their IT team had to make security allowances to enable the emails to go through.

Some time ago I attended a conference workshop where the trainer’s language was more than liberally littered with 4-letter words.  At my table a couple of us found this inappropriate, others hadn’t even noticed.  However, it did result in the conference organisers updating their Terms & Conditions for speakers addressing inappropriate language.

I guess it could be said that I’m sensitive to what I term to be bad language.  As a child I recall being in a car showroom with my Dad and the cut-glass accented salesman using the word blo**y very frequently – bit of a no-no to an 8 year-old then!  That said, I do have a go now and then and the family note it in their diaries!

So what is acceptable / unacceptable in business?  Are there special circumstances?  For me, it’s ok in recounting a story, without expanding the words used in full.  It’s not ok to direct that phrase to someone else.  Are there situations in business / public speaking where it is acceptable / unacceptable.

What do you think?  What is  / is not acceptable to you and when?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this – please let me know  just email me 

Synergies and Collaboration – why would you?

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

Do you always see the synergies, the possibilities to collaborate when speaking to others, or when you are networking, more particularly, 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.

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 further consider that during the subsequent meeting you have together you decide to “do something” together.

To set it up and manage the finances, this needs the help and advice of an accountant.  This project also needs marketing, using traditional methods and social media.  Guess what? You have also met those people.  You may have a little knowledge in these fields, but you are by no means an expert.  With another or others your business offering is stronger, more successful, different.

Eagerly, I saw part of this scenario happen at a recent 1230 TWC Bromley meeting.  Where will it go?  I don’t know, but the prospect is more than exciting – I can’t wait to learn more.

Can you think of any synergies and reasons to collaborate, now?  Thought you would!

He/She who hesitates….

she who hesitatesExciting day yesterday with the launch of 1230 TWC Bexley at Ferrari’s Restaurant.  A fabulous venue, with free parking, delicious food and attentive, but not too much, staff. Great speaker Marina Gask, Host Deborah Jones and other vibrant inspiring businesswomen. I thought I’d try out the train route to the venue.  Quite easy, Eden Park Station, change at Lewisham for Bexley, 2 mins walk to restaurant.  The train was just coming into the station as I reached the platform, without hesitation, in I hopped.  Station announcements were going to plan until “London Bridge” was announced as the next and last station!

Hmmmm. OK, not to worry, I could get a train from LB to Bexley, no problem.  Which is what I did.  The trains were running late and I had to change platforms, but I met and chatted to a delightful lady who was travelling home to Bexley having stayed at her sister’s in Bedford. From the 1230 TWC Bexley meeting I had planned to go by train to Bromley North for another meeting, this time 2 train changes.  My travelling companion suggested getting one bus from Bexley to Bromley North – great idea! 1230 TWC Host Debbie kindly drove me to the bus stop, the required number bus pulled in behind us just as the car stopped.  Out I leapt and jumped on the bus, without hesitation. Yes, you’ve guessed it –

1230 TWC Host Debbie kindly drove me to the bus stop, the required number bus pulled in behind us just as the car stopped.  Out I leapt and jumped on the bus, without hesitation. Yes, you’ve guessed it – wrong direction!   But….  a very sweet Bromley College student guided me to the bus stop to take me to the correct destination for my meeting. So, I hesitated twice, was “lost” twice, but met 2 lovely people as a result.  Would you say those journeys were failures or successes?

Tools of the Trade

Recently I took a day out of business to spend time with a girlfriend; this included some Retail Therapy and Lunch!

First stop though was to her tailor – an essential visit as he is making her wedding dress and I’d been invited to the all-important “final fitting”.  I felt extremely honoured for such an important occasion. I chatted with him and his wife as he worked on the dress – this resulted in an exchange of business cards.

On we then went to Old Spitalfields Market, stopping to buy some beautiful origami cards, perfect as “Thank you” cards for my friend’s forthcoming wedding.  The assistant took my business card and wrote down the owner’s contact details on a piece of paper for me – they hadn’t got business cards, nor web site yet he said.

On then talking to the owners of a dress stall and a maker of fascinators – exchanging business cards and flyers as we went.

Time for lunch and to think about what had happened that morning.

Notice that I’d taken a day out, and yet I was happily “talking business” and exchanging business cards.  Who knows where those business connections will lead.  Do you always have your business cards with you?

7 Tips for Future Female Entrepreneurs

Valuable points in this infographic from Intuit

Benefits of Business Training

benefits of business trainingTraining is an essential way of improving your effectiveness and that of your workforce to grow your business. There are many different classifications of training – each bringing broad benefits to the individual and ultimately, the organisation.

The Benefits of training will include:

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved skills enabling a diverse range of work.
  • Improved ability to implement and attain specific goals.
  • Increased ability to respond to change effectively.

Training improves:

  • Competitiveness
  • Morale
  • Profitability
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Company status and profile

It can also lead to the decline in:

  • Inefficient use of time and materials
  • Work based accidents
  • Cost of maintaining equipment
  • Staff turnover, sickness and absenteeism
  • Recruitment expenditure

Training also makes a company more attractive to potential new staff.  Implementing a training strategy involves the efficient training and improvement of people within the organisation, enabling them and the company, to achieve their personal and corporate best.

Strategic training varies according to both personnel and corporate needs;  important components include:

  • Objectives
  • Individual’s development
  • Team building
  • Team development
  • Leadership development
  • Coaching and mentoring

Training can be delivered in varying formats and could include:

  • Classroom training
  • On-the-job learning
  • Mentoring
  • In-house training, including desk-side
  • Individual study, including computer based learning

Managed and delivered well, training is cost productive, boosting personal and staff morale, increasing productivity and giving your organisation the competitive edge to success.

1230 Business School wants your business to succeed. That’s why we’ve teamed with a dynamic group of individuals to deliver our training courses. Collectively they have a wealth of experience and expertise in a range of different areas and are passionate about sharing the wisdom of their experience with you.  training@1230businessschool.co.uk   020 8650 8015