Jackie's Blog | 1230 TWC - Part 6

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Lazy, hazy days of Summer – when are you back?

So…. the lazy, hazy days of Summer are here, you’re on holiday, back soon.

Seriously, when are you back?

Bearing in mind that we need NOT let those nasty burglars know when you’re away (if you are a home office), so please don’t publicise on social media where you’re going and when you’re going away, unless there are other people in your house whilst you’re away.

So, back to “when are you back?”

Now, I’m sure this doesn’t apply to you, but are you getting auto-emails saying “I’m away at the moment, please get in touch on my return” or “I’m out of the office today and will deal with your email on my return”, or “I’m away for the Christmas holiday (bearing in mind we’re now in August!) and will reply on my return”?

So, when are they back in the office?  Who knows!!

If this is you, although I’m sure it’s not, please, I implore you, add in the day and time you ARE back in the office.  For example “I’m out of the office today so I won’t see your email until my return 9.30 am Wednesday 28 August”.  “I’m out of the office this morning, back in 1.00 pm today, 20 August”.

So, when are you back?

If you don’t know how to set up your auto-responders yourself, or any other business-related topics to keep you and your business cutting-edge, keep an eye on 1230 Business School courses which are open to all business people.

Business cards – do you always have some with you?

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 “Thank you”cards.  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.

I’d had a fabulous day,  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?

Privileged – a day in the life of a networker – business woman

First Thursday of the month, so today is 1230 TWC Blackheath meeting!

e-mailed details of attendees and 1230 TWC news to Host Deborah Jones – check, booked in numbers attending with the venue, Chapters All Day Dining – check, plenty of business cards and special info cards packed – check, pen and note pad – check.  I’m ready to go!

Catch the train to Lewisham and then into Blackheath, easy… parking is also easy in Blackheath, but today I feel like using public transport.

I arrive in plenty of time to borrow a gorgeous pink rug from Chapters to head off onto the Heath for a 45 mins pre the meeting, light Yoga session with Theresa Web and other 1230 TWC attendees – something we do every month.

Under Theresa’s guidance we go through stretching like a cat and other light exercises which help us to be flexible and relaxed.  It’s a glorious day and being out in the open air to do this is just blissful.

The session’s finished and we head off to the meeting feeling refreshed and energised.

Having ordered our menu choices, Debbie outlines the agenda and updates everyone with 1230 TWC News. Next is to hear about everyone in their 1 minute talks.  Today a couple of 1230 TWC Member visitors from the Canterbury group have joined us – Jane and Michele.  Annabel whose home group is Blackheath gave a talk at the Tunbridge Wells meeting last week.

It’s great to see everyone making the most of their membership by visiting other meeting locations to help grow their business.

Our meal arrives and we’re able to find out more about everyone over lunch. I’m looking forward to today’s Take10 (Members 10 mins talk) from Ola – who asks us “How HUGgable is your business?” – Hear Understand and Give back incredible value.  Everyone agrees on the importance of giving value so to have Ola draw emphasis and provide tips is extremely valuable.

Debbie brings the meeting to a close by asking for testimonials, reminding us of next month’s meeting date, the importance of following up and making 1:1 appointments, and ensuring that everyone takes at least 3 of our special folded cards to hand to others when talking about 1230 TWC – that way the group grows and maintains its lively, productive, welcoming content.  We carry on with open networking.

I feel so privileged to circulate around all the monthly meetings – our Members can do that too without any restrictions.

1230 TWC Members can attend as many 1230 TWC Meetings as they wish each month, membership is of the whole 1230 TWC network, not simply a single group.  We don’t restrict 1230 TWC meetings to one woman from each business type.  We know with experience, that having more than one Member at a 1230 TWC meeting running similar businesses is a positive experience, often with synergies; the bottom line being that people buy people.  Members share their business experiences and help each other.  Our 1230 Select Guildford group historically is a single discipline for that location but they benefit from visiting other 1230 TWC groups and vice versa.

So refreshed in body and mind, informed and inspired, I say my farewells to everyone including the wonderful Chapters’ staff, collect my order from the butchers and from the fishmongers and head back to the office.

Next week I’m attending the new Folkestone group with some Members attending from both Blackheath (we’ll be sharing a lift together) and Canterbury groups.  Will you be there?  We’d love to see you.

Fabulous testimonial – thanks so much!

fabulous testimonialJust received a fabulous testimonial from Yuliana Topazly – watch this space – Yuliana is going places!

“Jackie is a real champion of women-entrepreneurs and the most connected person I have ever met. She helped me to create amazing opportunities for my business to move forward quite rapidly and saved quite a lot of my time which I would have spent looking for resources and advice I needed.’

Thanks so much Yuliana!



handbags, businesswomen, wallet, purses, shoulder bags, clutch bags, India, China, leather, Harris Tweed, cosmetic bags, travelIf I were to ask the question – “We all love handbags, don’t we?”  I get the feeling I’d be deafened by a resounding “yes”!  So when I heard that 1230 Select Guildford Member, Shona Easton of Shona Easton Design Studio was to give a talk about her production line, I was intrigued, to say the least.

And I wasn’t disappointed.  Shona took us from her idea, to drawing, materials (beautiful leather samples and Harris Tweeds) factory briefings, costings, varying import duties, deciding on quantities to order, maintaining stock and the finished beautiful article.  I just love the idea of a transportable “inner” bag which will hold all the essentials, including a key ring attachment – just move it from handbag to handbag!

From my early days of working in a shipping office (everyone did in those days) I know about Bills of Lading; needless to say I learnt much more from Shona’s talk and experienced Shona’s generosity with some lovely leather goods too.  Watch this space for a 1230 TWC something leather from Shona’s Designs.

The 1230 Select Guildford meeting was such a pleasure to be included and to meet such vibrant dedicated businesswomen.  Welcome 1230 Select Guildford to 1230 TWC!  I look forward to the next meeting on 6 June

Life’s Ups ‘n’ downs

roller coasterDo you find that life is full of ups and downs?  You work hard, things go well, maybe not so well – that’s life.

Over the past few weeks, in addition to my usual day-to-day, I’ve made connections with other businesswomen whose own business network went down.  The up is that I’ve made some fabulous contacts and these great businesswomen are now part of 1230 TWC  and I’ve learnt lots from everyone that I’m fortunate to meet.

I had a bit of a “down” moment this week, but that was quickly followed by more ups – spent time with my family, got soaked in an unexpected downpour of rain, heard that my friend and neighbour’s daughter has just had a beautiful baby boy – they’ve been having a tough time, so thrilled for them all.

And now, I’ve just been paid a wonderful compliment and the writer wants to write a more expansive testimonial, so up again – and onwards!  Hope your life is full of ups too!

Networking Vulnerability

Today was full of surprises and not all of them pleasant.  The least pleasant was to hear of the sad demise of The Women’s Networking Company Ltd t/as The Women’s Business Clubs.  As I read details of the immediate cessation of the business and subsequently the regular meetings of  businesswomen, it struck me how vulnerable businesses can be when the support, advice, fun, expertise and opportunity of business growth are whisked away like a magician’s cloth – the items on top of the cloth can so easily crash to the floor.

Why would you want to book into a networking event?

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 and like 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.

Here’s how to make networking work for you:-

    • Networking is about developing trust and relationships over time – so you need to attend regularly
    •  Be prepared to give and help others – what you give will come back three-fold – see where you can make connections for others
    • Show a genuine interest in people and really listen – you never know who they know!
    • Always follow up contacts, by phone or email
    • Arrange 1:1s – to find out more about each other and business opportunities – so always take your diary, whether paper or electronic, with you
    • Invite business contacts to experience a networking meeting – spreading the word extends opportunities for everyone
    • Circulate – don’t stay in your comfort zone
    • Be prepared – have plenty of business cards, perhaps an A5 flier, and certainly have a 1 minute talk (let me  know if you’d like a copy of the 1230 TWC 1 Minute guide) – it’s your moment to let your business shine in the spotlight.
    • Treat your network like gold – don’t abuse your contacts

 “Today’s preparation determines tomorrow’s achievement” anon

Networking is not about selling, it’s about building relationships.  Follow the above  consistently and it will work for you.

Lastly, if you, or someone you know, has been affected by the closure of The Women’s Business Clubs, please get in touch – we’d like to offer you a free 1230 TWC membership and all its benefits until your TWBC renewal date.  Come and try us out – I’m sure you’ll love us!

Women through Time – their gender their strength

women, businesswomen, gender, strength, London, City, Boudica, Margaret ThatcherThe networking started in earnest at 10.00 am City Business Library over coffee and biscuits, I’d caught the 9.13 am from my local station, but those business women travelling from Canterbury, Herne Bay and Hythe, left considerably earlier at 7.10 am!  Tina, our City of London Guide – Miss B Takes a Walk – was already there, such a pleasure to meet her for the first time.  The 1230 TWC “walkers” were soon joined by Mikaela Ioannou and her photographic team from University of East London who were to document the day for their forthcoming Exhibition “Power to us” (working title).

Gathering our coats and scarves around us against the cold, off we set; Tina leading us onto our “Women through Time – their gender their strength” walk in celebration of International Women’s Day.  In and around Paternoster Square, King Edward Street, Gresham Street, Cheapside, Guildhall Complex, Poultry, Mansion House and Royal Exchange we walked – brrrr it was getting colder, so we huddled together listening to Tina’s every word, near various hot-air vents, oh joy – but it was so worth it!  Cameras clicking all the way.

We learnt about Dame Mary Donaldson 1st female Lord Mayor, Margaret Thatcher and Alexa Wilding, Elizabeth Fry, Emmeline Pankhurst, Boudica, Capt John SmithPocohontas, Isabella Beeton, Madona and Evita and Isabella Queen of England to Edward II.  Oh to have been a “fly on the wall”, maybe to have joined Boudica I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be an adversary, all such tremendously courageous, inspiring women of their time.

Quick hop and warm-up on the Tube onto Mayfair Exchange for lunch, finding out more about each other and how we can work together accompanied by lots of – “cheers!”  Can’t wait to see our recorded interviews with film crew.  Eventually, we had to make a move back to the office – no… too late, back home.

Thanks so much Tina for an amazing journey with amazing women – can’t wait until the next time!

Beckenham Businesswoman Star Award of the year

Poised with finger on camera button last night at the Beckenham Business Association meeting last night waiting for the announcement of the winner of the inaugural Beckenham Businesswoman Star Award of the year, I was bowled over when my name was announced! Impossible to take a photograph of myself, I believe Saj Maharaj of Big App Bromley will be sending through a couple of pix with evidence of this very special occasion.

With a head banging with cold I don’t think I said anything coherent, but I’m extremely honoured to have even been nominated and to have won in what I understand was a very strong list of well-deserving nominations is such an awesome privilege!

Thank you so much to everyone who nominated me – at the moment the Award is sitting on the mantelpiece of my living room, but I’ll move it into the office as a constant reminder of how lucky I am to have your support – again, thank you so much.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended last night’s BBA meeting http://goo.gl/kHJmQ – to Lakis of Big Breakfast for sponsoring and hosting the event, to our brilliant speakers Jackie Barrie and Saj Maharaj and to the Beckenham Business Community for your continuing support – BBA is yours!

Negative Networking

So, you have a business, you’ve joined one or two networking groups and maybe you’ve joined a networking group on the internet – an on-line Forum.  The reason you’re there is to hand out your business card, solicit business, go home and wait for the phone to ring or your shopping cart to become overflowing with orders – yes?


The purpose of networking groups is to establish relationships with others.  Networking situations are not meant to close sales, they are designed to establish relationships and create referral opportunities.  In order to be really effective in a networking situation, try being interested in the other person.

Really listen.

When was the last time you felt really listened to?  How did it feel to be heard completely?  Good – I’d bet!

Imagine how wonderful your prospective client or customer will feel if you really listen to them.  Do you think you’ll make an impression?  Guaranteed!

Making a solid impression is the purpose of 1230 The Women’s Company groups.  Utilize them correctly and you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that come out of them.