Starting Up A Small Business

February 10, 2014 in Business Networking, Marketing, Small Business, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

by Marcia MacLeod

Do you remember the first time you thought about starting your own business? The excitement of doing something you love, with no boss looking over your shoulder; the fear of failure; the worry about finances; the sleepless nights wondering if you’re doing the right thing? They are all feelings most Small Business Network members have experienced. Maybe you haven’t got there yet. Maybe you’re only just beginning to consider your future options and have all those emotions to look forward to.

Whichever it is, the problem is that emotions can take over: it’s all too easy to let your heart rule your head. For starting a new, small business – any small business – is not for the faint-hearted. Read the rest of this entry →

8 Reasons To Go To Business Networking Meetings…..Aside from Getting More Customers

May 16, 2013 in Business Networking, Small Business, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

If you don’t network – whether on or off line – no-one gets to hear about your product or service, and of course no-one gets to buy from you.

So networking is as natural as breathing – we do it every time we tell someone what we do for a living.

Business networking events are a logical extension of this – they provide a focused way for lots of small business owners to communicate to each other what they do, and thereby get more customers.

This is of course very valuable in itself. However, it is easy to forget the other benefits of networking for small businesses:

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Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report March 2013

April 2, 2013 in Business Networking, Muswell Hill Meetings by lizbygrave

The Small Business Network celebrated its seventh anniversary by welcoming 24 small business owners – including four new networkers – to its March meeting at Sable D’Or on Muswell Hill Broadway.

One attendee, David Lawson, was still in the process of setting up his first, as yet unnamed, small business, restoring antique furniture. He had joined the Small Business Network in order to get advice and tips on how to go about starting on his new venture, always a daunting prospect for any fledgling small business owner.

Elaine Reeves, another first-timer, could help David and all the other members of the Small Business Network because she specialises in producing personalised branded items, allowing small businesses to market themselves through giveaway pens, diaries, bags, and so on. Read the rest of this entry →

Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report February 2013

February 22, 2013 in Business Networking, Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

Nine new networkers joined the February meeting of the Small Business Network at Sable D’Or in Muswell Hill, swelling the number to a very healthy 24. The eight ranged from alternative medicine practitioners and business coaching and marketing professionals to de-clutterers and chocoholics.

Vikki Parker, who offers reflexology, Reiki healing and Indian head massage under the name Gaialuna, plans to set up groups for parents and children, aged 4-12. Bebe Jacobs’ Energize Your Business also provides Reiki, Indian head massage and other therapies, but she combines that with things like parenting coaching for those with pre-school and primary school aged youngsters and business services such as Talent Dynamics, a profiling of employees’ strengths and weaknesses.

Chris Clayton also offers small business coaching, but with a difference: her company, achieve with an LP Ltd, specialises in helping musicians. Zoey Cooper works for Polkadot Global, which creates marketing material and offers translation services, while Sarah Pollinger, a financial adviser for small businesses and individuals, likes to ‘keep it simple’ so small business owners aren’t confused by economics. Read the rest of this entry →

Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report December 2012 Meeting

December 11, 2012 in Business Networking, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

by Marcia MacLeod

At Christmas time, here at Small Business Network, it is now traditional for us to have a little christmas fair at the meeting. This December we had five tables of gift items.

There was Lubica Art, selling the most stunning hand-painted silk scarves, with a special offer to all Small Business Network members of £40 in honour of Christmas, and the fact that this was the first time Slovakian mum and daughter – both named Lubica – had attended the networking meeting. And on the other side of the room, another kind of artist, Natasha Barton, also a Small Business Network debutante, displayed beautiful screenprints of London views. For those who couldn’t afford a piece of original art, however impressive, she also had greeting cards and postcards of some of her work.

A couple of tables down, established networker Amanda Eatwell had Christmas cards and general greetings cards featuring her photography, as well as photographic prints: I’ve long had my eye on the deck chairs. Another regular at the Small Business Network meetings, Vicky Williams, showed off her Jewels of Distinction – hand-made earrings, necklaces and other items, all at the sort of prices that make them ideal presents.

Jo Tocher, of Your Healthy Heart, rounded up the Christmas gift tables, selling organic toiletries and scented candles.

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Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report November 2012

November 28, 2012 in Business Networking, Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings by lizbygrave

Eleven ‘newbies’ turned up to the November 2012 meeting of the Small Business Network, representing eight different business types. The meeting, once again held at the welcoming Sable D’Or in Muswell Hill, north London, was particularly busy this month, with close on 30 small business owners getting together to enjoy the benefits of networking. Read the rest of this entry →

Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report September 2012

October 10, 2012 in Business Networking, Facebook, Marketing, Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings, Online Marketing, Small Business Networking, Social Media by lizbygrave

Business coaching and business management services emerged as a key theme to this month’s Small Business Network meeting held on 17 September at the usual venue of the lovely Sable D’Or in London’s Muswell Hill.

Lara Ogunbawo and Bidemi Alabi, both work for Business Excel UK, a business management consultancy which helps small businesses break into new markets, develop pricing strategies and profit forecasts, write business plans and obtain funding for your small business. Lara started two other small businesses this year with the help of Business Excel, so she is now promoting this company to other small business networking contacts.

Danielle Monro, attending just her second Small Business Network meeting, can also help small businesses obtain finance through her company Ashley Business Cash. Loans are based on credit and debit card takings.

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Why Should Small Businesses Network?

July 10, 2012 in Business Networking, Small Business, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

by Marcia MacLeod

We all do it – often without even realising it. But mention ‘networking’ to some small business owners and they think it’s something luvvies do, or involves formal dinners and presentations, or costs too much. In fact, networking can be a simple as meeting someone at a friend’s house and discussing your hobbies – or even telling a friend about a new small business idea. It can be as basic as accepting a LinkedIn invitation to be someone’s contact or a Facebook ‘friend’ request.

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Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report June 2012

June 26, 2012 in Business Networking, Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business Advice, Small Business Networking, Small Business PR by lizbygrave

23 people attended this June Muswell Hill meeting, including new members Idit Gold, who runs singing groups in Highgate and Islington, and Karen Knott who offers coaching to women in midlife.

Practitioner Jo Tocher, who specialises in helping people with ME, arrived with a noticeable glow and aura of wellness – apparently this was due to having just had a Chi Reflexology session with Louise Exeter!

During the One Minute Go Round, cake maker Debby Sass asked for feedback on her new paper decorative stars, whilst feng shui expert Chrissie Parker gave her tip of the month: to keep electromagnetic devices like mobiles and clock radios to an absolute minimum in the bedroom: time and again she has seen their removal solve long term sleep problems.

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Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report April 2012

April 23, 2012 in Business Networking, Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, seo, Small Business Advice, Social Media by lizbygrave

With just over 20 people at this meeting there was more of a mellow vibe than usual, which offered the chance to soak up the lovely community feel of SBN. As I am one of the many small business owners who works at home on my own, this monthly chance to engage with a great bunch of people is always welcome, and I so often find that it enhances my mood and refreshes my motivation for my work.

A couple of people were displaying products at this month’s meeting: Sarah Montgomery of Forever Living products was giving away samples of aloe vera juice and Vicky Williams of Jewels of Distinction had a table showing her beautiful jewellery, which I personally love (and am busy saving up for!)

Chocolatier Paul Eagles from Kokoa Collection, also brought along some samples – delicious Madagascan fine chocolate buttons. I was lucky enough to get a whole bag which lasted till about five minutes after I got home…

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