Marketing, Mentalism and Movember

November 24, 2014 in Business Networking, Marketing, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

‘Where are you on the marketing continuum?’ asked Karen Knott of Prime Time Business, whose talk on The Myth and Magic of Marketing informed and entertained networkers at this month’s Small Business Network meeting. Are you a ’1′, hating the very idea of marketing,  a 10, feeling confident and enthusiastic or a 5, understanding the concept and making tentative efforts to market your small business, but not really feeling comfortable with it?

Karen took us through the process of how to change your thinking around marketing so that it becomes something you love doing, rather than something you avoid like the plague. It’s all about seeing marketing simply as a way of connecting with your ideal clients or customers – people who are looking for exactly the service you provide and will be so happy to have found it. If you don’ tell them about it, how can they find it in the first place?

Most small business owners at the SBN meeting, held on 17 November 2014 at Sable D’Or in Muswell Hill, fell somewhere in the middle – but hopefully, after Karen’s advice and very useful tips, they went away a lot more confident about how to market their products and services.

The regular business talk is only one really useful aspect of Small Business Network’s monthly meetings: meeting other small business owners, itself a form of marketing, can bring new customers and allow members to find the products and services they need, from accountancy to business coaching, alternative therapies to natural chocolates. Karen herself asked if anyone could suggest an entrepreneurial business woman that she can speak to for her monthly inspirational interview.

Four new participants joined the November meeting, including keynote speaker and entertainer Tom MacKay, who bills himself as a mentalist. No small business owner is likely to forget Tom’s amazing display of mental powers, in which he correctly guessed the number Karen was thinking about.

Other new networkers included Lee Dein, who has just launched Magic Link Handwriting Programme, a video tutorial teaching people of all ages how to physically write legible letters, school reports and so on; Heather Holden, whose Coco Business provides a personal assistant service for any business owner needing help with secretarial tasks, marketing, or utilising technology and social media; and Meb Vidic, The Career Blog, who offers business and personal coaching and careers advice.

Ben Chapman, a financial adviser, and Bella Beraki, whose FeelSoFab.com is an online gift shop for women, were second-time visitors to the Small Business Network meeting. Ben has just become an SBN member.

But regular attendees revealed new projects, too. Johanna Green has added ballroom dancing for fitness to her keep fit repertoire; Marcia MacLeod announced she has more time to help small business owners write their web and print blogs, leaflets and brochures, now that she has closed her magazine, Your Allotment; and Nathalie Roth, who runs Nurse Your Tree alternative therapy service, is running a course right after Christmas to help people to relax after the stress of the holidays;

If you want to try out some of Nathalie’s alternative therapies – or Peggy Guglielmino‘s hypnotherapy service – visit the Highgate Holistic Clinic‘s open day on 6 December, where taster sessions will be on offer.

So that’s the marketing and mental tutoring covered; where does Movember fit in? Well, commercial solicitor Philip Deja, who specialises in helping small businesses, sported a moustache for the first time as part of the Movember fund-raising project. He promises it will be gone by the next meeting; if it isn’t, he might need legal help himself as his wife has threatened to divorce him!

Don’t forget the next Small Business Network meeting, to be held on Monday, 8 December, will not have a talk but will offer small business owners a chance to showcase and sell their products. The first meeting of the new year, on 19 January, will include a talk on Creating Healthy Boundaries on the Yo-Yo Journey of An Entrepreneur, by Mark Leruste

Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report May 2014

June 24, 2014 in Business Networking, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business, Small Business Advice, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

The blazing sunshine was no barrier to networking this month!

Mary McIlroy was one of two new small business owners at the May Small Business Network meeting, held as usual at Sable D’Or in Muswell Hill. Mary is a psychotherapist and councillor, working mainly with those suffering anxiety or trauma or those with relationship problems.

The other new small business owner, Rosie Slosek, is an accounting coach, who ‘helps people do their own accounts’ when first setting up their new small businesses. She advises them on what records to keep, how to keep them, what can be claimed against tax, and so on. Rosie, who calls her business One Man Band Accounting, also helps people deal with chartered accountants and legal issues which arise when starting a new small business.

In all, 17 small business owners were prepared to forego the glorious sunshine to benefit from the networking opportunities provided by the Small Business Network. Tom Trainer and Joanne Clinton of Chartered Accountant Online were at their second meeting, promoting their business of offering an online tax return and accounts service. Joanne joined Tom, who started Chartered Accountant Online, as business development manager.
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Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report February 2014

June 11, 2014 in Business Networking, Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business by lizbygrave

We were delighted to welcome a varied bunch of new attendees at the February 2014 meeting.

Commercial solicitory Philip Deja works for Highgate-based Streathers Solicitors. Andrew Tsai started his IT support firm in January, after 10 years’ experience in technical support, web design and social media management.

Michael Martin’s services at A M Accountants in Highgate include helping people decide if they want to become a sole trader or limited company, while Karen Tidsall specialises in business consultancy, helping small businesses to create business plans, pitch for new business in a competitive marketplace, and grow their companies.

Natalie Roth offers  life coaching and therapy, including reflexology, Indian head massage, reiki and nutritional advice.

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Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report October 2013

February 10, 2014 in Business Networking, Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business Networking by lizbygrave

Five new members attended the October meeting of the Small Business Network, held at Sable D’Or in London’s Muswell Hill – and most offered products or services not represented among SBN’s small business members in the past.

Helen Laing of Tinn Moss Ltd designs and makes bespoke furniture, mainly kitchen furniture, while Kevin and Denise Fullerton run Spic’n’Span Cleaning, aimed at both commercial and domestic businesses.

Sonya Ross can help small business owners present a better public impression, as she is a voice and speech coach – and Alix Woods can help businessmen and women look the part as she sells beautiful mohair scarves made in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, which amazingly provides 50% of the world’s mohair.

When small businesses expand, they may take on more staff, entering the confusing world of HR. However, Nichola Coulthard can help, after starting his HR consultancy six months ago. (NB Nichola was a man, wasn’t he?) Read the rest of this entry →

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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Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report July 2012

July 17, 2012 in Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings by lizbygrave

Ten new members made up of a third of the total of thirty small business owners who attended the July meeting of Small Business Network on Monday the 16th July.

Amongst the ‘newbies’ Chris Mitchell of Banter Marketing in Highgate helps small businesses with all marketing issues, whilst Alan Howard left a career as TV producer to set up a company that makes promotional videos for small businesses to put on their web site, Facebook and other social media sites. Ruby Visaria, an actress with a flair for design, is now offering small businesses a web design service which can incorporate those videos, or any marketing message.

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