How To Say No

April 20, 2016 in Money, Small Business by lizbygrave

by Marcia MacLeod

I turned down two pieces of work this year, much to the horror of some of my friends. “You can’t turn down work!” they screamed. “The client will never come back to you!” “Don’t you need the money?” others asked. But the best response was from a friend who asked “How can you do that? You’re in business!” when she, bless her, is near exhaustion because she is terrified of telling clients she will be late, or has to say no to new work,  because her mother is extremely ill in another part of the country and she has no siblings to  help take her to hospital appointments, try to organise social services, and do the shopping. Read the rest of this entry →

Plan Your Business

December 1, 2015 in Business Networking, Muswell Hill Meetings, Small Business, Small Business Advice by lizbygrave

Whenever anyone launches a business, however small that business is, they need to develop a business plan. In fact, advised Rasheed Ogunlaru, author of the book Soul Trader and speaker at the last Small Business Network meeting on 21 September 2015 in Muswell Hill in north London, all small business owners should update their business plans on a regular basis, and certainly when something changes. “Just come back from holiday? Review your business,” he suggests.

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What Price Success?

March 5, 2015 in Finance, Money, Small Business, Small Business Advice by lizbygrave

by Marcia MacLeod

As I write this, the headline news in print, on TV and radio and online is the revelation that two leading and respected politicians – Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind – are yet again embroiled in cash for access scandals. It’s quite clear that even the wealthiest and best-known public figures can be corrupted by money.

And while exposing a couple of corrupt politicians may seem like a million miles away from a small business in north London, there is a price for everything and as small business owners, we all have to work out what the best price is for our product or service – and for our sanity. Read the rest of this entry →

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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What Sort Of Business, Did You Say?!

March 27, 2014 in Small Business, Small Business Advice by lizbygrave

by Marcia MacLeod

If you’ve attended a Small Business Network meeting, the chances are you have already launched your small business. But if you are still at the ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ stage, have you thought about what you want to do? How do you decide what sort of business to start? You can’t just pick a product or service you know nothing about!

Most new small business owners launch their business because they want to turn their hobby into a money-maker. But sometimes people fall into their new venture. Perhaps they were made redundant from a full-time job, or went of their own volition, and left with knowledge, skills and contacts in that field. Maybe they started out by helping friends and family: helping a friend pick the perfect wedding dress or a new suit for a killer interview could lead to becoming a personal shopper; learning how to fix your own computer and write your own programmes could morph into a career. Sometimes an opportunity just falls in your lap – like learning reiki or moving from using a product to selling it, just as Sarah Montgomery, who sells Forever’s aloe vera products, has done.
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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 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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