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

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

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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Networking for Small Businesses – How To Do It

May 10, 2013 in Small Business Networking

Everyone who comes to SBN meetings comes for one reason: to network. But what does networking mean, and how can you do it effectively? We read a lot these days about the benefits for small business owners of building email mailing lists, sending out electronic newsletters, promoting their product or service – or themselves! – on social media, etc, but does all this really work?

‘Network’ is defined in my Oxford Paperback Dictionary as ‘an arrangement or pattern with intersecting lines’ or ‘a chain of interconnected people or operations’. I guess, as members of the Small Business Network, we all have at least one interconnection; for most of us, our common north London location adds a second one. Some SBN members work in the same area, such as alternative therapy or business coaching, so that adds a third interconnection.

In the broader sense, for a small business owner, a network can include anyone whom he or she meets, talks to, or even has phone or email communication – i.e. anyone in the room at the Small Business Network meetings. Even someone who seems completely irrelevant to you and your business – someone who works in a completely unrelated field, who doesn’t show any interest in what you do – can become a valuable member of your network because they could well pass on your details to friends, family and others in another part of their network.

But the key to successful networking doesn’t lie solely in the make-up of each small business owner’s network: it lies in how they use the contacts they make. That does NOT mean sending blanket emails to everyone whose address you have in the hope they might be interested in what you are selling (for let’s not kid ourselves: every marketing email is aimed at selling our product or service). In fact, bombarding a contact with emails – be they invitations; notices of workshops, promotions, etc; newsletters; Friends requests; repeat Tweets; or anything else – is the quickest way to turn a positive contact into a negative one, because the recipient of your emails will start to press the delete button without even opening the email.

If someone shows interest in your product or service, by all means send them a newsletter, invite them to a workshop, tell them about a special offer. But if after two or three emails, you get no response, take them off the list – or, better still, ask them if they would like to continue receiving emails from you.

For a small business owner, smart networking really means making note of anyone you meet who you feel might truly be interested in your offering or, conversely, whose product or service may be beneficial to you, if not now, then sometimes in the future. If, like me, your mind is a sieve, take their card and keep it somewhere prominent or write their details down on paper or in your e-files;  at the very least, tidy their name away in a corner of your brain.

Get to know the people you meet regularly, such as fellow Small Business Network members, so that you have an idea of how they work, what they do, and what they may want from you. That way,  if you are having a special offer or are launching a new product and service, you can trawl the recesses of your mind or your very efficient contact list and target your mailings.

Getting to know your contacts helps you benefit from networking in another way: if you are looking for a product or service, you know who might be able to help. For example, I am changing the designer for my magazine, Your Allotment, but the person I hoped to use can’t take on anymore work. I phoned or emailed everyone I knew who might be able to help: the answer came from someone I know socially – not a business owner – who happens to be art director of the Sunday Express. One of her friends and fellow colleagues fits the bill perfectly.

You never know when or where you might meet someone again or when you might need someone’s help, so keep your mind open and your contact book up-to-date. Just use your contacts wisely if you really want to gain the greatest benefits networking can bring: friendship, trust and, with luck, an increase in your customer base.

Small Business Network Muswell Hill Meeting Report November 2012

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

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 July 2012

July 17, 2012 in Meetings, Muswell Hill Meetings

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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KICKSTART Your Autumn with SBN!

September 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

So you’re back from your summer break and…hopefully…raring to go!

September and October are traditionally a time of new beginnings, whether it’s a completely new business, a new project within your existing business, or simply taking some time to re-assess your direction.

The work you do now on your business will have a big affect on the next few months. And as you are most probably feeling quite energised after the summer (do I hear a few ‘I wishes’?!) then now is a good time to really make some progress whilst you have the impetus.

With this in mind SBN has a number of offerings to make your autumn one to remember:

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