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Forge Fire Safety and Training Consultants

Contact: Forge Fire Safety
Address: Bramblewell, 83 Maypole Road, Ashurst Wood, West Sussex, RH19 3RB
T: 07541226180 | M: 07541226180
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Company Website

Fire safety training to help businesses stay compliant with the Regulatory Reform Order (Fire safety) 2005. We provide bespoke training packages including…

Listed in: Fire Safety and Training

4N Director, Stefan Thomas visiting Chichester

You know I love to network… I've been doing it for more than a decade… and I've been running the First Friday Network across the South Coast for 12 years this March! I know a thing or two about what and what not to do when networking! But I couldn't write a book on it… but my mate Stefan Thomas has!

Come and meet Stefan Thomas, 4N Director and author of Business Networking for Dummies at the Chichester lunchtime First Friday meeting on FRIDAY 6th MARCH from 1pm.

I'm sure he'll have a pile of books to sign for you!

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Join the fight for every heartbeat

Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer but the British Heart Foundation is leading the fight against it. You too can join the nationwide fight and show your support by wearing something RED on Friday 6 February. Make a donation and you’ll be helping power life-saving research for heart patients nationwide.

Wear it. Beat it.

This is First Friday Network’s third year of supporting this great charity; simply come along to your local event and make a donation to BHF or if you can’t attend then go to www.justgiving.com/firstfridaynetwork and make your donation.

We’ve made it easy, so you can make a difference

You can join us on the day at 7.30am at Hunston Golf Club, Chichester, or at lunchtime 1-2pm at the Nag’s Head, Chichester, or at one of our other lunchtime meetings; check your local meeting details.

Don't foget to wear it RED... Looking forward to seeing all you RED hot networkers on 6 February! 

Rock up in red 2013

Ramp up the red 2014

New local business magazine launched

There is a new free quarterly Business Magazine in West Sussex. 

It is available both in print and on the web. See if you can get hold of a copy or follow the link below to view it online. Articles in this issue:

• Autumn brings new era at Henry Adams 

• Solar farms power the changing face of rural landscape

• Great expectations in Bognor Regis town centre

Click here to view the magazine online

We have contributed an article in this issue; read the full story below.


Networking: making meaningful, lasting and real connections.
Reducing your carbon footprint and encouraging localism are just two of the benefits of networking locally – what better way to meet new clients and find suppliers than in your very own business neighbourhood. Businesses that perhaps you had no idea were located so close to yours or those you’d heard of but just hadn’t crossed paths with as yet. Networking is a gradual and rewarding process, rather like developing any good long-term relationship that requires time and patience. However it’s worth the effort when the reward is personal referrals and recommendations from people you know and trust. We cannot rely on the internet alone to cultivate relationships via social media, Skype, webinars and SMS messaging, we need to step back into the real world to meet people face to face.  

Rarely is networking an opportunity to hard sell. If you approach it with sole idea to sell to the people in the room, you will almost certainly go away disappointed. Often you’ll be talking to someone who may not be of direct use to you and your business but who is connected to someone who is. Conversely you may hear that someone is looking for a contact that you have and you get the satisfaction of introducing them to one another. The belief is that around seventy per cent of business is done by word of mouth referral – so attend as many network events as you can! 

There are many ways to network – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. You can join a formal group after paying its annual membership fee and observe its lock-out rule – that is a group that does not allow more than one member of the same job type so that there’s only ever one accountant, one lawyer or one marketeer present. Or if that’s not your style, you can choose a group that is less formal and allows multiple representatives from each sector or you can look for free events as and when you can. 

Many networking groups are run on a franchise basis, so once you’ve got a bit of networking experience under your belt you might think about becoming the local organizer of a group – a role with great opportunities to market your company to a wide range of local businesses. You’ll find that most attendees at these events come from SMEs, however once again you should never think that you are only promoting yourself to the present in the room. You never know to whom these people are connected – it is very often this third party referral that is the most valuable contact.

To get the most out of your networking try to find events where you feel comfortable; you will be more relaxed and more likely to create positive contacts. If you find yourself standing alone, look for a friendly face or a group of people you can join. Everyone is open to be approached at these events so don’t feel shy. 

Find a group to suit your personality and your needs; you could try: www.4networking.co.uk, www.firstfriday-network.co.uk, www.bni-festival.co.uk

There are also several networks targeted at women only such as www.scene4women.co.ukwww.theathenanetwork.com, www.mumpreneuruk.com

And the Chichester Chamber of Commerce runs networking events also!
 

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Get your bar buzzing

Turn your pub into a venue for the First Friday Network and get your bar buzzing with business clients!

First Friday Network is a FREE and friendly business networking event held on the first Friday of the month across Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and London and a growing number of pubs nationwide are getting that Friday feeling! By becoming a host venue just once a month you’ll soon increase the numbers of regular clients coming through your doors as well as your revenue.

Drawing regular and new customers alike to your pub couldn’t be simpler really.  People love to network and they love a friendly local venue to network in – so why not make sure that your pub is a First Friday Network pub too! All you need do is offer a  friendly and informal environment in which your regular networkers can meet each month then simply  let the group run itself – no formalities, no pre-booking nor membership admin to deal with – First Friday is FREE, friendly and above all informal.

Networkers simply turn up, buy a drink then get on with networking.

You can promote the network through other local organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business and other networking groups like 4Networking, BNI etc. You can also publicise them via social media, Twitter and Facebook – then  open your doors to your local networkers and  watch them spend! Once they’ve been and enjoyed the buzz in your pub, they’ll be back for more and  you win by extra takings at the bar and encouraging a  loyal clientele with a reason to  keep coming back time after time. A clientele that will recommend your venue to other businesses and friends!

 Just £10 a month buys you an annual licence and we’ll supply you with a roller banner to promote the event, as well as leaflets, beer mats and business cards –  everything you need to market and promote the meetings. We’ll promote you via the website and also via our monthly enewsletters to all the companies that register with us online. We also market actively on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

There are other things you can do to  grow the network, such as offer your networking clientele a discount voucher or loyalty card. We can supply you with First Friday loyalty cards… for example: buy 6 drinks and get one free! If you have meeting rooms available then you might think about offering special rates for seminars and events. You can  collect the details of the attendees and then you can  promote your own pub events to them and take advantage of this new and growing customer base!

You will have your own webpage on the First Friday site where you can promote the meetings and your pub. You can also include special offers or upcoming promotions for your pub on the page and in the blog if you wish.

Get in touch today and start attracting more customers straight away!

Call me on 01243 787100 or email steve@firstfriday-network.co.uk

Watch a short video of a typical meeting here

One Minute Matters

Most networking groups include an opportunity for networkers to stand up and make a brief presentation to the rest of the room: it’s a 60-second opportunity to show people who you are and what exactly it is you do. The fist time you do this might seem slightly daunting but at least what you have to say will be news to everyone else in the room. The tricky part is keeping what you have to say relevant, fresh and interesting, particularly when the people you are presenting to have heard it all before.

Once people begin to get to know you and your business; they will want to hear something new about you every time you stand up rather than the same old story. In advance of each presentation, try and plan a new and different theme to avoid repeating and boring your audience. Take time to think of things related to you and your area of business that enlightens your listeners and inspires them to think, then take action.

You could begin by asking them a question or telling them a short and amusing anecdote or incident, then introduce your name and your company clearly. Rather than go into great detail about what you do, focus on the benefits of how your business helps others by solving a problem, for example: saving them valuable time, saving them money, offering resources they lack or expertise they need. Don’t try and cover all of these in one minute flat, instead take one or two of the benefits and illustrate them as effectively as you can in the time you have to make a positive impression.

You can use props and visuals to demonstrate your point, for example bring an item in that can be passed around the group while you speak or show them a visual that highlights an important point. You could use a testimonial from a client to back up a positive claim you make or a staggering (and reliable of course) statistic to add emphasis. Real examples of your work speak volumes and will engage your audience far more than generalisation.

You can be topical and relate recent news to your business and the business of others in the room. This will have wider appeal and relevance than just plain theory and speculation. Give out some free advice if you can on how to achieve something or a solution to a common problem if possible as these tips will add value to the content of your presentation and show you are generous and willing to pass on the benefits of your experience freely.

make your minute count