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Enterprise First / Growth Vouchers

Contact: STipton
Address: 11 Wellington Street, , Aldershot, Surrey, GU11 1DX
T: 07799 140380 | M: 07799 140380
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Enterprise First are a not for profit organisation and the delivery partner for the Government's Start & Grow Initiative along with a Virgin Start Up Loan…

Listed in: Business Advisor

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!
 

New local business magazine launched