A body is slumped over the desk….. what do you do?

We were treated to a fascinating talk by Faisal from FM Training today as he gave the group is a primary survey run through on how to deal with a situation we all hope never happens: we walk into a room, and there is a person slumped on the floor, in their chair or on the table – what do we do?

Firstly, safety first: check for danger. It’s essential to ensure that the area is safe. Check for broken glass, electrical wires – these could have been a cause of electrocution and may still be live – furniture in the way, slippery wet floors and if outside, vehicles.

Secondly, try to get the person’s attention. It’s important to find out as soon as possible if the person is aware. So, talk to them in a strong voice, say ‘Hello, hello, what’s happened? Tell me your name?’ If they don’t respond, give them a tap or shake of the shoulder or hand, to see if they are conscious.

Thirdly, if they are not conscious it’s then vital to find out if they are breathing. Breath is a vital element of life, without breath we die very quickly. How do we do this without hurting them? Put the palm of one hand on the person’s forehead, then two fingers – and please no more than two fingers – under the person’s chin and lift the chin back. This releases the tongue and should clear the throat/airway. Then listen close to their mouth for air sounds, and watch to see if their chest is rising and falling for up to 10 seconds.

If they are breathing, then put them into the recovery position; and call for help. Or if they are not breathing, commence CPR and of course get someone to call for help. How many of us know what number to call in an emergency: Well 999 is good, but 112 is better as if calling on a mobile phone the 112 number can use a geolocator to pinpoint your precise position and potentially get help to you sooner.

Faisal shared how to remember this useful primary survey of an incident through the words DR AB – any guesses as to what it means? The next educational slot from FM Training will cover CPR, then later on defibrilator use…. always something useful at CBC meetings!

5 Key Steps to Cyber Security

We were treated to a really thought provoking talk about Cyber Security from CBC member Simon Brereton of OWL Tech. Simon runs an IT business that provides prompt, friendly and efficient IT services to businesses in and around the Buckinghamshire area.

Did you know that over 70% of data/security breaches are caused by human error? To be fair most of us did then recognise some of the danger points Simon proceeded to outline.

As he said, there are only two real causes of security breaches:

  1. Someone in a company is doing something they should not be doing, or
  2. Someone in a company is NOT doing something they should be doing.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, it’s a fair bet that we’re all guilty of doing or not doing at least one of the things which were highlighted in Simon’s Talk. The five key steps to remember are:

Secure your internet connection

Secure your devices and software

Control access to your data and services

Protect from viruses and other malware

Keep your devices and software up to date

Pick a Proper Password

A really important element in protecting your data is to pick proper passwords that are hard to guess. Don’t forget that cybercriminals are very techno-savvy; they have access to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts, so can glean a lot of personal information about you. Don’t forget they also have access to dictionaries, books, scripts and lyrics as well. So, for instance, using your favourite song lyric as a password isn’t that secure, especially if you’ve plastered that information all over your social media!

To be secure, Simon recommends that you avoid passwords based on:

Nicknames, such as Jimbo, JimmyCool

Birthdays, such as July 14, 30-IV-1984

Quotations like, 2Bornto2B, keepitreal, and

Pet names whose exploits you’ve shared online, i.e. Mutt, Flopsy having fun.

The best advice is to go for passwords that are as long and complex as you can; 12 to 14 characters are recommended, preferably more, and use of the whole range of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. Of course, that can make remembering it yourself tricky too.

If you are having trouble remembering your password then try to make it into a saying that only you would know. Or you use 3 or 4 completed unrelated words which, again, only you would know.

Definitely avoid familiar or popular word combinations, because crooks have access to so much of your personal data and it just makes it far too easy for them to figure out your password.

You could consider using a password manager, which provides an encrypted service to generates complex, random nonsense passwords. These will also remember which password is linked to which website, which also helps prevent Phishing attacks. Good password managers are:


KeyPass, and


And final word on passwords, use one password per account and not the same one for several accounts.


Have you had an email telling you that you’ve been caught doing something naughty on line? Or even that you’ve got a big juicy order waiting for you to confirm your bank details so that they can raise the purchase requisition?

Before you reply to any suspicious email, hover your mouse over the email sender details and you will often discover it’s coming not from DHL or Amazon or some on line snooper patrol, but rather a hacker’s site. Check the email address really carefully because if you click any documents or links you’ll definitely need the services of someone like Simon to clear down your computer.

Simon recommended a service called: www.haveibeenpwned.com. This is a service that checks your e-mail address against all known hacked and stolen data sets so you can see where your passwords may have been obtained from – of course, this wouldn’t happen if you had one account, one password !

Two Factor Authentication

2 Factor Authorisation is becoming more and more prevalent. It is a service that either sends you a text message or an app that gives you a second method of showing who you are – as it is a real-time, randomly generated 6 digit number going directly to your phone/app it makes it really difficult for crooks to break into your online services.

In summary, there was something for most of us to consider and hopefully take action on so that everyone is safer and more secure on line. Don’t forget that frightening static, 70% of security breaches are caused by humans, that’s us doing something or not taking some of the basic precautions mentioned above.

If you do need any assistance for IT security, or IT in general then do get in touch with Simon Brereton at OwlTech or come along to a CBC meeting to see what else we’re talking about. It’s always interesting, always fun and always beneficial.

What is business networking about?

“For some it’s ‘the old boys’ network’ – the kind of thing that’s worked in the City of London – and other places – for years. As the old saying goes – ‘it’s all about who you know rather than what you know’.

Networking can mean different things to different people.

Paul Beck, an estate planner and will writer with his business Applied Legal Services, helps people put in place key documents such as wills and lasting powers of attorney. He has also been a long time member of Chiltern Business Connections and has recently been asked to share his thoughts on successful networking. He started by reviewing some of the comments he has frequently heard:

“For others it’s about social networking – creating contacts with all sorts of groups – family – friends – people with similar interests and more.”

“Networking in business can take many forms. Often it’s a group of local business people who get together to swap ideas and contacts. Some of these groups become formalised.”

“One of the features of a networking group is that of ‘referrals’. Members are able to recommend to their own clients/business contacts/family and friends the services offered by other members of the group. For them to do this they need to get to know other group members well. This can be by direct experience or by hearing from other members of the group how good they are – i.e. ‘testimonials’.”

“Spreading from the USA the idea of formal business networking groups has become an established part of the scene. Some of these groups are run for profit by large organisations. Often there are substantial joining fees and significant on-going membership fees.” 

Paul also said that as a business networking group, “Chiltern Business Connections (CBC) is different. It’s run by its members for the benefit of its members. Costs are kept to a minimum. “

Paul Beck from Applied Legal Services shares his views on Successful Networking
(thanks to @photosbybright)

“I joined CBC 5 years ago having been involved in a number of networking groups previously. CBC runs in a way that has been ‘distilled’ over the years to provide a balance that works. The emphasis is on mutual support. By getting to know other members well it’s possible to help them with their businesses – and often be helped in return. “

“For anyone setting up in business for the first time or someone wanting to grow an existing business  I would recommend them to check out what local networking groups there are. Visit them and see how they work. Chemistry can be important – how you feel about other members of the group – whether they’re ‘cliquey’ or open and friendly.”

CBC works as a non- cliquey, friendly and supportive group. It’s well worth a visit to one of our regular Tuesday morning meetings ( 7.30am every Tuesday at Wycombe Heights Golf Centre) or to one of our guest days which are run every three months or so. Our guest days are also a little different to our regular meetings – often with more formal presentations – but the same basic openness applies. If you’d like to know more, please contact us either through our website or via any of the group members.

Moving on

Can you believe it, time flies when the networking is so good.  However, it’s been a whole year and the time has come for me to step down and make room for our new Chair, Paul Cartwright from Halo Windows. I am sure I am not the only one who is thankful that Paul has agreed to take on the post; in fact, I am sure I speak for all the members when I say his input and commitment are appreciated.  (Thanks to Nick Bright for the lovely photo below!)

When I took over the Chair’s role last June, I said that with Jay Blake as my Deputy, I would be holding the post for six months, that somehow became 12, but that was kind of expected to happen.  We all know in networking groups that 6 months is a very short time indeed.

However, we set out, with the group’s agreement, to make a positive difference, and in particular to grow the membership. Hence our increased number of visitor days and speaker events, which were all well attended. We had some excellent speakers, including:

Mike Duckett of Coaching for Success with his ‘Chimp Paradox’ review, Andrew McBarnett’s ’50 Ways to Increase Your Sales Today’ talk, as well as member contributions from the Fish Partnership on Making Tax Digital, BLR Financial Solutions on the Housing Market, and lastly the creative trio of the group, Matt Hulbert from Creative Jam, Nick Bright from PhotosbyBright and myself, Karen Pawlowska from TakeOneTV for a joint collaboration on ‘How to make the right first impression….’

We must have done something right because the year the result has been 5 new members, including Bucks College Group who applied to join straight after the last visitor day. Plus we have 3 other seriously interested potential new members from that same meeting, and one very disappointed visitor who said:

“Everything about the meeting was fabulous, I am so glad I came. I left brimming with lots of energy and inspiration, as well as many valuable leads.

If I’m honest, it’s the best networking group I have visited and I would sign up in a heartbeat if I could.

So all in all, things are moving forward at Chiltern Business Connections and hopefully with a fuller table we will now also see increased business opportunities for members all round.  Afterall, that’s why we’re there.

Paul Beck from ALS has set up a good system for keeping in touch with visitors, which will help us to be more efficient at bringing them in as visitors, subs and members going forward.

Nick Bright’s photographs on social media, together with Faisal Mahmood of FM Training’s activity on Facebook, digital plugs from Julian Richings at Local IQ and ourselves at TakeOneTV also seem to be raising the group’s profile.

There are going to be some changes under the new Chair, which include a regular business education or development slot, group deep dive networking and other variations that will be a boost to the coming year and provide good ROI for members.

So that’s it for now, I shall enjoy being on the other side of the table for a change, and once again, thanks Paul for taking over the reins, exciting and interesting times ahead!

If anyone wants to come along to find out why we all love Chiltern Business Connections just get in touch via the website for details. We’re particularly looking for a solicitor who does criminal law, employment law or conveyancing; an architect; a PR specialist; a carpenter, a plumber and a motor mechanic.

Client Testimonials Give Everyone A Smile

We all like to hear good news. It’s even better to hear good news from someone we know. And better still to receive that good news because of work we have done with them or for them. As Thomas the Tank Engine would say – ‘we beam from buffer to buffer.’ OK maybe that’s a bit over the top but the point is, we all love to hear and receive positive feedback as a result of our efforts.

As a business owner or as someone who is involved in client service, how do you go about leveraging this feedback and any good news? Would you feel confident and comfortable in asking that person who is giving you the feedback something like:

“Could you please write about our service / product and what you thought about it?” or
“Would you mind us doing a quick video to record what you thought of the service you received from us?” or, if they really don’t want to be seen on camera (see our blog on that)
“Can I please record a quick sound byte of your thoughts on our service?”

You never know and there is no harm in asking. As they say …. ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ If your customers have been happy with the service or product they have received from you, it’s absolutely worth shouting about and celebrating. Existing happy clients will always be your best advocates and client testimonials are a wonderful way to have new customers come to you.

So that’s the gaining a testimonial bit, whether it be written or recorded audibly or visually – each of them has merit and is completely worth doing. We’ll be back with further tips on using client testimonials very soon, and in the meanwhile take a look at a video testimonial for Chiltern Business Connections: https://youtu.be/3L3OGDy5yCw

Visitor Day 14th May 2019

Would you like to grow your business locally? Are potential clients finding you on line, but then not engaging with you? Would you like to know how you can improve your chances of attracting more clients on line?

Well, come along to our Visitor Day on 14th May to hear our creative team talk about the do’s and don’ts of your on line business image.

Matt Hulbert from Creative Jam will shares tips on how to make your website more attractive; Nick Bright from Photos by Bright will demonstrate the value of good images and Karen Pawlowska from Take One TV will share her knowledge about how to use video to build rapport with your audience.

CBC is a local, long established networking group that meets every week at Wycombe Heights Golf Club on Tuesdays at 0715-0900hrs. As a visitor we just ask that you pay £10 to cover the breakfast and venue fee, and if you want to join – though we won’t be pressurising you to do so – there is a simple one off once and forever joining fee of £55 and then it’s £55 a month to cover the meeting costs.

We’re particularly looking for an architect, PR specialist, general solicitor, conveyancer and trades people although we promise a warm welcome for all.

If you’d like to find out more or to book your place please do get in touch asap.

Visitor Day 5th February 2019

Join us for breakfast networking on 5th February 2019 and let us help you attract more customers for your business.

As a successful networking group in High Wycombe, we attract well-connected business professionals. Would you like to join us and benefit from these referrals?

On the Visitor Day, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience how our dynamic approach to networking and business development works. You’ll also be free to network, join discussions and introduce your business to other members.

We will have two speakers from the group sharing their knowledge about how Making Tax Digital will impact and benefit your business, as well as a review of finances in the housing market from an independent mortgage specialist.

Making Tax Digital becomes effective from April this year for those who are on the VAT threshold and HMRC have said they plan to role it out to all areas of tax in time.  This is one of the biggest changes to how we pay Tax in the UK for many years and will affect how businesses keep their accounts and plan their budgets going forward.  There is a big push towards Cloud Accounting to support the MTD move;  however, it’s not always the vendor who shouts loudest that gives the best solution and our Fish Partnership member will be sharing with us their views on what to do next.

And of course with the defeat of the BREXIT bill many people will be looking to stabilize their finances, particularly on what is typically the largest financial commitment for people – their mortgage.  Paul Wakefield from BLR Financial Solutions will talk us through potential effects on the housing market and share some suggestions on how to give better security on interest rates going forward.

Join us and take advantage of the business connections we have waiting for you.  We are open to all guests though are particularly looking for a photographer, business consultant, marketing consultant and copywriter.  

The group is run by the members for the members on a not for profit basis and we offer a warm, genuine welcome to all our visitors.

The Venue is Wycombe Heights Golf Centre, Rayners Avenue, Loudwater, High Wycombe, HP10 9SZ

We assemble between 7 and 7.15am to kick off the meeting promptly at 7.30am. The meeting will end at 9am

If you’d like to find out some more about CBC please take a look at our website;  www.chilternbusinessconnections.co.uk

If you would like to come along please simply get in touch and we’ll make sure that you’ll have a warm welcome.

Have you missed out?

We had a fantastic turn out to this mornings meeting, with our special guest Mike Duckett of Coaching for Success.

He explained the core idea behind the model used by Dr Steve Peters, from his book The Chimp Paradox, which helped the British Cycling team produce their world beating performances.

if you would like to attend one of our meetings as a guest, click below:

Applied Legal Services

OK Our Kids