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

The Chimp Paradox

Effective press releases

A great presentation today from Stephanie Wareham of Bucks Free Press  on to to create – and have published – an effective press release.

Making fuller use of PR  is something that many of us could be better.

Being a part of CBC is all about finding out about ways in which we can improve our respective businesses and why I plan to remain a member for a good long time!

 

Investing in business relationships….or eating breakfast?

Business Networking in High Wycombe over Breakfast

Why would you find yourself presenting to an interested audience straight after a very satisfying fry up? Well it might be that you have joined Chiltern Business Connections, a fine group of people who like to network and, help each other’s clients and customers…..whilst indulging themselves in a hearty breakfast every Tuesday morning at Wycombe Heights Golf Club, High Wycombe.

Having joined this year, my colleague Vanessa and I found ourselves in the spotlight last Tuesday presenting the business we represent – Financial Management, a financial advice practice of 25 years standing and based in Penn. Unbelievably people paid attention, asked questions and occasionally smiled. The shouts of “get off” were barely audible and Vanessa and I walked away thinking what a lovely bunch they are.

Maybe more importantly, as always it showed that there is real value in helping others understand what you do and the essential fundamental of everything….. why you do it? It’s the latter that demonstrates the sincerity of your motives, helps people relate to why you are talking to them (so early in the morning)…. and ultimately builds the trust individuals need to refer one of their customers onto you. The old adage of needing to “know, like and trust” a person before you can confidentially refer them is still true; afterall you put your own reputation on the line when you recommend someone, so you need to be confident they will provide a good service or product as promised. That’s precisely why business networking works so well.

The level of sincerity might of made the breakfast a touch difficult to digest in other circumstances, but thanks to the warm and welcoming platform provided at Chiltern Business Connections we felt comfortable sharing our story and excited to discover that the audience were happy to listen and interested in hearing more. Networking over breakfast……yes, for any business looking to grow, definitely the way to go!