Following our new series of interviews with BWN member’s (to be a member you just have to turn up every month. Learn more here ) here we meet new Saturday North Essex Coordinator Dawn Moss.
What made you join Utility Warehouse as a partner?
I signed up as a customer with Utility Warehouse (The Discount Club) in March 2014 having just started my first home based business (Your Interview Coach!) because at the time it was extremely important for me to reduce my outgoings. I was so happy with the savings and service that I decided to join The Discount Club as a partner because I wanted to share all the benefits with my personal network.
I immediately saw the benefit of a business model that builds a residual income. Longer term this residual income will create more time for me to do the things I’m really passionate about (volunteering, coaching, training, horse riding, travelling across Europe and beyond!!)
I’ve always enjoyed supporting people to improve their lives in some way – so for me it was a no brainer to show home owners how they too could reduce their household bills with little effort on the services they already use – so they can spend their hard earned income on the nicer things in life (holidays, weekend’s away, family days out, meals out, etc).
How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been a business partner with Utility Warehouse since September 2014.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I like meeting new people and its rewarding being able to share the benefits of the business with my friends, family and business associates alike and there are lots of benefits – Savings, Simplicity, & Award Winning Customer Service.
What do you hate most about running your own business?
I’m not very good at cold calling – luckily there are lots of other options to grow a business that don’t require making those dreaded calls most people hate receiving!
What benefits do you get from networking?
I really enjoy building long term relationships and getting to know people in both formal and informal environments. For me networking is the best and most effective way of building trust and credibility. I’ve also been lucky enough to make some very good friends through networking.
What was the reason that you decided to be a member at The BWN?
The BWN has gained a very good reputation over the years (all credit to its founder Mandie Holgate) and I’ve always heard good feedback from the women who have attended the events.
What really works for me is that there is the right balance between having a structured format and time to have genuine conversations and network informally.
There’s always a slot for personal development and a chance to gain valuable information for running your business from the wonderful expert speakers.
The BWN events also offer a variety of options to promote and present your business – from a 60 second promo slot, to sponsoring an event or having your own stand.
There is also a guaranteed warm welcome to everyone attending the events – I like that too!
What do you see the future holding for your business?
I’m very excited about the future (putting the BWN Saturday Networking Events aside!) I’m very much looking forward to growing my business and showing as many people as possible the benefits of joining the discount club and I’m also very focused on recruiting more driven and enthusiastic people to join my existing team.
All members are welcome to answer these 7 questions and feature in our blog along with on our social media and you may even get a mention in our newsletter too. Just send your answers to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was asked to sum up the BWN ethos. If you feel I’ve missed something please advise;
I wanted an environment where any business woman could get the answers that she needed for her success. Whether start up, or pre start up, unemployed, self-made millionaire, hobbyist business, corporate business woman or employed women.
You are expected to be an expert in everything, well I want to help business women to feel confident in every area of their business and their life.
I want the BWN to be all welcoming and inclusive. I don’t want it to be “clicky”. Thus I ensure that whomever I am talking to at an event, as the host I have my eye on the door so that everyone gets a warm welcome, because I really appreciate how scary walking into a networking event can be. I often tell the person I’m speaking to “I’m genuinely very interested in getting to know you and hearing how I and the BWN can assist, but I must keep an eye on the door so that everyone gets greeted by the host.”
I want to empower, motivate and support.
I want myself and my coordinators to go out of our way to get to know every business woman that walks through that door so that we can help that business woman get the connections, new business and success she wants and deserves.
Between events I want to ensure that our network talk to us through social media so that we are able to like and share their great content. And I want to ensure that the business women that walk in the door every month are our absolute priority so that we know them and help in every way that we can.
I want to ensure that not only do we promote and support our business women, we also promote and support our venues, speakers and suppliers. Business has to create win win relationships and we will work hard to achieve that.
No question is stupid, no concern dismissed. This is THE environment to get the solutions, connections and business to get the business success you want. Our tagline is “As Passionate About Your Success As You Are” and our business women will tell you that we mean it.
The next session of the WEConnect Academy is taking place in London next week and Maggie Berry would like to offer 1 free place to one of our members.
The place can only be offered to a business that is majority owned by one or more women (minimum 51%) and ideally they will have a corporate / B2B product or service (as these are the businesses that we most effectively support).
As a result of working with WEConnect one of our Essex members Nelly Mhangami from Business Apps Plus is working with a multinational organisation.
If you would like this opportunity please contact Maggie Berry – email@example.com and Maggie will send them the sign up details.
This is the BIG Event Details;
The WEConnect Academy: SME Development Programme for Europe, 8.30am to 12pm on Thursday 9th July 2015, London
In order to be competitive in the current business climate, small businesses and large businesses need to work together more effectively to generate societal and economic value. WEConnect International’s corporate members in Europe have identified elements of their core expertise which they would like to share in order to help you to strengthen and grow your business and to increase your opportunities and ability to compete for business.
The SME Development Programme for Europe is being delivered in conjunction with WEConnect International’s enterprise education partner, IESE Business School.
The two sessions being presented on the 9th July are: “How to succeed in managing projects: avoid the well-known traps in the project life cycle” presented by Professor Ribera, Professor of Production, Technology and Operations Management at the IESE Business School The purpose of this talk is to examine the most common causes of project failure so that we are able to detect them and prevent them from affecting our own projects. Prof. Ribera will list the common traps experienced throughout the project lifecycle from the selection and definition of which projects to undertake, through to the planning, execution and monitoring phases as well as the closure stage all the while learning from successes and failures in order to develop better ways to do projects in the future. and “The importance of new ideas and the importance of cash!” presented by John Collins, Sales Director at Enterprise FLEX E RENT John is the Sales Director for Enterprise FLEX E RENT, part of Enterprise Rent a Car, the largest rental company in the world with a turnover of $20bn, still privately held and a WEConnect International corporate member. John’s own business journey has taken him to the very highs and very lows of business ownership and his story and experience is both inspirational and uplifting as well as a cautionary tale and he will take us through all of his challenges and experiences. He will give you a better understanding of how to sell in your business; share a way that a simple idea can be packaged and could revolutionise your business; teach you how to deal with investors, both corporate and private, and how to communicate with them and uncover the challenges associated with taking a business from a small beginning (with just three members of staff) to managing communication as the business grows (in John’s case to over 3,500 employees).
Full details of the programme including venue can be found online here: http://www.weconnecteurope.org/event/weconnect-academy-sme-development-programme-europe-1
So if you feel your businesss fits the criteria and that you could benefit this event for free, please get in touch with Maggie Berry. Executive Director for Europe WEConnect International
LinkedIn: WEConnect International in Europe
Facebook: WEConnect International in Europe
1. You keep selling. Seriously stop selling. Networking is about building good relationships and getting to know people, you need to stop putting you on your agenda and start putting other people on your agenda. Who do they want to know? What do they need? What are they looking for? Etc, etc. The more you learn about your fellow networkers, the more powerful your network and more useful you become.
2. Just flip Top Tip 1 on its head. You have no agenda, so know your agenda. Most people rock up to a networking event, head for the coffee, and the people they already know and generally chat, that is great and really good to build good relationships but have you thought prior to the event what your goal is? How does this networking event fit in with your marketing strategy? Go knowing what you want to achieve, but don’t start selling!
3. You are not prepared. Prepare a elevator pitch of around 45 seconds regardless. This helps focus your mind on what you want to talk about, what will your call to action be? What do you want people to be doing? What results would you like to see? (And the results you want to see after one networking event is 15 new clients, unless you are selling Ferraris for a £1, its not likely to happen, so think through what you really want to see happen.)
4. You can say what you like right? Wrong. People know people. And the whole point of networking is that people get to know you. If you turn up and start bad mouthing another person or network, it is highly likely to get back to them. Respect everyone and be aware that you are a walking bill board for your business. Did you know it takes 300 to 500 millionth of second for a person on the word “Hello” To decide what they think of you. So what are you projecting? How do you look after your reputation and get known for the right reasons?
5. You don’t follow up. It’s no good going once and assuming sales will start falling from the sky. (We are back to the Ferrari’s for a £1 aren’t we!) Going once is not enough. You need to go to the same network at least 4 times to find out if it is right for you, don’t make assumptions that these people are no good for your business, you don’t know yet who they know. So go regularly to really benefit and follow up effectively. Connect on social media, get to know them. If you said you would send a great top tip or share a link to a funny story, do it!
Networking is not rocket science but it does take respect, knowledge, strategy, focus and action. There are a ton of other things it needs, but for now get noisy about other people. Get engaging, take action and let us know how you get on.
This article was written by our Founder Mandie Holgate. To learn more about Mandie Holgate visit the Essex page or www.mandieholgate.co.uk