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The Insiders Week Planner

You have a busy week ahead how can you ensure you are not just busy but focused, accountable and actually working on the things that will grow your business?

If you want to help create some focus here is our one page INsiders planner for each week.

Don’t add too many tasks or actions to any one day.

Remember to factoring in follow up time after networking events.

Remember you are human and will need to eat, rest and not ignore your loved ones.

Use the Insiders Planner well and you could be ahead by Thursday!

Ensure you keep in mind your longterm goals, and if you don’t know what they are, ask for some help on the INsiders. We are here to help.

Download your INsiders Weekly Planner here

  • November 6, 2017

How to get paid faster

There are many good reasons for getting your customer invoices paid faster, the best of which is to keep your business afloat.  There are also lots of good ways to achieve faster payment.  Here are my top 7:

1 Credit-check the customer before beginning work.  There are many credit reference agencies who will supply a credit report for a fee.  Whilst these can be useful, they should not be relied on exclusively.   Get market intelligence of the customer, such as speaking to peers, your bank, or trade bodies.  If possible, get the customer’s latest data such as its monthly management accounts. 

If the customer is found to be a habitual late payer, perhaps with County Court Judgements or worse, then you might prefer to pass on the opportunity, or take greater precautions.  These could range from payment on delivery, shorter credit, splitting up your sales, or demanding a deposit.

2 Make terms and conditions of the contract, invoice, and late payment, complete and unambiguous, so there is no room for misunderstanding or dispute by the customer.  For example, avoid ambiguous terms such as ‘30d-net’ or ‘payment due on receipt’.  State consequences of late payment such as penalty interest, legal action, or cessation of further supplies.  State early payment discounts, bank accounts, and acceptable methods of payment such as card, online, or cheque.

3 Invoice the moment you sell a good or service – before the customer (and you) forget.  Make invoicing an automatic step at the point of dispatch or completion of a service.

4 Sell your invoice for cash – this is now possible with single invoice finance.  It can be quicker and simpler than conventional debt factoring facilities because (if you use Cash for Invoices Limited for example), no security is required, you sell invoices only when you want to, and you pay just one fee. Invoices from as little as £250 can be sold.

5 Build a rapport with the customer.  They are more likely to pay you before a faceless business they also owe money to.

6 Have an action plan prepared in case payment is not made on the due date.  This broadly will be 1) contact the debtor for an explanation and simultaneously resend the invoice 2) if still unpaid then contact the debtor and state consequences of further delay  3) if still unpaid then take legal steps to collect payment.

7 Whatever the circumstances, always deal professionally and calmly with the customer and an attitude that is realistic, not stubborn.  If communication breaks down payment is likely to be delayed further or even withheld entirely.  In such circumstances, consider arbitration. 

There is no commercial sense in stubbornly pursuing a debtor who is unable to pay in full, when a voluntary agreement to pay over a longer period would recover at least some of the amount owed and would avoid costly debt collection and legal fees.

Dr P Singh is director at single invoice finance provider Cash for Invoices Limited and an Affiliate of the Business Woman’s Network which means you can work with Cash for Invoices and get a discount. 

www.cashforinvoices.co.uk

Sources

Forbes;Business.com; Sage; Entrepreneur.com; Xero.com; Huffington Post

 

 

 

 

There are many good reasons for getting your customer invoices paid faster, the best of which is to keep your business afloat.  There are also lots of good ways to achieve faster payment.  Here are my top 7:

 

1 Credit-check the customer before beginning work.  There are many credit reference agencies who will supply a credit report for a fee.  Whilst these can be useful, they should not be relied on exclusively.   Get market intelligence of the customer, such as speaking to peers, your bank, or trade bodies.  If possible, get the customer’s latest data such as the its monthly management accounts. 

 

If the customer is found to be a habitual late payer, perhaps with County Court Judgements or worse, then you might prefer to pass on the opportunity, or take greater precautions.  These could range from payment on delivery, shorter credit, splitting up your sales, or demanding a deposit.

 

2 Make terms and conditions of the contract, invoice, and late payment, complete and unambiguous, so there is no room for misunderstanding or dispute by the customer.  For example, avoid ambiguous terms such as ‘30d-net’ or ‘payment due on receipt’.  State consequences of late payment such as penalty interest, legal action, or cessation of further supplies.  State early payment discounts, bank accounts, and acceptable methods of payment such as card, online, or cheque.

 

3 Invoice the moment you sell a good or service – before the customer (and you) forget.  Make invoicing an automatic step at the point of dispatch or completion of a service.

 

4 Sell your invoice for cash – this is now possible with single invoice finance.  It can be quicker and simpler than conventional debt factoring facilities because (if you use Cash for Invoices Limited), no security is required, you sell invoices only when you want to, and you pay just one fee. Invoices from as little as £250 can be sold.

 

5 Build a rapport with the customer.  They are more likely to pay you before a faceless business they also owe money to.

 

6 Have an action plan prepared in case payment is not made on the due date.  This broadly will be 1) contact the debtor for an explanation and simultaneously resend the invoice 2) if still unpaid then contact the debtor and state consequences of further delay  3) if still unpaid then take legal steps to collect payment.

 

7 Whatever the circumstances, always deal professionally and calmly with the customer, and an attitude that is realistic not stubborn.  If communication breaks down payment is likely to be delayed further or even withheld entirely.  In such circumstances, consider arbitration. 

 

There is no commercial sense in stubbornly pursuing a debtor who is unable to pay in full, when a voluntary agreement to pay over a longer period would recover at least some of the amount owed, and would avoid costly debt collection and legal fees.

 

Dr P Singh is director at single invoice finance provider Cash for Invoices Limited and an Affiliate of the Business Woman’s Network

www.cashforinvoices.co.uk

 

Sources

Forbes;Business.com; Sage; Entrepreneur.com; Xero.com; Huffington Post

  • September 1, 2017

Launch of The Business Mans Network!

We are so excited to announce the Launch of The Business Mans Network. It matters to us greatly that we are there to support your sales, confidence and success. And for years Founder Mandie Holgate had been asked to set an event aimed at men in business. So its exciting to announce this launch on Monday the 8th May at our Wivenhoe House venue.

We know that we will have to work hard to get the right balance and create events as powerful as the ones we already host. The BMN events will have the same structure as The BWN events and there will still be no membership and lots of extra ways we can support you.

We’ve already had a policy that if a business man books a ticket then they are not turned away. We attract some of the top speakers in the UK and feel The BWN has always be inclusive and not exclusive. And the same will apply here. Although we would request that for the first event women in business given business men the chance to create their own core group before you consider attending.

It has also important to us that we do not drop the standard of support, motivation and ideas we give to women in business so please do keep in touch if you feel there is more we could be doing to support you and your success.

Here you can read the full article that appeared in the Gazette this week about the launch. Launch BMN May 2017

To book visit this page. See you there!

  • May 7, 2017

Help!

Help

A small word. If  you were being chased by a tiger you would be screaming it.

If your house was on fire you would be screaming it.

And it would appear they are about the only times us business women say that word.

Why is that?

What stops us very talented, educated, successful women from saying four letters?

Why are we so frightened of saying help?

I’ve learnt recently that I don’t say the word at all. And its become natural just to “get on with it”. I’m capable and able so I just do it. That’s good right?

or is it?

You see going it alone is fabulous for so many reasons, however never saying help is dangerous when it comes to success. I worked on my own success 2 weeks ago with a mentor, because I am always looking for ways to power up my own success as I do for those of my clients and that of the women attending the BWN, and I realised working with this business woman that I just don’t ask for help. And even if its offered I tend to say “I’m okay, thanks for the offer.” So I set a goal to change that and ask for help. It’s already paying off dividends in my business. (I really recommend creating clear goals, you are far more likely to achieve them that way and they don’t turn into gaols, which is a goal gone wrong if you aren’t clear enough about it!)

I know you are mega busy so let’s look at why you should accept help and how to do it in easy quick top tips;

  1. If you ask for help then you can do the things you are good at, which means you can get through your to do list faster. Which means more brain space to come up with more creative solutions. More you time. And more time to do the money making bits of your business. All positives right?
  2. If you ask for help you are enabling someone else. Letting someone else be good at things is good for other people too. It’s not fair that you do all the work and get all the praise. Spread the work, spread the praise, spread the opportunities. If someone else does the work then could get an opportunity off of the back of it. Remember success is better shared. (It really is!)
  3. Create a strong enough sense of pain to make you ask for help. If you don’t ask for help what are you agreeing to? Less success? Less money? Less free time? Less family time? More work? More time in front of the screen?
  4. What are your long term goals? Are they really achievable if you do everything yourself? Can you physically do it all alone? Tot up the hours. When I work with clients its amazing how often they over or under estimate how long a task is going to take.
  5. Fear of what people will think of you could be stopping you from asking from help. What are you assuming people are going to be thinking? Power up your self belief and what you tell yourself about you. If you love yourself enough (and we are not talking about a big head here, just a genuine appreciation of doing what’s right for you) then you would respect you as much as you do anyone else at work, right?
  6. New skills and ideas could be yours if you take on board someone elses help. As brilliant as you are (and yes you are brilliant) by getting someone else’s input you could learn a new way of doing tasks that could make you more productive and give you new skills. There fore powering up your success.
  7. Success really is better shared. By letting someone else help you, you grow your network in a sustainable way. And by doing that, you grow a trusted network. If you really need help in the future, by having taking the leap of faith and trusted someone before you will know who you can rely on in the future.

A brilliant business woman reminded me of these points when I posted a public thank you. Because as people help you I think its always good to say thank you. (My thank you’s don’t tend to be thank you cards, I tend to give testimonials on LinkedIn and Facebook so that they can grow their business and use them powerfully in their marketing to gain more happy customers – just a thought for you there!) This lady said;

You’re very welcome – I’m pleased my diary allowed me to help. I can relate to the whole asking for help. I’m incredibly independent which is positive. There are times when working as a team gets much better and bigger results and you get to enjoy the journey so much more when you have great people around you (cheesy I know but true!!)  Xx

You know what? I don’t think its cheesy at all. A Business woman with a powerful network is far more likely to be successful. See you at some BWN networking events this month, let’s help each other, network together and do business. It’s going to be an awesome month for business.

I’m on TV speaking about issues impacting on women in business and at Mums Net Work Fest national conference. And we have a very special BBC Essex Radio 30th Birthday show being broadcast live from my house on the 13th May. So much good stuff for business!

To get my book to help increase sales, confidence and success the 6 week course or learning about coaching and training visit. www.mandieholgate.co.uk and do say hi on social media too (all accessible via my website) its great to connect and grow my network!

 

  • May 3, 2016

How to create a successful YouTube Channel

Elene Marsden rocked it at our Marks Tey Hotel event in Colchester this January with 50+ business women left wanting more. And 2 lucky business women will be featuring in Elene’s YouTube TV Show very soon. Networking in Essex Suffolk Herts Norfolk and CambridgshireWell done Melanie Winning and Sandra Sparrowhawk! Sandra will be presenting a 10 minute how to use scarves to make a statement and Melanie (award winninng Make Up Artist) will be sharing how to create the Audrey Hepburn look!

(Well done ladies and we look forward to seeing more!)

Elene loves the BWN so much, that Elene has signed up to be a member too! Here Elene shares how to create a successful YouTube Channel, thank you Elene!

With over 1 billion users on YouTube and viewers spending on average 40 minutes a day watching videos, isn’t it time you looked at using YouTube in your business?

What are the benefits?

  • Educate customers and prospects
  • Entertain your viewers
  • Demonstrate your professionalism
  • Be a leader in your field and inspire others

Once you decide to use YouTube you’ll need to create your own channel. Follow this link to set things up https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1646861?hl=en-GB

It’s also important to set goals, e.g. how many subscribers do you want, by when?

Follow these steps once you’ve created your YouTube channel

  • Fill out the About section
  • Upload channel art
  • Add social and blog links

Creating the channel art can be tricky, here’s a link to create a template using the correct dimensions

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2972003?hl=en-GB

Now it’s time to OPTIMISE YOUR CHANNEL

  • Add a channel trailer
  • Add sections
  • Consider using Featured Channels
  • Create playlists

Divide your own content into playlists and also create playlists using videos that you’ve curated from other channels that complement your own content.

Follow these steps to upload your videos to YouTubepreloved chica at The Business Womans Network

  • Edit video before uploading
  • Add title
  • Add description
  • Include links to websites and other videos
  • Add keywords
  • Watch and like your own video
  • Share on social media

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our Preloved Chica Channel where you’ll see these recommendations being put into practice

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBZVyOE7BSpCFaBkoRJDoVg

Best Wishes

“Share our Passion for Fashion.”

www.prelovedchica.com

  • January 27, 2016

Why The BWN Likes Competition (And Yes We Know That’s Scary!)

As scary as it may feel having your competitors in the same room as you is not bad for business. It can actually seriously improve your business success.

It’s all very well to walk into a networking event and be the only person in the room that does what you do, however real life is not like that. And we don’t want to sugar coat business, we want to help you make it really work.

And to do that, you need to be able to effectively deal with the competition.

(We also think its important that you know that we care about ALL women in business1940s woman scared and as such although we are known as a very proactive environment to gain new business we are also about business growth and don’t want to exclude someone from the opportunity to hear one of our master class speakers just because they were not first through the door with a fat membership fee – hence the no membership ever policy!)

So how can you effectively deal with completion?

Firstly as much as Tescos or Sainsburys would love to be the only supermarket in your town they are not. And the profits rise and fall as they respect and care for their customers, suppliers and staff. (Worth noting right?)

Years ago when I lived in a one street of shops town , there was one clothes shop for ladies, Dorothy Perkins. When we heard that they were building a row of shops opposite this and one of them would be New Look, the local Chamber Commerce said it would doom the town centre.

How could a town support 2 ladies fashion stores?

The fact is it had the opposite effect. Instead of people leaving our tiny town to shop elsewhere, suddenly there was choice. It didn’t damage the town, it enhanced it and caused more shops to be built. The town, grew. (Something else worth noting right?)

Lots of business women make the mistake of assuming that because there is competition in the room, they will lose out on business opportunities, on the contrary its your chance to shine. To showcase why you.

So tell me, Why you?Having fun at the business womans network

What do you give your customers that no one else can or does?

How do you make your clients feel truly loved?

Knowing this and getting it across in your marketing strategy is imperative. And when networking the same language, words, and attitude should shine through everything you say too. Remember people buy from people, not businesses, so in the words of your happiest favourite customers why you?

How do you fix peoples woes, worries, stresses and problems?

Power up your success rate by talking about real time solutions, happy customers and top tips for a happier life and/or business.

When it comes to Value Added Marketing the end goal is not just a sale. How do you make people feel special? Do you keep in touch effectively so that they naturally only want to work with you?

The lovely Di Gilbranch (The Doggy Dinner Lady from Trophy Pet Food Colchester)BWN March 2015 7 makes a point of getting in touch by text (because she knows that’s easy for me) and checks up on our dog food supply. I don’t ever have to place an order. Di does the leg work and even delivers to my door. Now that is service that I am happy to pay for and I recommend. So a national store could have my custom, but you can guess who gets it!

Tell me are Mick Jagger & Madonna the best singers in the world?

Sorry Madge but there are better, however Mick and Madge are still making records (and money) because they keep up to date and in touch with their target audience. The biggest brands in the world don’t just advertise to get your business, they advertise to keep it.

If you want to deal with the competition, you accept they exist, raise your game and keep visual. And that’s not just turning up at an event. How do you keep on peoples radar between events?

Is it consistent?

Do you go on about your products and services or are you useful, relevant and interesting?

Be confident.

The hardest thing to deal with, when you see competition in the same room is that overwhelming thing that us women are so good at, and that is to convince yourself that they are better than you, and everyone will love them more. It’s just not true. Be really confident about your price, products and services and remember that people have already chosen you. Why shouldn’t they again? (Unless your competition is offering free Ferraris with every purchase!)

I accept that I’m not the right business coach for everyone. As I like to say there are over 66 million people in the UK and I’m not coaching all of them. Horses for courses right? So accept you are the perfect horse for the perfect client.

Meeting compeititon is also good for you in the sense that it makes you raise your game. Are you doing all you could for your clients? Do you use the latest marketing technques to ensure client retention? Do you know the state of the art technologies for your industry? By meeting my competition I get to hear what other people are doing. What they are learning about. What new techniques they’ve tried. How they deal with their business problems. I don’t see competition as a problem I see competition as an opportunity. To learn and share.

If competition was so bad for business, why does every professional body have a yearly conference? Makes you think right?

If you are really confident in the person you are, the company you own and the Mandie Holgate red shoesabilities you and you company have to be just perfect for your customers, then you could really freak the competition out and work with them. What about a joint event or venture? Some of the best opportunities and most fun I’ve had in business is when I’ve worked with someone who is considered as direct competition. I get to have a great time, learn and share. And support even more people to success. So could you go so far as to work with your competition?

Could your competition lead to new opportunities? When you have too much work on (what a lovely problem to have!) could you pass on work and take a % cut? Could you work with someone prepared to be white labelled to your company because they had to do no work to gain that client?

I get it, I understand that scary “gosh did my heart just stop moment” when you meet someone networking who does what you do. However instead of hiding your head in the sand pretending you are the only person in your county that does what you do your competition is your chance to really shine.

Get known as the thought leader.

And really get known for all the right reasons.

If there are a hundred suited business men and women in the room it is not by accident that I will wear a bright colour. I’m prepared to stand out and accept horses for courses, and boy does the competition teach me so much. Especially how to prove to customers old, new and potential that I’ m right for them and more than anyone else on the planet I genuinely care about their success.

So don’t hide from the competition, accept they exist and use The BWN events to showcase that you are ready for anything. Because let’s be honest in business you need to be.

My name is Mandie Holgate and I’m the founder of The BWN. I always want to do my very best for women in business, so if you think I’ve lost the plot by inviting the competition to events, and not having block outs, I’m very happy to hear your viewpoint (negative or positive) And of course support you to effectively deal with the competition too. See you at a BWN soon!

  • January 25, 2016

Meet Essex Business Woman Michelle Taylor with an unusual goal…

Meet Michelle Taylor, Essex Marks Tey Hotel member. Michelle has changed careers and you could never guess her career choice! And we do hope Michelle gets her big wish. You can meet Michelle at our Essex events, and get to know her now and hear her big ambitions! WHAT MADE YOU SET UP YOUR BUSINESS? My husband Kev, is a retired Essex Police Sgt and when he first retired he was thumb twiddling for some time, not knowing what to do with himself…He all but fell into Wedding Photography 7 years ago and is now making great inroads into the business locally. Not wanting to be in the same position when I retired from the police, I started to think about what I wanted to do post retirement, it was still over 5 years away at the time, but I knew I did not want to be one of those retired officers that took up a Civvy post just to stay employed or focused. Kev suggested I picked up a camera and followed in his footsteps, I could not think of Essex Celebrant Michelle Tayloranything worse….Just like my cake decorating skills , I could picture in my minds eye a fantastic finished product, but lacked the skills to create said product from scratch…..I said ‘Id rather marry people’……So began my  research. I had heard of Humanists, but I believe in something rather than nothing so ruled them out of my equation…I stumbled by chance across the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants a small but upcoming organization, the cost of training was reasonable, so I took the plunge. I completed my Wedding and Family Celebrancy training in July 2011 and have not looked back since. I love spreading the love and joy that abounds at any family celebration and I was finally able to put my skills and creativity to good use, I can write a good story and what better story to tell of how two people met, fell in love and decided to get married. As well as Weddings I also write and conduct, Naming Ceremonies, Vow Renewals, Commitment Ceremonies and have (on one occasion only, I hasten to add) conducted a Doggy Wedding as a publicity stunt for the dogs owners. WHAT WAS THE REASON THAT YOU DECIDED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE BWN? In a word…… NETWORKING!!! I know someone who had attended a couple of meetings at the beginning of 2015Michelle Taylor - Essex Celebrant and she told me that the BWN was a great way to get myself  ‘out there’ …Meet likeminded business women and to pick up some tips and contacts along the way. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOUR BUSINESS? GROWTH & MORE GROWTH! I retired from the day job in October 2015 after a very hectic year, all of my spare time that year had been spent writing and conducting ceremonies. I always knew 2015 was going to be a tough year, two jobs and NO spare time, but it has been worth it. In my 1st 12 months I conducted just one ceremony, last year I did 16, this year I already have 20 booked in! I don’t want to be flat out like I was last year, I want to grow but at my pace, allowing me more time for family and friends, socializing etc, something that is very hard as a shift worker. I think I will find my work/ life balance…Finally…. As a self employed and very fulfilled Wedding Celebrant. I want to spread the word about Celebrants, not many have heard of us, I want the whole of Essex and beyond to learn that there is more to a good wedding than just the party after the ceremony. The ceremony itself should reflect each couple, their unique quirks and should be fun and laughter filled, not JUST a formality so we can say ‘We’re married’. I have had some cracking venues over the past few years, with more to come this year. I have worked and will be working with some awesome couples and families, and there is nothing the puts a cheesy grin on my face like saying  at the end of a wedding ceremony, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen please make some noise and be upstanding as I introduce to you Mr and Mrs………’ WHAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR YOU TO KNOW? ‘HOW, WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHO’ We all need a helping hand to get our businesses seen and I want to learn it all….OK that may be a bit unrealistic, but each meeting is about learning

HOW to expand your business WHY you should do certain things to make your business grow WHAT you need to know to make a success of your business WHEN is the best time to do it……NOW !! WHO’S going to do it….ME!!

I’m always on the lookout for couples who want to step outside of the ‘normal’ box . I want venues to realise the worth of a Celebrant and I want to know how best to promote myself in this expanding industry… I want to be a cut above the rest and being a member of the BWN helps me to achieve all of the above. I’m up for any challenge, and the one I’ve set for this year? …Well, that’s to find a couple as mad as me who really, really want a Harry Potter themed ceremony… I have the wand, the cape and even some props…..I just need the couple now.

The BWN is a brand of excellence as far as I am concerned, and being a member shows to the outside world that I am wanting to expand my horizons, mix with some awesome women and LEARN.

Wow! Thanks Michelle, we are so pleased to hear of the benefits you get from our events and we hope you get your dream wedding!

  • January 25, 2016

Shhh The Secret Keys To Success In 2016

I’m speaking at the University for the Institute of Directors next week and I’ve been asked to share my top tips for networking success. Planning what I will talk about makes me think of my clients and the business women I get to be with at The BWN networking events. And I will share next week the same great stuff I do with you guys all the time. But hey these students will not have me there with them once a month, so what are the most important things I could say to someone that wants success?

And I realised it is the same things that I work with clients on all the time. Ready for the big secrets?

Ready to find out what I think are the keys to your success?

And what is more scary they are things within in our control!
Ready?

The keys to success are confidence and communication.

I’ve had everyone from CEO’s and start up’s tell me that when they communicate effectively they can get what they want. They can get solutions. Ask the right questions to move their business and success forward.

Many people think that networking is something that you do in a snazzy hotel Business Women's Networkwith coffee and business cards. And yet networking is everywhere. In the queue at the bank, having your nails done, or waiting for a client (all of those have happened to me and delivered a new client.) So the first thing you need to master to be a successful business woman is your ability to communicate effectively.

I bet right about now there are a good few readers saying easier said than done. Okay so I get it can be scary and tricky, but anything you want in life has an element of fear and nervousness attached, its how you know you really want it.

I would also say that every single person that I’ve worked with this year has been coached to communicate effectively. From the business owner that wanted to renegotiate one of their biggest contracts (for more money with less work – and yes they got it!) to the business owner that went to a national conference and targeted the dream contract and yes things are happening! You see communicating what you want is what matters, so find out what you really want, who can help you get it and how to get that message across effectively.

But even more important than communication is…

Confidence!
If you have inner confidence you don’t care if you make a fool of yourself and get it wrong, because getting it wrong is on the road to getting it right, right?

Inner confidence means you have the confidence to go up to that person you know you want to work with and say “Lets talk”.

So my big gift to you this Christmas is to know and accept that you need to boost your Santacommunication and cocnfidence. And I promise with every cell in my body that if you walk through the doors of The BWN events me and my cooridndators will do all that we can to boost your confidence aand success.

Sales, SEO, Marketing, Social media, PR, Awards, Profit, Time Management, Vision and Mission Statements, Phone and Public speaking fears, branding, Business structure and strategy can all be learnt, but without communication skills and confidence, you will always be able to undermine your success. So let’s power up your success today.

I’ve had so many women say to me “Mandie I can’t do it.” and even if I don’t coach them I’m there for them, and we chat and I share ideas at The BWN and what do you know, suddenly they can do it and they do. Your success deserves that too!

See you soon and Merry Christmas and here’s to a very profitable successful 2016

Stick around aand we could make that happen for you too!

Mandie HolgateMy name is Mandie Holgate and as founder of The BWN, everything that enables success for business women matters to me and I will share it with you. Attracting some of the best speakers in Europe. Yes there are other networks, but ours is the most powerful motivator and supporter of success in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. Our business women, venues and speakers tell us that this is true, I can’t wait to help you too.

  • December 10, 2015

So Happy I Brought The Business, Twice!

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 Essex business woman Dawn Moss Utility Warehousepartner 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.

And if like Dawn cold calling makes you wish your spleen would burst and get you out of the office, you may benefit from this short blog article by Business Woman’s Coach, Mandie Holgate

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 info@thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk

  • July 21, 2015

Why Networking Is Not Working For You

Most businesses at some time have dabbled with networking but how is it possible that some businesses love it and think it is the key to growing and sustaining their business. When others find it a waste of their time, a drain on their resources and worse still dipping into their profits!

If you’re not getting the results you want, here’s our guide to getting it right and why you could be getting it wrong…

First of all you need to know why you are networking. If your plan was to runBWN networking 1 in a room and run out again with 30 sales, then first of all you need a reality check. Unless you’re selling designer shoes or 5 star holidays for £5 its unlikely the sales are going to be pouring in. For networking to work it needs to factor as part of a structured focussed marketing strategy.

It is important to understand that networking enables you to;

  • Get known as the thought leader in your field.
  • Raises your profile above your competitors.
  • Re-engages with past and current customers.
  • Reminds people “Why you.”
  • Ensures people know all that your company can do for them. (So often you will hear someone say “I didn’t know you did that too”.
  • Remember this key phrase “You can’t not dictate when people buy however you can have a say in who they choose to buy from.”
  • Build and protect your reputation and credibility. Valuable for creating a loyal client base.

To enable the above to happen you need to;Essex Networking for women The BWN

  • Know what outcome you want from networking. Remember the reality check? The goal is not to walk out of the door with 30 sales (although if you get your marketing and networking right, over time that is more than achievable!)
  • Do you want people to sign up to your newsletter, follow you on social media, know about an event you are going to be exhibiting at, refer you to certain trades, help with solutions in your own business, know about special offers you have. Go with a clear idea of what you would ideally be speaking about if you get the right opportunity.
  • Be interested in the other people in the room. We often tell shy people that you are in actual fact perfect people to network, because you are so scared to say the wrong thing you create a natural environment that enables the other party to share all about their business and why they love what they do. All networkers would love the chance to tell everyone why their business is awesome. The key is to build good relationships and by showing a genuine interest in other people you are helping that happen.
  • In advance prepare some questions that you could ask people, such as; Who could the ideal person be for me to be looking to connect you with? Are you based locally? Do you trade nationally or just locally? Is it okay to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn? Do you have any suggestions on how I could handle X within my business? Questions that are open ended that allow the other person to feel respected and listened to. (Genuinely listened to.
  • Know the answers for yourself to the above questions. Who would your ideal client be?
  • Prepare a 60 seconds. Okay so not all events create the opportunity Fiona Moonan sponsoring a BWN Networking eventfor an elevator pitch however practicing on the journey there what you could concentrate is a good idea. Aim to be less than 60 seconds, include statistics & facts and don’t try to cover too much. You can access more ideas on your 60 seconds success here.
  • Don’t apologise for having no business cards, take theirs gracefully and say that you have just run out and will email them as a one off (you don’t want to look like a spammer) so that you have each others details.
  • Don’t add people to your data base. Yes Business to Business you are allowed, however what does that say about your level of respect for that busy business owner?
  • Do find people on social media and say “Hi.”
  • Don’t find people on social media and start selling at them. Networking is about building a good reputation.
  • Know in advance the follow up strategy you will have. If you don’t follow up effectively then in theory you have wasted the time you networked, the time you travelled to and from the event and the time you could have been doing something that actually would have put money in your bank account.
  • And lastly if you don’t get a reply to an email, pick up that phone thing you carry around and talk to people.

After all great networking results are about communicating effectively to get connected.

And the bigger your network the more benefits you could be getting!

  • May 12, 2015