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Simple ways that you can improve morale at your business

We all know how important our employees have been to our businesses since March 2020. Of course, we would never get anywhere without them, but we have had to rely on our staff in so many new and unexpected ways during the course of the pandemic. It has been an incredibly turbulent period of time with tremendous uncertainty, and we have needed to count on them for their resilience, flexibility, and trust as we have navigated a course through this storm.

It has also been a period in which we have had to support them in ways we may not have previously expected. As we head into the autumn, we still need to make sure that we are there for them, and we could all use a little morale boost as we head into the shorter, darker days with the prospect of tax hikes to come. Here are a few tips to help you boost morale.

Give Them Opportunities To Grow

One of the most difficult things to deal with during the pandemic was this sense of being stuck. Lockdown didn’t help, of course, as all the usual things we’d do to get away were closed off from us, but it was also hard to demonstrate growth in our businesses when we were working so hard to simply stay afloat. As we head into the autumn and we look for ways to bounce back, it’s important to remind your staff that they have a future in your business. Give them the opportunity to learn about emerging technology and promote from within where you can. Give them more responsibility and you will be rewarded.

Make Them A Part Of Your Plan To Give Back

Given that we are all looking for ways that we can give back to organisations and charities that need us right now, you might be thinking about how you can start making charitable donations through your business.

One of the simplest ways that you can do this is by making your employees part of the journey and setting up donations through payroll. This way, they can pick the charity of their choice and know that, by making charitable donations through an employer, they are contributing in the most tax-efficient way for the charity. Find out more about the benefits of payroll donations and how you can get it set up at your business by talking to PayCaptain.

Keep Showing Them You Have Got Their Back

Throughout the pandemic, we all had to learn to be flexible when it came to supporting our employees. Working from home made that easier in a lot of ways, as people could set up their own flexible hours to make sure they could look after other commitments such as home-schooling or caring for elderly relatives. It also made some things harder, such as looking after the mental health of our employees.

We’ve all read so much about the impact of the pandemic on mental health, and as we head into autumn and winter, we need to make sure that our team knows that we still have their back. Continue to offer support where you can and remember that they will reward you for it.

  • September 17, 2021

How To Start A Business In An Unstable Economy

How To Start A Business In An Unstable Economy

If you’re hoping to one day start a business, then you may be waiting until economic conditions are more promising. Unfortunately, you’re likely in for a very long wait.

Life is short, and there’s no time to waste. After all, the UK is currently in the midst of a very “fragile” economic recovery, and things could get better or worse at any given moment. Years of poor leadership and pandemics have destabilised everything, and the only route left is to take matters into your own hands somewhat.

You can still start a business now and have plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Keep reading for some guidance on these matters.

Identify Public Needs

An unstable economy is an unfortunate circumstance for many people. However, it can also be an opportunity for business leaders.

During times of crisis, it’s perhaps easier to read what customers need and best respond to. For instance, online shopping became more popular, giving people a way to peruse and purchase without risking their safety. Some customers may now prefer this experience overall, too.

The appetite for buying things is always present, with some people experiencing a newfound appreciation for shopping after years of lockdown. However, you should try to gain precise results through your market research. Where are other firms falling short in answering their customer’s needs? Has the pandemic changed what types of products and services people are drawn to?

Favour the Digital Economy

As the traditional economy declines, the digital economy arises. In this space, you can start making money more quickly and reliably than ever before.

The digital economy isn’t subject to the boom and bust of the traditional economy. Actually, the former can often be given a boost by the failings of the latter. Your venture also won’t be a prisoner of global events, thriving throughout any circumstances that occur. Obviously, the peace of mind you can be afforded here is unrivalled.

One great way to persevere in trying times is to start an online coaching business. Thankfully, there are many mentors in the industry such as those at Sell What You Know who can help you learn how to sell your expertise online. Your professional experiences in the past can be turned into moneymaking opportunities of the present, giving you certainty and confidence in everything you’re doing. It’s quick and easy to get started, and there’s plenty of room to grow your business too. 

Utilise Let Go Talent

Unfortunately, many people have been released from their employment contracts in recent times. The majority of them will have been good, loyal workers, and they’re now ripe for the picking.

A startup requires dedicated workers who’re willing to go the extra mile. They’ll need to develop the business through its infancy and perhaps even be ready to be a permanent fixture on the payroll. Therefore, only the best workers will do.

In addition to posting job listings the traditional way, try to ask around your personal network about who’s been let go recently and needs a job. It might be that you’ll get access to a desperate good worker who’s fallen on hard times. If you can give them an opportunity to rebuild their lives, they may repay you with loyalty and hard work.

  • August 24, 2021

All change in Suffolk

All businesses go through change and our organisation is no different. In fact we actively look to hear from every woman in business that attends our Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk events to know what you want and if we are delivering it. (And our apologies if we are not in your region yet, we would love to be in your area, so get in touch to learn about getting paid to network.)

Therefore when Linda had to step down from our stunning Ickworth House, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk  events it was a quiet moment in the BWN offices. Mandie instantly decided that we had been supporting the success of women in business in this area for over 4 years and we didn’t want to see it stop. So Mandie hosted our September event and announced “Who would like to get paid to network?”

2 offers came forward on the day so we never got to spread the opportunity to the wider community (further proof you have to be in it to win it!) and we are delighted to welcome Nicky West, a corporate Suffolk based photographer to the team. Nicky said “I’ve decided to become a BWN co-ordinator! Let me sum up why. I believe networking is a wonderful way to empower and connect local business owners to be inspired by and inspire each other, in a friendly supportive environment, and I’m so excited to be a part of that process and grow my own business along the way too!”

We are very happy to welcome you Nicky and look forward to seeing your fabulous images and hearing your 2019 plans.

We have more exciting news coming soon and if you would like to learn more about joining the growing BWN team, we would love to hear from you. Just complete the contact us form or give us a call.

  • September 30, 2018

Ok just stop it now

I’m really excited about the launch of the Insiders. It’s a way that I as Founder and our Insiders affiliates can help you more AND you can ask anything you like (confidentially) and we will do our best to get you the right expert to help you.

So today in preparation for our first webinar in the Inisiders secret Facebook group I thought I’d share the 7 top tips I’d give to anyone that was looking to increase their chances of success in 2017 when setting goals. And then in the webinar you can ask me anything you like relating to achieving your goals;

  1. Where has your goal come from? Who defined it? When a goal is not wholly created by you, according to your values and beliefs then you are less likely to achieve. I’ve seen this enough times to know this. The business woman that wanted massive levels of success and quoted many a entrepreneurial author at me, as I reminded her “Her brain didn’t get the memo on that, take all information and advice in like water into a sponge, then wring out what you don’t need.) In the webinar I will look at how to create a powerful goal. One that you take action on, like this business woman did and wowsers it was a “stand back and watch her go!” moment, that’s for sure!
  2. Challenge what you think. When I work 1 2 1 with a client I can literally stop their thought patterns in their tracks, by bringing to their attention their choice of words. It’s a point that the Institute of Directors picked up on in their review of my book, which leads us onto point 3.
  3. Watch your language no not the swearing but your choice of words. As I say if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend then don’t say it to yourself because our choice of words drastically impact on our success. However have you considered how you word your goal? The language you use? Challenge the assumptions and the idea that it’s going to half kill you to get the results you want in 2017.
  4. Who will motivate you? Clients do leave buzzed up and ready to take on the world. Audiences leave my talks in the same way, however as I point out in 6 weeks time when your cat/partner/child/work colleague has given you the lurgy and you feel as sick as a dog and like death, how are you going to get nearer your dream goal for 2017?  Our network is described as THE place to stay motivated and guess what that does when you combine it with the professional and personal training we provide too? Who will keep you going? And if you are an insider you have a confidential place to share when you need a boost too!
  5. And for the love of you, know when not to keep going! I had to fight for a whole chapter about “The Fear of taking time out.” in my new book Fight the fear, however so many of us think we need to be some robotic soulless machine to get to that big goal. There is a thing called life that you can’t forget about. For instance if your goal for 2017 is to grow your business, can your health, business model or family take it? If not what are the chances that you will achieve? I’ve seen enough people scupper their own success because they’ve feared how they will cope with success. What do you need to do to ensure success?
  6. Never fear saying “No” “I need to help” or “I don’t understand how to do this” If you do, then what are you agreeing to? I will share some ideas from my book on how to do these without damaging your confidence, brand or reputation.
  7. How will you monitor your results? The person climbing the mountain that doesn’t take the time to observe the view, rarely can appreciate how far they have come. If you were to compare who you are and what you have achieved right now to 2 years ago, would you be so cynical, critical or worried about what you can achieve? Likewise by breaking your goals down (I get my clients to create 1,3 and 5 year goals and critically importantly Now Goals too.)  you can start to see what actions need to be prioritised. And a big obstacle for so many business women is that they get distracted by the first shiny thing that comes along that looks easier than what has to be done and go off at a tangent, thereby slowing down their success and goal achieve. 

I could share a ton of ideas here to help you rocket your chances of success in 2017. For now check your confidence levels and follow these 7 top tips, and I look forward to seeing you in the Insiders next week. Not joined yet? You can here. 

As founder of The BWN Mandie Holgate care’s passionately about your success as much as our coordinators do. If there is something in particular you would like assistance with. What ever it is get in touch and we will do all we can to help. (And as always, without you having to spend a fortune!)

  • December 31, 2016

Who Do You Think You Are!

 

When it comes to a speaking engagement I like to think of my audience, Who are they? What do they want? What do they need?  etc., etc.

And as I go through this process it’s inevitable for me that I start to think of my clients. My theory being if is an issue for one person it stands to be an issue for another. So using my anecdotes in key note addresses really connects with my audience….(could be some advice in there about marketing right?)

So as I prepare for a speaking engagement I’m reminded of the number of people that I’ve coached this month who have all in one format or another showed the same underlining issue that is detrimentally damaging their success.

Do you want to know what that is?

Really want to know?

Because when I tell you, many of you will stop, look up as if thinking (because you are thinking) and say to yourself….”Wow is this me too?”

The fact is for so many people in business you have the big goals and ambitions and work hard to achieve them. And then one day (for those this impacts, as if by magic) you start to get results.

And then as your business grows and more people want in, (again as if by magic) you start to get asked to share your knowledge, speak at conferences, comment in the press or head hunted for a great new opportunity.

Susan Pattrick and Mandie Holgate

Business Coach Mandie Holgate and Susan Pattrick from Dancing Giraffe spent time thinking and contemplating…if only someone had told them what to contemplate!

And instead of saying “Wow, well done me, look at what I’ve achieved.”The natural state to rush to is “Oh no, wait until they find out its just me!”

What stops a successful business woman who has achieved so much from not accepting success?

Why do people dismiss their successes and acknowledge their failures?

So I challenge you to be honest with yourself, do you dismiss your successes like you do a compliment? Have you ever said any of the following;

“What this old thing, I’ve had it for years.”

“Anyone could do what I’ve done really.”

“I don’t know why they chose us, just right, place right time I suppose.”

“My competitors are just as good at this really.”

“I don’t know why they asked me.”

“I suppose I was just lucky.”

Then I wouldn’t mind betting that you allow your brain to accept and acknowledge your failures and yet you don’t praise and accept your successes with the same level of passion.

You don’t need a coach by your side to know if you do this and the impact that this can have on your success. Do you worry that you are going to get found out?

I will be honest with you here, its something I too have had to address. For me I always felt like I was a 5 year old in my Mum’s dress up clothes. Even when the Home Office invited me to hear an address by the Home Secretary on Women’s success I asked the lady if she knew it was just Mandie Holgate from little old Mersea island?

Come on ladies, we don’t have to start strutting around like that insurance advert in skin tight demin shorts, swishing our hair shouting “because we are worth it”. However you do need an internal belief, that says “You go girl!” “Yeah Me!” “Wow look what I can achieve!”

I agree there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, however when there is so much stacked up against you and your success, why add You to the pile of negativity?

I will be speaking at the Big Chelmsford Business Showcase on the 18th November about Making It Happen and The BWN are stand Number 33, So see you there. To learn more book here.

 

  • November 13, 2015

Granny said “Reach for the stars” So I did….

Here our international marketer and Media personality and master class presenter for our Five Lakes Crowne Plaza event speaks about her career, and why you shouldn’t miss this event!

“My grandmother use to say “Kubi, reach for the stars, and you might just get the moon”. I took her words literally, and as a child I couldn’t stop dreaming big. Before branding entered my life I was consumed with dance and it was only after suffering an injury to my knee that I changed direction.
Once they told me I could no longer be a semi-professional dancer, I figured, if I couldn’t be iKubi Springern-front of the camera, I would at least rule behind it!
Reach for the stars, and you might just get the moon…
Granny was right…here’s my portfolio;

So, by the time I was 21 years old I graduated with a BA Hons in Commerical Music & Marketing and secured two internships, the first was in the UK with MTV Europe and the second was with Blue Flame (Puff Daddy’s Marketing & Advertising Agency) in New York. Fast forward 19 years, Lord I am getting old 🙂 and I have developed an international career with a focus on consumer marketing and branding. Working across Entertainment, Fashion, Sports and Lifestyle brands my resume includes Nike, Blackberry, L’Oreal Professionnel, Justin Timberlake/Sony BMG, Manchester United Footballer Rio Ferdinand, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Sleek Hair, OHTV, MOBO Awards and the Sex & the City Movie Premier.

Today, I still have an international career but now I juggle it with being a mother to Angel, my very talkative 3 year old daughter. When I am not on mummy duties, I tend to be in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean or the Middle East, helping consumer brands to internationalise their proposition. Most recently I have been working in the Caribbean with Jamaica National Bank and Caribbean Fashion Week. This summer I am launching Malaysian Fashion House Mimpikita into the UK market, e-tailer DFNG into Africa and one of Asia’s biggest F&B (Food & Beverage) brands into the US market. I am a “money girl” and simply love helping my clients to commercialise their brands – to turn their ideas into a financially successful venture. Delivering brand audits, capacity building, strategic planning and brand deals, I can honestly say…I love my job.

As life would have it, 20 years after injuring my knee, I now have the best of both worlds as a Brand Consultant and Media Personality. Presenting and producing business related TV and radio shows has made me an award winning media personality, and it’s amazing because now instead of doing pierrette’s, I get to use the power of the media, to empower you!”

To say we are excited about Kubi speaking for us, would be an understatement, So spread the word, and lets rocket your success too!

www.shebuildsbrands.com

  • October 1, 2015

Angela Lock talks about Essex FSB and how it could be good for business.

Here Angela Lock from Essex FSB, shares why its the business for her. You can meet Angela at our Essex events, so do feel free to have a chat on how they might be able to help you and your business too.

Small businesses face challenges every day that can put them at risk and which need to be dealt with before they become problematic, cost money or lead to opportunities being lost. All of which can effect business growth, so it’s no wonder that the UK’s leading business organisation, the Federation of Small Businesses who supports businesses across the country and has its 200,000 members in the forefront of their mind when it packs a real punch when it brings its voice to Government in the UK and Europe.

The benefits package that the FSB offers are unrivalled but attracting those small businesses to the membershipAngela Lock from Essex FSB at Essex BWN Womens Networking is no small feat, so bringing that support to the small business community are a team of Member Advisors, self employed / business owners, are the very people FBS seek to encourage to its membership. I’m Angela Lock and I am one of these people, acting as a Membership Advisor as well as looking after my own business interests.

With an early career in retail management I moved into the world of recruitment and later established my own consultancy, specialising in senior retail operations for both major high street and out of town retailers and preferred supplier to brands such as IKEA, Asda, House of Fraser, Hobbs and the Arcadia Group. Also during this period together with my husband developing a property portfolio, before moving into project management supporting businesses in a range of sectors, including a period in Welfare to Work.

Still having an interest in property but also a love of nature and of the outdoors a recent venture has been converting a cart lodge into a rural retreat which has received a Visit England, Quality in Tourism 4 Star Gold Award and so after being a Member of the FSB for a number of years in August 2014 I became the Membership Advisor of North and West Essex and Herts.

Angela visits businesses across her territory and is among the top performing membership advisors for the FSB, speaking at training seminars and network events as well as visiting businesses on a one-to-one basis, playing her part in ensuring that the FSB remains the largest business organisation in the UK

The FSB looks to business people like Angela to raise awareness and ensure business owners are fully briefed when it comes to the support mechanisms, benefits that it has in place as well as activities and events that it organises or sponsors such as The Business Womens Network summer event. Angela herself joined the FSB because ‘It’s very reassuring to know that when a legal issue arises I can immediately turn to the FSB and that advise is just a phone call away. They are on hand to help in so many ways and although I do not have any employees anymore, I have still found the legal team very supportive of a few personal disputes I’ve experienced. Not only that, Tax investigation Insurance is a real must for any business these days and not only does that FSB provide this as part of the Rights of Membership but its provides peace of mind and the reassurance that one needs as the tax team are there every step of the way and deal with HMRC on your behalf’ . The Federation of Small Businesses also adds her voice to the many other of thousands it has when it takes its messages to Government. Messages that come from the membership through Big Voice, the FSB’s online research community. Big Voice is unique amongst the business organisations, and makes the FSB the Voice of Small Business in the UK

The FSB website is a wealth of information for business owners www.fsb.org.uk and to find out about membership call Angela on 07899 843583 or email angela.lock@fsb.org.uk

Thank you for sharing Angela, If you are a member of the BWN (which means you pay no membership fee just for the events you wish to attend this year in one go – so we can spend our time promoting you and your business and not dealing with admin, click here to learn more.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • September 30, 2015

What is the BWN ethos

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. becta with painting at the Essex BWN networking for business women 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.

I want to do all this with no big membership fee. I want us to help business women make Angela Lock FSB at Essex Women Networkingmoney and increase their profit, not spend their profits on overpriced networking.

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.

 

  • July 11, 2015

Exhibiting With The BWN – Your Questions Answered

You are welcome to have a stand at any BWN event. The great ones to exhibit at are our Birthday events, our big summer events in July and our Christmas events in November (We moved them from December because you told us you wanted to shop early for Christmas!)

But what can you expect?

  • You can expect between 30 and 70+ business women in one room to show case your business to.Exhibiting at the BWN Suffolk norfolk essex
  • You are welcome to offer mini sessions of what you do as long as it fits on to 1 table.
  • You are welcome to bring your banner, again as long as it fits next to your table.
  • You can bring your products along.

If you would like confirmation of the room we are in, please feel free to text your area coordinator to confirm, however the reception staff will be more than happy to inform you which room we are in and we aim to post this on our Twitter account on the day too – @BWNcouk

The event starts at 10am but you are welcome to arrive at 9.30am to get set up.

Officially the event finishes at 12.30 however most business women stay on until 1pm.

We request that you do not dismantle your stand until 12.30pm.

Only the first 25 business women to book and pay are guaranteed a speaking slot of 60 seconds, so booking in advance is advisable.

If you have any concerns or further questions contact your area coordinator.

You are able to further benefit by sponsoring any event – £100 (Golden Ticket price £75) includes a 10 minute speaking slot, your business literature and goodies on each place setting, logo on the marketing material for that event and an exhibition stand.

 

Good ideas to make it really good for your business.

If you are exhibiting with us its a good idea to set up some social media mentioning us because everything we see, we are happy to share, like and retweet. All of our social media is accessible on the home page of our website.

Read our guide How To Stand Out An Exhibition. Click here to read it now.

It is a good idea to send out an email to your database letting everyone know where they can learn more about your business and that you will be attending this event.

You are welcome to request a copy of the event poster to add to your marketing in the run up to the event and it’s a great idea to post on the Facebook event page for that event too.

We look forward to helping to promote your business.

 

 

 

  • March 16, 2015