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Why I’ve networked with the BWN for 10 years…

Sarah Travers from Ajax Wealth Management was the second person to buy a 2021 Golden Ticket for our networking and business growth events. As we sent the invoice we noticed that Sarah has been networking with us since 2010!

We asked Sarah why she networked with us so much and this is the reply Sarah sent us.

“I have had the pleasure of being involved with the Business Woman’s Network for 10 years.  Wow! That time has flown by and I have enjoyed every minute of it.  Read on to find out why I still network with the BWN after all these years.

Sarah often gets involved in our campaigns, PR, expert advice sessions and writess

Support

One of the most important aspects for me is that the business women (and men) who regularly attend the BWN are incredibly supportive of each other.  Whether that is helping with ideas, connecting with others, or simply just being a sounding board, the members are genuinely interested in each other’s businesses and want to help them thrive. Who wouldn’t want to meet people like that?

Mandie Holgate, who founded the BWN, also cannot do more to promote and support the BWN members.  She has a passion for helping businesses to succeed and her energy and enthusiasm brings a real buzz to the meetings.

Education

As I am constantly telling my children, we never stop learning and the BWN meetings have excellent guest speakers covering a variety of subjects aimed to support people in business.  I cannot think of a meeting where I have not learned something and always feel it is time well spent.

The confidential Insider group on Facebook is also a great place to ask questions, find resources, learn and grow without any selling at other members.

https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/bwn-insider-benefits/

Fun and Friendship

Over the years I have got to know many lovely people that I have met through the BWN and consider them to be friends as well as business associates.  Although the meetings are for serious business, they also have a generous helping of fun; one of the most memorable for me being a visit from Mary Poppins (aka Nicola Goodchild) who had us all feeling like slightly naughty, giggly children. Laughter really is the best medicine, even for serious business owners!

Networking That Works

When I first started networking, I would dip in and out, attend a meeting here and there then get too busy to attend.  That doesn’t work. I am now a Golden Ticket holder for the Colchester events and make sure I attend every month.  It takes time to build relationships and trust, that can only be achieved by being consistent, being yourself and being reliable.

Sarah travers essex network the business womans network

Golden Ticket holders can also write for the BWN blog and attend other BWN meetings for a minimal fee.  With the meetings being held virtually at present location is not important and I am getting to meet even more fantastic business owners.

If you haven’t tried networking, or have tried in the past but didn’t get anything from it, I wholeheartedly recommend you give the BWN a go, I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Sarah Travers, Independent Financial Adviser, Ajax Wealth Management

To learn more about our Golden Ticket click here

To join us on the confidential mastermind group click here.

Our events are virtual and are the 1st Wed, 2nd Thurs, 3rd Fri and 4th Thurs of every month. We also have exclusive events for our mastermind group – The Insiders that you can watch again whenever you like from top international speakers and business experts.

And Sarah’s investment with us this year has been £190!

  • October 14, 2020

Essex Business Woman Supporting UK Zoo’s, can you help too?

Author and business woman Josie Dom got in touch to tell us about her latest work. Like many in this pandemic it’s about supporting families while running successful businesses. Here Josie shares how a story for her daughter has turned into a passion to support the UK’s Zoos with lots of Sports celebrities getting in on the act too…

When I began writing a new poem, it was intended just as an amusement for myself and my daughter.  That is the way a lot of my stories begin.  After all, as a writer, stories do have to be entertaining and if they don’t entertain me as I write, I probably won’t finish them.  Once I had hit on the idea of animals competing in the Olympics, it would not be fair to exclude any of the sports.  And of course, I had animals clamouring in my head to be a part of the fun!  So, they all became part of the poem and are very happy about it.

Usually when I finish writing a story or a poem, I put it aside for a while until I’m in a position to make it into a book with illustrations – it’s always the illustrations which slow me down!  However, this poem came with its own time constraints and deserved to see the light of day sooner than my usual process would allow.  As it was all about the missing Olympics, I wanted to get it out into the world at the time when we would normally be watching the Games.

I keep an ear open whilst I work, listening to the radio, and of course heard about the plight of zoos who were struggling to meet their operating costs due to lockdown.  It was then that I realised my poem could get out into the world and do some good at the same time. 

Various methods of doing this played in my mind for a few days (animation – expensive, me reading to camera – boring) and then I hit on the idea of having the poem read by sports people – experts in their sport for each individual sport’s verse. 

Asking famous sports stars was daunting – would they think I’m crazy?  But in the end, I realised that it doesn’t matter if they think that.  What matters is that I can do something good here and being shy wasn’t going to get anything done.  I swallowed my pride and asked anyway.

Luckily, I already knew Wendy Smith (Paralympian basketball player) who had in fact helped me by serving tea and cakes at the launch event for my Imagination & Creation Workshops.  And Wendy was the first athlete to record a video for me.  Following which she introduced me to her athlete friends, many of whom have also recorded videos (or promised to record one).  I started to believe that I could do this!

I have had a short animation produced because I wanted something to show interested athletes and encourage donations. A fundraiser campaign is now in place on GoFundMe and all donations will be gratefully received.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/animalympics-helps-zoos

And more information can be found on my website:

It would be great if you could share this article and get involved. Thank you.

Phone Number: 01787 474442 / 07941 755185     

Email:            josiedom@josiedom.co.uk

We look forward to hearing how Josie gets on. Do feel free to share this article and get involved!

  • July 13, 2020

Business Cards, Data Protection and Networking – What you need to know.

Robyn Banks – Data protection expert – as Robyn likes to say, “Robyn Banks is my name not my profession!”

We do our best to put the finest quality experts in front of you our business women (and increasingly business men) because we want to ensure whatever the law or the trend you are bang up to date.

Here Robyn Banks from Adavista shares some essential information for every business owner around data protection legislation, networking and business cards.

I have recently been made aware that there’s still a lot of misunderstanding about the impact of the UK data protection legislation on businesses, particularly when business owners are networking. 

At The BWN I know they strive to ensure that they act appropriately with the data they hold on behalf of their members and contacts.  (I’m The Data Protection Specialist that Mandie Holgate – Founder of The Business Womans Network and her team use for their own compliance.) The success and building of the businesses of our “members” is fundamental to our ethics and every month I network with The BWN I do my best to ensure everyone is getting it right.

As a data protection implementation specialist I know how the law is supposed to work however I can also see how complicated and confusing it can appear for business women.

When Mandie and I spoke recently I decided to write this article to give some guidance to remind business owners of the protocols around networking and business cards. (These are the “rules” that I help The BWN, Mandie and her team follow.) 

Look out for this smiley face because Robyn is always happy to talk about data protection and your business. Robyn networks with us in Essex, North London and Suffolk.

Networking is big business in today’s corporate world as we all strive to take our place in the workplace.  For many small business owners (and even some larger corporates) networking and learning about other people’s businesses and how they can complement our own is a vital, or even the only, marketing tool we use. 

To help a person remember us and what we do, we hand out business cards at networking events.  A business card holds personal data as defined in UK data protection legislation, including the UK Abridged “GDPR” – but the concepts around the protocols of utilising this data have been around in previous legislation too –namely the Data Protection Act 1998.  The new legislation of May 2018 did not change these protocols. 

If I am given a business card at a networking event, then that is “consent” from the individual to contact them and either

a) seek more information on what they do.

or

b) market my services to them. 

This I can do once without seeking further consent from them. If they do not wish to receive further information from me, then they should send a polite email asking me to desist from sending them “stuff”. 

If I ignore this request and send more, they should ensure I have received their request to stop!  If I have and still persist in sending them information, then they have the right to take this further with the  supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). 

ICO are very unlikely to take any action, even investigate, if the person has not “unsubscribed” and ensure I have received the “unsubscribe”!

I was at a BWN event recently where the respect for data was taken even one step further  – and for the record, it was not just because I was there! 

One lady present at the event really did not feel comfortable being included in any of the photos taken by the event photographer  – and so she wasn’t.  No fuss, just noted and no follow up needed as no pictures of the lady concerned have been included in any of the “publicity” for the event. That’s respecting Data.

The key point here is to be professional and not use a misunderstanding of the law to “put down” others  – especially competitors.  However well meant it just causes aggro and can be avoided if everyone respects the protocols in the first place.

Let me sign off by saying that there are still a lot of business owners out there who think they have the premium knowledge on data protection impacts on business – only to show themselves up as non-professional in their approach.  This then impacts more on their business than those they are trying to “harm” as it damages their credibility and reputation more than those they were trying to be clever about.

Data protection is not a new thing, business owners need to be interested in it, is. If in doubt ask an expert not someone that “heard a talk once.” I find that the companies (and I include Mandie’s here) that get it right easily are those that were already getting it right.

I know that The BWN does not add people to it’s data base and uses platforms like Mailchimp to ensure when they do get in touch they are doing it in an ethical, professional and legal way – something that the law now looks to enforce, I feel that the smart businesses already have a respectful approach and that makes my job easier!

I attend many BWN events and I’m happy to have a chat anytime. I will also be one of the experts on hand on the 20th of March at The BWN’s 11th birthday so feel free to pose questions on the day too.

  • March 2, 2020

Networking & Collaboration In Action

We love it when Golden Ticket members* write for our website. It’s a great chance for us to see networking and business from women in businesses viewpoint.

Here Helen Clyde and Alexandra Stanley share why collaborating with other businesses doesn’t always mean you are obliged to buy each other’s product and why that’s good for business.

We met back in late 2019 at The BWN event in Colchester and immediately made a connection.

We met again in January and set a date in the diary to meet for lunch.

During our conversation we learnt about each other’s businesses and how our week had been, which then led to brainstorming ideas on how we could support each other.

“Alexandra mentioned that she was looking to set up social media workshops that gave business owners an overview of the basics to get them started for an affordable price. Social media is an area that I needed to up my game so I realised that with my Utility Warehouse team and local business owners that I knew, I could help make this happen. I offered my home as a venue to keep costs down and off I went inviting people to attend” Helen.

“Our meeting was successful. I had this idea for the workshops and together we turned it into a reality. Once Helen had sent the invitations, I set up a WhatsApp group for those people to communicate with.  Helen had kindly offered a free venue with tea and coffee thrown in which I was grateful for as this is often a stumbling block when setting pricing.  The turn-out was great, we had a room of seven business owners all looking to improve their Social Media skills and the buzz was electric.” Alexandra.

We both gained from this experience. Helen improved her Social Media knowledge and went away with an action plan and Alexandra had the opportunity to deliver something she had been looking to expand into within her business.   

“On the day a couple of people were unable to attend so Helen offered for me to have her house as a venue again. She then wrote a recommendation on my Facebook business page which resulted in more of her connections wishing to join the next workshop”. Alexandra

When attending networking events, you don’t always have to feel obliged to buy from the people you connect with as there are lots of ways that you can still support each other. Having a 1:1 with someone can result in so much more.

If you would like to find out more about our collaboration, please feel free to get in contact with either of us.

Helen Clyde – Utility Warehouse – 07789 000209

Alexandra Stanley – Alexandra Stanley Social Media – 07769 805579

We love that Helen and Alexandra are seeing the deeper level of benefits of networking in their business. In our experience we often see what starts out as a 1 to 1 and then a little bit of partnership can quickly escalate into some great opportunities.

Getting to know other business owners is an important part of networking and you can always arrive early or leave late and sit and have lunch and get to know people at our events. We won’t disturb you.

Helen from Utility Warehouse is exhibiting at our 11th Birthday event on the 20th March.

With a Golden Ticket it is just £13.50 to exhibit and without it is £35 and that includes 1 ticket. To learn more click here

The Business Womans Network has lots of ways to support your business this March including our 11th birthday event.
https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/colchester/

*Anyone that walks through the door is a member, with a golden ticket you get discounts on attending our events, all BWN offers and a chance to write for our blog free of charge. To book your Golden Ticket for 2020 speak to your coordinator or head here.

  • March 2, 2020

Networking doesn’t work!

How can one person walk out of an event and think “That was awesome and so good for business!”

And another walk out and think “What a waste of 2 hours, that did nothing for my business!”

How is that possible?

Who is right?

The BWN has hosted thousands of events across the East of England (and are now in London and Warwickshire too and we never thought we would say this but thanks to Covid 19 we are now seeing business owners from often 7 counties and 3 countries attending our events – recently we had guests from Ireland, Dubai, America, Sri Lanka, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgshire, Lincolnshire, Hertfordshire, London, Warwickshire and Kent!) Our events for women in business around networking and business growth and are now in our 12th year and yet we still hear comments from both extremes. (Mostly we hasten to add exceptionally positive ones with women saying it’s the one thing in the month they will never miss.)

So what makes networking powerful and how can you ensure it wasn’t a waste of two hours?

No one bought anything from me!

If no one is buying from you it is not the fault of the networking organisation, it’s your fault. (Sorry to be blunt) We actually heard someone say “The people in this group don’t spend money” and the very next conversation our coordinator had that day was with a woman in business who told us that she realised that in a year and half she had made just over £50k of sales from our network alone. (She is not alone in results like that we have members making over £100k of sales every year with us! Someone was definitely spending money!)

So how could it be so different for these 2 business women in the same room of people?

A number of things impact on your networking success for sales;

  1. You have to be comfortable with your price. If your prices are too low then you will East of england networking sue cookmake people nervous that what you sell “isn’t very good”. Interestingly if you are comfortable with your price we rarely hear of a price that is too high, because if you know you offer an exceptional experience, care deeply about your customers, deliver exceptional standards and results, then people will pay. So yes, get comfortable with your price. (Interestingly it is often a conversation we see on the Insiders “I’m scared to put my prices up!” So if you are an Insider you can do some market research and test your pricing there confidentially.) If you aren’t comfortable with your prices, your potential customers won’t be either! Learn more about the Insiders click here.
  2. You have to be comfortable with your product. Another reason that you aren’t selling (or people aren’t buying – depending on your viewpoint) is because you aren’t comfortable with what you offer. (Again the Insiders is somewhere we see people hone their offerings to get this just right.) If you are trying to sell something that no one wants then it’s going to be tough. On the other hand if you use your networking to carry out some market research with the people that you have grown to know, like and trust then you can hone your offerings to sell more. If you are comfortable with your products (and love them!) the passion will rub off on your network.
  3. You are there to build relationships not empires. Okay so we are more than happy to help you buildBuilding relationships at The Business Womans Network your empire (as big as you like!) but before you can build empires you need to build a network. And if you speak to the most powerful and successful women in the world they will tell you there biggest mistake they have made in their careers was that they thought they could stop networking. Networking builds relationships. It nurtures your reputation. It ensure people know who you are, what you do and why you do it. They are people you want to enable to see they can trust you and if you don’t turn up every month to every event, that can’t happen. As our Founder Mandie Holgate often says networking is a marathon not a sprint. (There are things you can do to speed up results, but you will need to turn up regularly to achieve great sales results and create new opportunities for your business.)
  4. Control your brand. We hear people say “It’s so frustrating that people don’t get what we can do for them” it’s not other peoples job to understand what you do, it is your job to help people to appreciate how you can help. An elevator pitch is a great opportunity to break down the barriers to what people think about your business and your products. Again you need to do this every month to ensure that after each elevator pitch you can find out what people thought. Did they understand what you do? What didn’t they understand? What did they think it was all about? On the Insiders Facebook page you will find a great worksheet to help you ensure your sales pitch in the elevator pitch section is spot on and our Founders course on elevator ptiches – “Supercharge your 60 seconds – how to sell well in 60 seconds” has been proven time and time again to work. One business woman said she had only done half the course and was already selling more at networking events – Learn more and buy here.
  5. If you are not in the room, you can’t control the conversation around your business. We cbe visible at The BWNan not stand gossip. However we’ve heard conversations in the room like these “I hear they aren’t trading any more” “I hear they don’t do that any more” “I don’t think they work with people like you anymore” If you aren’t in the room, you can’t control the conversation. Gossip does happen so if you want your brand to be positively represented you need to be visible. Great networking enables you to visible. (Even if you aren’t talking a great deal!) And as a side note, as a good networker we have fed back to the business that wasn’t in the room the incorrect gossip that was being spread. It was most definitely not an easy thing to do however as a great networker you want to help your network achieve great things and you should want to protect their businesses too.  We also don’t tolerate gossip or clickiness at our events and our coordinators are taught how to ensure our events remain inclusive for all. Some conversations are not easy in business, it does not mean you shy away from them. (Again it’s a great chance to build your reputation and credibility as business women appreciate how much  you will stand up for and protect their business, their brand and their reputations.)
  6. Listening. The business women that we see do really well are often the ones that don’t speak a lot about their needs or business. They are the ones that are actively listening. They are likely to be thinking “How can I help this person?” networking success manual“Who would it be good for this person to know?” “I will follow up with this person like this”To get the best out of networking know in the back of your mind what you want out of that networking event and then side step that to be on every other businesses agenda.
  7. Follow up. Those that do well out of networking, follow up just the way they said they would. Building relationships is the most important thing you can do to grow your business and your network. The bigger the network, the more opportunities, the more potential clients, the more knowledge, etc, etc. Build your reputation as someone that can be trusted by doing what you said you would do. Create a clear follow up strategy that you stick to – our BWN success manual can really help with this. You can buy your copy here
  8. New. The business women that benefit the greatest from networking know that it is not just about sales, reputation and building strong relationships in a strong network. It is also about learning new skills and knowing what is going on in the business world. When we are busy and profitable as a business we can take the decision to drop the networking. However you can get as much benefit out of the free flowing conversations after the structured content as you can out of the masterclass because other business women will know what’s happening in the US (If it’s over there, it will be over here soon and you can be ahead of the wave!). You can find out about latest legislation that may have slipped by your offices attention. You can even find that another business woman faces exactly the same issues as you and have ideas on how to fix it. Stay in the office and yes the to do list shrinks, but you don’t get the opportunities that aren’t so clearly definable. And we’ve seen this first hand be the case for literally hundreds and hundreds of business women. As one business woman said to us, “Yes the BWN helps me makes sales, but it also keeps me sane and stops me from living and working in a bubble!” We love how we saw 2 Tropic Ambassadors in a virtual networking event give advice to a new Tropic Ambassador on how to sell more – all in the same company, should be considered as competition, all working together – that’s powerful networking!
  9. In it to win it. It will always make us a little sad to see someone attend for 3 months Networking - don't hide(a whole 7.5 hours of their 90 (ish) days) and get to know people and then they don’t make it one month, no big deal right? Except that is the month that the person you’ve had a general chit chat with has decided they are ready to buy and you aren’t there! The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real on this occasion! We’ve seen so many business owners miss out from VA’s, Accountants and printers, to cosmetics companies, web designers to residual income opportunities. It’s shocking how easy it happens and depressing how easy it is to fix. If you are going to network, network every month and don’t let anything move it. It is as important as any other aspect of your business. You wouldn’t miss seeing the dentist, would you? Why because you want to look after your teeth all of the time.

So can a network be good for one and not another? We think there is enough space for all of the networks and that ensures every business owner can network in a style that suits them. We also think that some business women don’t appreciate the full value of networking to grow a successful business and alas as the saying goes “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” And for us, our careers have rocketed since we networked regularly at The BWN and yet we never miss the events we say we will attend. We know the true value of networking and how to maximise the benefits for you too. We are happy to have a chat about that anytime so you can get maximum benefit too.

If you are struggling we have the following additional learning to help your business;

Course – How to find your target audience and get them buying

Course – How to rocket your confidence

Course – Highly effective ways to rocket sales with no cost / low cost marketing strategies.

Course – Supercharge your 60 seconds.

Course – How to be a powerful successful public speaker  – anywhere!

Course – Foundation blocks to a highly successful business.

Book – Your Daily Dose of Business Woman’s Confident And Success

Book – Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life.

Book – The BWN Networking Success Manual – the genius book to get the most out of networking.

Book – Taking Control of your mind – lifehacks to resilience, confidence and success.

You can learn more and buy the courses here.

And you can buy the books here.


This article was written by Mandie Holgate, Founder of The Business Womans Network, International speaker and author, her books are highly acclaimed by business leaders, leading authors, a good few celebrities and business owners around the world. Fight the fear (the book that looks at the top 12 fears that impact on success) and Taking Control Of Your Mind are just 2 of the must read books that make business and success easier. You can meet Mandie at the  Colchester and Braintree events and she pops into as many events across our network as she can each month now delivering an hour free of coaching and mentoring for all of our guests. Mandie is happy to connect with all women in business so feel free to do this via her website – www.mandieholgate.co.uk

  • January 2, 2020

A Woman’s Struggle becomes her Passion

Business Woman, Aly Wilson from Red Rocket Studio attends our Essex Networking events and sometimes steps in as corporate photographer too. We appreciate that a successful business and career relies heavily on good health (physical, emotional and mental) and really appreciate Aly’s honesty. What do you do to look after yourself so that you are ready for any change in your business life?

Aly Wilson’s passion for swimming with a difference!

A few years ago, I was in so much pain, I couldn’t do up my bra, but now I’m over halfway to swimming the channel! Everyone knows someone struggling with pain and / or depression so let me tell you my story as it might be able to help you or a loved one in a similar situation.  

I started swimming regularly in my early twenties as I knew it would be good for a bad back. I used to do gymnastics, trampolining (as well as coaching them) and a whole host of other sports but after a skiing accident at 15 my back got worse and had to stop. I loved it and used to get up at 5.45 am regularly to go for an early morning swim before work and sometimes managed to fit one in in my work lunch break.

Fast forward a few years and depression had made an annoying entry into my life. I still swam but mornings were out for me, so I just managed to fit it in where I could. I knew it would help and with back trouble, that and a bit of cycling and Pilates were the only sports I could really do. It really helped with my mental health, and with being bullied in my awful NHS job, it was one of my lifelines.

In 2009 I did the Great East Swim which was a mile in open water. I’d never done any open water before and it was great. I promptly booked in to do the one the next year. I had started having some shoulder problems (rotator cuff tendonitis / impingement) after a scooter accident the year before – some nice driver thought it would be a great idea to see me flying over his car bonnet – which had affected my left shoulder as I’d landed on it, and then out of nowhere my right one started playing up too and got so bad I had to unfortunately withdraw from the next Great East Swim.

This obviously came with extra issues related to mental health. Swimming was good for me, my mental health and my back but the pain I was in meant I couldn’t swim, which made for one big vicious circle.

After various injections the left one calmed down but the right one got so bad, I couldn’t drive for 5 months, had trouble getting dressed – doing up a bra was a complete nightmare – and even pulling up clothes I had to done one-handed. It affected my thumb as well and actually found it more debilitating than my usual back pain. This one got to the point of being a frozen shoulder. No amount of injections seemed to work on this one (which I didn’t really want anyway but didn’t feel I had a lot of choice at the time) and it was only through some intensive private treatment and a lot of money spent that I started to improve.

Since then – around 2012 or so – I started swimming again. There were times I had to pull back on it, times when I doggedly wanted to swim so could be seen doing one-handed back stroke because the other shoulder was too sore, times when I didn’t do any at all, so never got any momentum up. For those who struggle with exercise, I do encourage you to do something. Sometimes I would only be in for slow 15-minute swim, but it still gets you doing something which can help heaps with the mindset.

Eventually about 2018 I started again properly. A few blips with shoulders and viruses have put me back now and again but I finally feel I’m built up my swimming mojo again! I just have to go with the flow, and I know there are times I need to be gentle or lay off for a bit. The shoulders are way improved but still have their little grumbles!

Last year, 2018, I was looking into where I could open water swim as I wanted to give that a serious go! I’d seen “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs” who had covered open water swimming as a treatment for depression. The only place I knew of was Gosfield Lake at Halstead which is a good 45 minutes from Wivenhoe. After some searching, I found a new place called Curve Wake Park which had recently opened in St Osyth and offered open water swimming, about a 25 minute drive from us! So, I started there and went a few times last year and regularly this year. When the water’s a bit cooler the staff always say they don’t know how I can go in without a wetsuit! I also went regularly to the Brightlingsea Lido which whilst it’s not ‘officially’ open water, is colder as it’s unheated. On my first swim of the season in Brightlingsea it was 15 degrees! I got out and felt a bit wobbly so decided it best to swim when it was a couple of degrees higher! J A proper swimming wetsuit is on my “to get soon” shopping list! That way I can keep going for longer when it’s much cooler!

Recently I saw the Aspire Channel Swim advertised. This is a challenge to swim 22 miles (wherever you are able – open water or pool) in 12 weeks in aid of Aspire – a charity helping those with spinal injury. So, I signed up. At the time of writing I’m at 13 miles, with 9 miles to go. I’m absolutely loving doing it.

We go to S Africa every year to see my mother-in-law and there’s the biggest open water event in the world held in Pietermaritzburg called the Midmar Mile (which isn’t that far from where we stay and happens to be on whilst we’re there) … so I signed up for that.

I’m also going to be signing up for the Great East Swim which used to be 1 mile, but now does a couple of shorter events for children as well as 2 miles 5k and 10k. I’m still deciding on the distance as I want to do the 5k but want to be sure I’d be good to do it! I only swam my first 2k a week ago … but know I have until June to prepare! For both these (Great East Swim and Midmar, I can raise sponsorship for my own choice of charities and I already have those in mind).

I know there are other local events and will be looking into joining into those too – the chilled out Mill to Mill from Dedham to Flatford is one.

I’d love it and really appreciate it if anyone can support me in my Aspire Channel Swim. “

Here at The Business Womans Network we help look after every aspect of a woman’s success. Her skills, her mindset, her connections and we are even here for their personal lives too. It matters to us greatly that you get to work with quality people that will respect you and your business too. We know that with the awesome structure to our events, there is time to build great relationships that really support a woman in businesses success.

Get in touch to learn more and the Insiders is an awesome support and business growth mastermind group that you could love too!

  • November 5, 2019

Award winning members in the press

We’ve had a bumper crop of good news already this Autumn with lots of our members winning awards AND featuring in the press.

First there’s Michelle Taylor and Sarah Keen following a great trend we are very proud of by being Top 100 Small Businesses in the national campaign Small Business Saturday featured in The Guardian Newspaper. This is the 3rd year in a row that BWN members have won this accolade, pretty impressive considering how many businesses there are in the UK right?

Sarah owns Lightbulb Chiropractic also features in the Gazette talking about how to succeed in business when you are a military wife. Learn more about Sarah here and read this great article here.

award winning business woman sarah keen at the business womans network events for education and growth
Congratulations Sarah Keen!

Keep your eyes peeled because Celebrant Michelle Taylor has her day with Small Business Saturday coming up too. Michelle has helped us celebrate our big 10th birthday and many others with her awesome ceremonies for corporate events. She also features on TV this month! Learn more about Funky Celebrant here or meet Sarah and Michelle at our Colchester events or on the Insiders.

Multi award winning Michelle Taylor – The Funky Celebrant.

Not content with winning with Small Business Saturday Michelle features as a top 50 business women of Essex with Living Magazine along with our Founder Mandie Holgate, Anne Cope from Authentico Paint and Josie Dom Author of the Lum and Friends. They all featured in October and November editions at the launch at the stunning Braxted Park.

Mandie Holgate author of fight the fear and founder of the business womans network featuring in red magazine talking about big life decisions.
Our Founder Mandie Holgate also features in this November’s Red magazine, the national glossy that women love. Mandie is talking about how to overcome fear and make those big decisions like setting up your own business. The ideas are taking from Mandie’s work as a coach for teams and individuals and her book Fight the Fear You can buy you copy now and sign up to Redonline here.
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  • October 20, 2019

Coordinator’s Love your business – here’s why

We are very proud of our coordinators. They care passionately about your success and work hard to deliver the very best networking and business growth events in your area.  Here we hear from Nadine Gamble from Utility Warehouse who hosts our Tendring events and has jumped at the opportunity to host our Bury St Edmunds events from September too!

Why do you love the BWN so much?

There are many reasons that I love the BWN so much, I had never been to a networking event of any kind andNadine Gamble networking at the Tendring BWN in Essex helping women in business the BWN was my first foray into this world.  Initially for me it was the timing and the financial aspects that appealed, that was before I got to know more about the ethos of BWN.  So many other networking groups run very early in the morning (not suitable when you’re a single mum that needs to get children to school)  and often come packaged with some rather steep membership fees and rules.   The fact that the BWN doesn’t charge a membership and doesn’t incur a penalty if you can’t make a meeting is the flexibility that I need to have.

How does it help your business?

The BWN has helped me in so many areas of my business.   The biggest,  aside from the natural progression of gaining new customers, is it has helped my confidence levels rise in general which has helped me enormously with my work.   Just this week I hosted my businesses regional monthly meeting with around 40 people, I would never have said yes to doing this had I not had the positive experiences with the BWN.

For what reasons do you love being a coordinator?

I wanted to try my hand at being a BWN co-ordinator to develop and push my own personal skills further.  Public speaking has always been something that has filled me with dread, even the 60 second pitches would scare me.  Rather than running away from something that made me uncomfortable I knew that the only way I could get better  was to face it head on and actively look to improve myself by taking on new challenges.  I love being the person responsible for giving business women a great morning, filled with relevant information that is key to them not only in business but on a personal level too.  Being able to connect women who could really help each other out is a great feeling.

Would you recommend it to business women and why?

Hosting the BWN events has really helped me to grow as a person and develop my skills.  Being totally honest, there were moments when I wondered why on earth I had taken this on, and thought there were some things that a technophobe like me would never get the hang of! However there was, and continues to be as much support as I need in order to make a success of my events.  I would recommend to any business women who is thinking about hosting a BWN networking group to stop thinking, and start doing!  Obviously it is great for raising your own profile, but the biggest reward for me is bringing other ladies together who can really benefit from each other.

What inspired you to take on the role of a second venue? It’s not even in the same county!

On a personal level this year has been particularly challenging to me, but without a doubt I always feel 100% better when I have hosted a BWN meeting.  The amazing women, the support, the knowledge, the learning, the inspiration,  it all goes such a long way in keeping me motivated within myself.  Seeing a group of like minded women connecting with each other is wonderful.  When I heard that a new location was in need of a host I knew that it was the next step in my BWN journey, it excites me that I can now bring to BSE what I have to Tendring.

What do you want to do for Suffolk business women?

I want to spread the BWN love and build a really solid group of business women in the Bury St Edmunds area.  Somewhere ladies can feel comfortable not pressured, empowered not judged, motivated and inspired to lead their best lives, personally and within their businesses.

How do you see your role?

Facilitating this, bringing people together and providing them with speakers who will add value to each and every woman who attends.  I want people to leave my events feeling awesome, feeling that they have invested a few hours into themselves and their businesses that will continue to have lasting effects.

What is your best/happiest moment of hosting a BWN event?

My first ever event was in November 2018, and I was terrified!  But I was also excited! 10 years networking for women in business It went brilliantly, and for the first time I allowed myself to believe that I could actually do this!  But my happiest moment from being involved with the BWN has got to be when I was poorly in December 2018.  Mandie sent me a video clip of all the BWN ladies singing, just for me as I couldn’t be there due to my incarceration in the local hospital.  For me it sums up the true ethos of the BWN.  Yes, we are all about business, and effectively helping each other, but we are also about looking out for each other, and that for me is where it all begins.

  • August 1, 2019

Nadine get’s in on the act and we love it!

It’s not just our members that call us their business school (as well as their network organisation.) Our coorindators also love that they get to learn new skills to grow their own businesses.

We often get asked to look at blogging for business and how to get people;

  • To read blogs
  • Action on them
  • And get people to buy.

So to see our very own Nadine Gamble from Utility Warehouse create her first blog we had to share it (Well some of it, to read her first full blog head over to her new website here.)

So, as you may have already guessed my name is Nadine, and I thought it’s about time I hauled myself into modern day times and delved into this new fangled world of blogging!

I’m going to be honest here, it’s something that’s been on my ‘must get this done’ list for at least a year now, yes, you read that right, twelve whole months of pondering how to even get started in this mysterious world of which I have managed to successfully avoid up until now!

Not that I had gone out of my way to avoid it, rather that I have never actually known exactly what blogging is, or how to go about it, so perched very happily within my comfort zone I have been shooting the occasional glance over my shoulder into the blogging world, but never dared to venture further!

I’m also involved with a fabulous group of ladies who make up The Business Womans Network, hosting my own events for local business women in my area (Tendring) to come together to learn and support each other in a nurturing environment where friendships and business relationships can flourish. Empowering women to live their best lives is something I am passionate about, and I love that more and more women are finding their own way in the world, challenging the prehistoric beliefs that it is only men that can have it all.

Now I’m guessing that you’re probably going to get a little bored of reading all about me, so I’m going to sign off now, and each week I will be sharing with you not only some of the randomness that goes on inside my head, but also some really excellent information about how I help people save money, make money, and grow their businesses. I would really appreciate it if you could share my blog site and if you would like any further information about anything that I do, or even just some random questions, please feel free to get in touch!

Thanks to Nadine for letting us share her first blog. You see as women in business we never stop learning and to see our coordinators jumping in and going for it, is awesome. If you wish to learn new skills and network with like minded business women in a relaxed environment do join us. We would love to share your blog articles too!

  • May 29, 2019

Jenny is at it again!

What we love about our business women that attend our networking events is that they don’t just care about their own success they care about other business women’s success too.

Many of our members also have very busy personal lives and yet they find the time to raise money for charity.

We love that!

Jenny has jumped out of a plane, crawled across the Maldon Mud (with Pängel wings on!) and now she is wing walking!

Yes Wing Walking!

It’s even more important to us that we shout about Jenny, because;

  • Jenny is one of our members – we love to shout about those that attend every month.
  • Jenny is one of our coordinators – Jenny hosts our South Essex networking and business building events and cares deeply about her own members success.
  • Jenny is raising money for Farleigh’s Hospice here in Essex – We’ve created 2 nude calendars to raise funds for Farleighs, raising over £8000 so we are really pleased to see Jenny raising money for a local charity. We have discounted rates for charities and other ways we can support them because we appreciate how important their work is.
  • Jenny is wing walking in memory of an Essex Business Woman who we still miss dearly. Stella Bradbrook was a big giver to her local community and worked tirelessly to support local. Stella really appreciated buying local’s importance. We miss her very much and our own Stella Women page is in dedication to her.

How can you not find a fiver for Jenny!

If you an find a fiver here’s the link to donate and learn more.

If you can we would be very grateful and you can find out how Jenny gets on because Jenny attends lots of our Essex events. We are sure Jenny will share some exciting stories with us!

Are you doing your bit for a local charity? If so we can feature you in our newsletter, social media and on our Stella Women page too!

  • May 25, 2019
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