Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 19th November 2015.
The end of an era!! After more than 10 years this was the last meeting at Warley Park Golf Club .
It produced the biggest turnout that I can recall for many a month. We were 24 members strong and together with Robert Dennis, the representative SNAP the Charity which we have chosen to sponsor, 25 in all.
The meeting could well have been symbolised by the Mask of Janus; looking both back over our development to date and forward to a new chapter at our new location at Marygreen Manor.
By the time the doors were opened at 6.30am there were 9 of us bursting to get into the building promptly, followed by another 5 members intent on getting a seat for the best show in town.
The Ed Slot was very effectively presented by Kim Redwood-Lee. Her subject was referrals and her point was that you cannot expect referrals come to you, magically or otherwise. She emphasised the importance of being positive in pursuing your referrals and “thinking referrals” when you are at social events etc. If you are perceived as the “go to” person, people will however go to you anyway. This will be the subject of the next education presentation which will be second of our initial 4 presentations.
As we approached the 60 second round all of the main players were in place; the Naughty Corner was inhabited by Messrs Caldon, Smallcombe, Bullock and Booth. Sometime member Richard Willis was replaced by Mrs. W aka Gill. What with Marcelle, Lucinda, the 2 Jo’s and Mrs Redwood-Lee there was a positive coterie of neo–suffragettists to grace our ranks and be more than a match for the Naughty Corner. The School of Whimsy was in place and represented by all members. including its newest recruit Christian Cuvelier.
There were sartorial displays of peacock elegance rubbing shoulders with the vulgar and garish. David Plumley wore yellow socks a blue pully and a blue laptop; Paul had a shirt of small check and divine inter-reaction of colours. I have to confess to wearing a “BNI red” shirt.
With the team fully assembled, virtually injury free, what did this produce by way of 60 second offerings.
The School of Whimsy produced a Nick Cooke musing of dubious relevance. On a journey round the South Circular he saw a lorry bearing the slogan “our food is great-just listen our customers”. Alan Shaw produced a reference to a 1930s house with a turret and a property that needed a new lift (the mechanical type I believe); our Pilgrim was looking forward to Christmas and a gift of years added to your life……one of his vouchers of course to stop smoking. Last but by no means least, Christian Cuvelier, “NCR” he acronymed and suggested that we look out for people who wanted to upgrade their paper. I am not sure what our Whimsyists will think of MaryGreen Manor. It apparently has a ghost.
Our feminine contingent were, as always, the most focused. Lucinda recommended outsourcing. It was good advice, particularly from someone who can probably out-sauce anyone; although the 2 Jo’s were not to be outdone in vying for the Christmas market. Jo Jones has vouchers for all sorts of activities that might be useful to get rid of hangovers after Boxing Day whereas Jo Eastwood wants to be part of the problem by introducing all different types of liquor and explaining it so effectively before our very eyes. Kim Redwood-Lee was selling herself like they sell fairy liquid. You probably only need one squeeze of her organisation rather than two squeezes of the cheaper imitators. Gill Willis was inspirational for her first outing, talking about targeting your audience, telling actual stories and direct calls to action. It was Marcelle who stole the show however with her illustration of a blue and pink diamond respectively valued at £48 and £28 million that a Mr Lau bought for his daughter aged 7. She got it all right in her setting out her stall and for that Nick Cooke awarded her the Oscar. I think however her success was, by referring to the said Mr Lau spending such sums of money on a 7 year old, in making a really good case for Socialism, nay Communism.
Pick of the Naughty Corner was Stuart Smallcombe who claimed to have been “out on the tools”. My initial reaction to this description was that he was explaining how he revealed lots of idiots but apparently it was far grander than that. Stage one of the Royal Opera House project in which he is involved, involves disconnecting prior to demolition. No need to explain Stuart…any child who plays with Lego knows that! Dean Caldon has found himself inundated by the effect of Barney and blown down fences. The good news is that he is probably going to link up with Lewis who was talking about fences only last week. As for the rest of the Naughty Corner, Howard Bullock presented himself before us resplendent in brown shorts and hairy legs. It really is difficult to concentrate on what he says. Similarly Paul Booth, resplendent in a “gob smackingly” checked shirt only managed to divert us from his attire by holding up a book of tax tables. Perhaps one ice breaker too far?
Richard Reed was into diversity, good deals both for skiing on the one hand and cruising on the other. Pride of place however for entertainment was Peter Hood, Apart from the tag line “no fix, no fee” he felt it necessary to explain that when you turn up at a house and a leak has disappeared, he tries to make it come back…. no wonder they call it “wet work”.
So it was that we finished the 60 second round and received the Meeting Secretaries Report. Over £20,000.00 worth of business written
And over 20 referrals. The Referrals Round that followed after breakfast reflected this and good business was passed.
Suggested birthday present for Terry Maylin should be an efficient alarm clock but the upside was that we were spared the recruitment session. You are not off the hook that easily however, study your emails to make sure that you are clear as to who and what you are searching for and who and what you are telephoning and inviting as visitors.
Last breakfast rather than last supper, was up to its usual high standard.
There followed the presentation by Rob Dennis on behalf of SNAP. This comprised a short video, an explanation and questions answered. It was all done in a very professional way and we now have a line of communication between Richard Reed our Committee Chairman and Rob for all future activities relating to SNAP. The one conclusion to be drawn from Rob’s presentation was that we probably made the right choice of charity to support in the coming months.
It would be great to have as good a turn out next week as this week. Don’t forget however that we are at a different venue, if you don’t know where it is, look it upon the website.
I look forward to seeing you all next week.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 12th November 2015.
23 present! This good turnout included our new member, Steven Roach, from Phoenix FM. He was duly inducted following the introductions.
There then followed our new format designed to deal with an Education Presentations of which today was the first. We almost went straight into the 60 second round which had a theme of Ice Breakers when the going gets tough at dinner parties.
The Naughty Corner was packed, so much so that Paul Booth had to retreat to the opposite side of the room. Messrs. Bullock, Smallcombe and Caldon were joined by Richard Willis.
We are all pleased to see Marcelle back who also was almost dragged into the Naughty Corner.
One stunning revelation related to the School of Whimsy. In Alan Shaw’s absence (operation on leg) they looked thin on the ground but I kick myself for having stared the obvious in the face for so many weeks now. Christian Cuvelier has been in the closet of this School of Irrelevance but today he came out. His 60 seconds was devoted to what his company did not do. This included T Shirts and book restoration although he always tries to find good homes for such enquiries. He might yet develop his influence amongst this esoteric group. He is sort of following in the French School of existentialism. What of the fellow inmates of said school; well Brian Painter was on to smoking again, reciting chemical compounds with undoubted glee. Nick Cooke’s Ice Breaker, asking about cracks in the living room, brought him an Oscar from the admiring Howard Bullock who came up with the most memorable line “the ones who mumble crumble”. Potentially the most boring person in the world turns out to be Lewis Hackney who can rattle on about Marshals products until the cows come home and talking about cows coming home, they only stray if fences go down and in the high winds that are likely in the few days he wanted to be remembered as a man who put up fences rather than sit on them.
Sparky Moller, as he is now known, wanted to know whether we knew our RCD from our ACDC and he had a wonderful story about “giving Ivor a tinkle”. This was a rather heart warming tale of a dish washer that did not need fixing and an introduction to new business that followed, which at least appeared to inspire Jo Eastwood who explained why she bought a wine shop. Something to do with getting the opportunity to drink lots of champagne!
All in all an excellent 60 second round which, in the new agenda, was quickly followed after the Meeting Secretary’s Report, with the Referrals and Testimonials round. This month is progressing nicely with business written this week of £23,750.00 and we have virtually reach £75,000.00 acknowledged so far this month. This was a good backdrop for this round which also revealed what a busy week it has been for members. Jo Jones’s Bootcamp was a great success as was Brian Painter’s 1-2-1 session at the Blue Boar all nicely rounded off by Paul Booth at Finance Groups Synergy Team Meeting which was likewise successful and praised by those who attended. That took us to breakfast at exactly 7.45am
The Education Presentation after breakfast is the first of 4. The intention is to give all new members an insight of all of the aspects of the workings of EBF and where better to start than its Website. Scott gave us a very effective guided tour and in doing so placed it in importance at the centre of our group and at the same time the importance of his maintaining this site which is very much our window on the world. An excellent presentation. Don’t forget to use the visitor invitation in a mock run. Failures to do so before next week’s meeting is just not an option. It was quarter to nine before we finished with Terry Maylin’s announcements in the recruitment drive. May I add my urgings to Terry’s. It is important that you carry out your allocated tasks and get the information over to Terry by the Wednesday whether you are listing potential recruits or chasing them up. In this Lucinda is our paragon and please have a good look at the email that Terry circulated showing how she circulated the information. Let us please all think visitors and new members for the next month or so.
Oops, I almost forgot, before I close off I remind everyone that next week is the last week at Warley Park. A good turnout would be a fitting send off from what has been a good venue and one I hope, at our new location at Mary Green Manor an even better location to enable us to continue to grow and be the successful group that we have become.
I look forward to seeing all of you next week let’s see if we can beat 23.
In an attempt to make the courts pay for themselves there are proposals underway to double the court issue fees . This even relates to Debt recovery and Landlord and Tenant claims.
This is on top of the massive increase last year which saw the highest court issue fee go up to £10,000 just to issue a claim form.
If you want to discuss the court fees that exist now and take proceedings under the current court fees contact us at TM LAW
A recent Standard Life article suggests that in simple terms, you probably shouldn’t be worried about recent market falls. Most of us are investing over the long term, and significant market falls happen periodically. Generally, the wrong thing to do when markets fall by a reasonable margin is to panic and sell out of the market – this just locks in a loss. The right thing to do is remember why you’re invested in the first place and make sure that rationale hasn’t changed.
Although the FTSE fell below 6,000 on 22 September, the falls need to be looked at in context of the overall picture, however. For instance, the FTSE 100 Index had broken its all-time high earlier this year. Professional investors aren’t filled with panic at the moment, regardless of the situation the media is portraying. Most of them are viewing this as a ‘market correction’ – just bringing things that have got a little inflated back down to earth.
Recently the Chinese government has attempted to stimulate the economy by devaluing its currency and suspending trading on many stocks. All this has done is to spook markets, both in China and globally, with significant falls in global stock markets, including the S&P in the US and the FTSE. How negatively? Well, on 24 August, the day many in the media are calling ‘Black Monday’, the Chinese market was down by 8%, UK markets fell by over 4.5% and the US by over 3.5%*.
Standard Life Investment’s Head of Global Equities, Mikael Zhavrev, has also called this, “a buying opportunity, not a market inflection.” In other words, this reduction in the value of some investments is an opportunity to pick up a bargain and benefit when the value rises again.
So what should you do?
According to the Standard Life article, that depends on your investments. If you’ve picked a ‘hands off’ investment where someone is making all the decisions for you, then you should be fine. Just make sure they can invest in lots of different types of investments across different countries, ensuring that you are well-diversified.
If, however, you’ve selected your own funds or investments, you’ll probably want to make sure your choices still meet your needs. Again, revisit your original investment rationale. Why did you pick the various countries or asset classes in the first place? Are you invested in a diversified portfolio, or did you deliberately take a riskier single asset class or geographical approach? You might want to get some commentary from fund managers who are significant in the markets you invest in, and balance those against the outlooks of fund managers who manage significant multi-asset funds.
If you do decide to make changes to your investments, make sure they’re for the right reasons. Don’t react out of panic. And, if possible, take a long-term view! Always consider consulting an independent financial adviser when making any sort of decision regarding your future and the financial investments that are there to prepare you for it.
Very informative presentation on the information available on and use of the Essex Business Forum (EBF) website –not least to be expected by one of the Forum most prominent members in the person of Scott Griffiths who knows how to communicate and decipher the arcades of the www
The EBF website is a useful tool with loads of information to be found about its activities and members.
A visit is highly recommended!
An excellent presentation this morning from Scott Griffiths. He gave us the full low-down on using the EBF website to full effect.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 5th November 2015
What with late arrivals and all, we finished up with 20 sitting round the table including Steve Roach. Congratulations Jo for bring a guest who, from his reaction at the end of the meeting and the discussions he had with our Meeting Secretary Scott Griffiths, is very likely to join our ranks.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 29th October 2015
An excellent turnout, 21 present, saw David Plumley deliver the Ed Slot. First of all we had to come to terms with his attire; a positively prize winning shirt consisting of yellow black and blue checks on white and hooped socks of red and blue with a third colour which, being so bedazzled by the shirt, I have forgotten. If anyone can remind me, Scott will give you a point (not you David). Whilst on the subject of socks, Scott also wore a rather fetching red and black hooped ones. Also, on matters sartorial, let’s get it all out of the way… Howard had a not unfamiliar red-blue and black heavily striped shirt with of course the addition of shorts and his bare legs from the knees downwards. I can also report that Paul Booth and Alan Shaw were both sporting identical shirts. On this Halloween celebratory breakfast certainly a scary dress code was being adopted by some.
Having got over the shock of his attire David delivered a very relevant Ed Slot focusing on the importance of good communication, finishing with what must be regarded as the epithet of the week, if not the month…”you can go on and on with communication…”. He then promptly sat down.
Indeed the theme of our 60 second round was Halloween and everyone seemed to have made an effort in introducing something seasonal to their presentation.
Many of us spoke of nightmares; Alan Moller not being able to find his keys and other problems that were intended to explain his arrival at 7am., Christian Cuvelier the nightmare suppliers of navigatorpaper supplying inferior quality and Richard Willis told of nightmare clients with champagne tastes and lemonade budgets. Alan Shaw told of a French Spy just outside Maldon in a 600 year old house….spooky. Kevin Brooks of course had only to remind us of his nightmare neighbour at his job at Wanstead and good old BT got a bit of a kicking from Stuart Smallcombe. Howard Bullock had to look no further than pension legislation and Scott Griffiths despaired of nightmare web designers but acknowledged that it gave him work.
Nightmare clients were referred to by Richard Reed, although to be fair the bloke was asking him to organise a trip effectively round the world. Gift horses and mouths came to mind. Terry Maylin told of one of the fears that many solicitors have, being shut in a small room with a client who paid less than full attention with their personal hygiene.
Brian Painter was very restrained in that there was no mention of Ghosts and Ghoulies, the former of which he is normally frightened by and the latter grabbed by. Instead he made reference to a chocaholic….6 bars a day and orgasmic smiles as she was weaned off them under hypnosis. He couldn’t resist the old handkerchief over the face and behind the glasses trick however. I assume it is still unsafe to smoke!
Prize for the most effective props must go to Jo Eastwood, she presented herself with lights round her neck, a recipe for pumpkin soup and on the promotional side, a can of pumpkin ale.
Mike Rogers demonised lenders in general and the Halifax in particular, it even made him smile.
It was left to Kim Redwood-Lee to create the ultimate construct of Hollywood films woven into her narrative of nightmare clients and she was promptly awarded the Oscar.
After breakfast we were treated to more of David Plumley and his ten minute presentation that was very much an education. He delivered an excellent piece on the use or rather the misuse of passwords. He illustrated not only how insecure they can be but how to make your passwords more secure and ways of having a lot of passwords but remembering them. His 10 minutes demonstrated his knowledge, his competence and at the same time provided probably one of the most informative and helpful 10 minutes that I have heard. Everyone was interested and it elicited from Jo Jones a possible logo for a T Shirt “I love my password”.
The referrals round was lively and business written totalling £15,600 which leaves us with a pretty good month with figures that Scott will no doubt reveal next week.
On the subject of next week, may I remind everyone of the revised agenda that will apply.
We will be having both the 60 second round and the referrals round before breakfast in order to make way of an Education Presentation after breakfast. It is our intention to produce 3 or 4 of these on roughly alternate weeks. We have several new members who will definitely benefit but some of the longer standing members I believe will find it useful. May I urge full attendance next week if at all possible. Scott will be talking us round the website. The more we use it the more effective it is as a tool both for members and for potential visitors.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 2015.
Stuart Smallcombe delivered the Ed Slot and delighted the lovers of acronyms with what he called “DISC” profiling in order to understand your potential customers in delivering your services. What was comforting to all acronymers was the fact that the profiling could also be called DICS or SCID or even CISD. One of the more interesting Ed Slots we have received.
Tina walked in for the beginning of the meeting and brought our numbers up to 20 this week and so it was 19 Members who delivered their 60 seconds.
On matters sartorial, although Howard Bullock was sporting his, what will now become, usual shorts as he performs the bare legathon in the run up to Christmas, we had to look no further than Nick Cooke for a display of the casual svelte. It started with a black/white motif patterned shirt, brown leather belt upholding light beige slacks, brown brogues which together with the trousers only slightly hid the piece de resistance, Cheshire cat striped pink and white socks. David Plumley deserves a mention for rather unusually marked white and red socks. It was comforting to see the Naughty Corner back in full force with Messrs Booth, Smallcombe and Bullock providing timely and untimely interventions during the round.
May be because of a certain insecurity borne out of wearing shorts at this time of year, Howard Bullock rattled on about protection. Make sure your life cover is held in trust. It will affect the value of your estate when you die. Stuart Smallcombe preached the importance of a good quality connection and Paul muttered darkly about retiring accountants being an opportunity for him.
And what of the School of Whimsy. Again it was fully represented and very much up to speed. Nick Cooke boasted that he was about to “do a bank in Rye… like houses but bigger”. Alan Shaw had been to meet a client that “did conservatories” but now based in Hoddesdon rather than Enfield which he visited first. Brian Painter did not disappoint. He dispelled the myth that liquorish was consumed by small children through Bassett products and then to the loo. It is the tobacco industry that purchases the most liquorish which together with chocolate and vanilla hides the otherwise pungent flavour of the tobacco leaf. It might well be that cigarettes kill you but if you can manage in addition to the smoke your daily quota of chocolate vanilla and liquorish there is some compensation here for a foreshortened life.
Alan Moller appears to be trying to join the School of Whimsy. He explained about a job this week that he didn’t do. Another couple of presentations like that and you will be well and truly welcomed into said school.
So what of the best of the rest. Jo Jones was selling her boot camp for members and added, apparently by way of encouragement, that there would be no “beasting”. By the look of disappointment on the faces of some of the members, it was the thought of being beasted by Jo that that was one of the more alluring aspects for going to boot camp.
“It’s not where you go, but that you experience when you get there” was Richard Reed’s introduction to suggesting Canada as our holiday destination. Mike Rogers was explaining that the grass is not always greener… apparently some disloyal punters had returned to him who at least retained the virtue of knowing quality when they saw it. I do not know really why I am being so complimentary to the old curmudgeon but it has to be said that he could easily have appeared amongst my sartorial musings above with a rather nifty “blue on blue” shirt. I will have to check his socks out next week!!
Rising above the pack this week however with a 60 second that explained how people should look out for referrals for him, Terry Maylin was awarded the Oscar by David Plumley.
Scott Griffiths reported that we have written in excess of £50,000.00 worth of business so far this month, so a good week next week should make sure we are hitting the £80,000.00 average.
Richard Reed reported on the Business consumer Synergy Team Meeting that occured on Monday and that led us into the recruitments session when Terry Maylin, standing in for Brian Painter, doled out the 12 potential candidates between himself and Dean Caldon and tasked the next group of possible visitors. All of this left us ready for breakfast, other than Donna who was slightly nervous of her first 10 minute presentation. She need not have been. She gave a good presentation of her business both by use of the television and her props.
Followed by a positive referrals round the meeting finally drew to a close leaving us to disburse with a feeling of well being derived from a successful meeting.
Business Networking Meeting Review, guest written by Lucinda Wilson.
In Mr Squire’s absence, Howard Bullock stepped in to help chair the meeting alongside Scott.
David Plumley educated us in the education slot. The main lesson to learn this week was to ensure that we maintain eye contact with members as we give our 60 seconds presentation and to keep a fine balance between saying the same thing & spicing things up a little each week. We owe it to our minds to listen to each and every person.
All of a sudden it was time for the 60 seconds presentations and below is a snippet of each one:-
Peter Hood ran through some of the plumbing jobs he’s been busy working on this last week.
Nick Cooke explained that although he doesn’t do home building surveys, he can offer a far superior and detailed report.
Dean Caldon told us that although stock levels are 70% lower than before the property crisis, he has still managed to attain 4 new instructions this week.
David Plumley advised that we need to stay safe when it comes to our routers by ensuring these are updated with the latest firmware to avoid ‘worms’ and other nasties getting into our systems.
Jo Jones promoted her fabulous sounding hot stone massage treatments, especially now that the cold weather is starting to make a reappearance. Relieve tension in muscles, increase circulation and decrease stress – as well stay warm of course!
Richard Willis is looking for businesses with ‘not very good’ social media presence so that he can show them where they are going wrong and implement better marketing.
Jo Eastwood told us that we could buy a yellow Ferrari from her for less than £30….in the form of a bottle of alcohol hailing from Northern Italy….obviously.
Donna Evans reminded us that Christmas was on its way so why not consider treating your partner to some fitted, made to measure curtains.
Howard Bullock has been advising a brand new client (who has never invested before) on his options regarding the type of funds to invest in, tax brackets and factoring in that this gent lives abroad as well – sharing his wealth of financial knowledge.
Kevin Brooks mentioned that he had visited and was helping Graham Thurston with some building work, as well as a mixed bag of business this week.
Scott Griffiths gave us tons of reasons why we should all be sending out business newsletters, e.g. business recaps, talking about our products/services, deals and discounts – he can help and all for 1p per message!
Kim Redwood-Lee reminded us that as Christmas approaches, we should ensure we spend our quality time off during the break with our families and friends and leave all our business paperwork and bookkeeping to her.
My turn next, where I mentioned the promising figures published by the Government yesterday which state that 73.6% of the UK population are now employed full-time and youth unemployment is at its lowest in a decade. Probably the reason I have been getting lots of junior roles in lately!
Mike Rogers warned us of ‘bad’ lenders and advised on the best way forward when looking for a mortgage – go to him!
Alan Moller mentioned the C word and had us considering Christmas lighting for our houses or any electrical modifications needed for inside the house as well.
And last but not least (although he almost got away with it this week) was Stuart Smallcombe who told us of a new client that wanted VOIP but the internet connection wouldn’t allow for it – showing that he can tailor very specific advice to each client.
Then it was time for the Oscar award and it went to David Plumley this week for the use of his prop and also I’m sure, for his updates on earthquakes over the last week !
Mike Rogers gave us a very detailed and thought provoking 10 minute presentation – showing how the mortgage market has changed so much in the last 10 years, which also just happens to be how long he has been a member of EBF. A highlight was just before the presentation when asked his biography questions, he answered as follows: If he had £1milllion, he would want another million and the words on his headstone should read ‘Hang on, I haven’t finished yet’.
Time just flew by this week as next thing it was time for the handing out of referrals and testimonials – £16,500 of business recorded and 18 new referrals given. With Peter Hood winning the Speakers’ prize this week.
Another informative, professional but always fun meeting – see you all next week members and guests, it’s definitely worth a visit!