Business Networking Blog – A review of our meeting (23rd Oct 2014) by Kevin Radford
I suppose I should start this blog with the old adage “You should be careful what you wonder” , having finished last week’s guest blog with the words I wonder how Aidan is able to produce such a well written amusing piece every week (in fact twice a week because he does Billericay as well) I find myself in the position of being invited to guest blog again this week.
Apparently or so rumour has it , our gregarious ( I last used this word in my A level English paper to describe Sir John Falstaff and have been looking for an opportunity to use it again) Chairman discovered last week that attending a Legal course was a cure for his insomnia as he was able to grab several Power naps during the day. He has therefore booked himself on another one today. Let’s hope that the chap he used as a pillow last week turns up again and that he returns Bright eyed and bushy tailed next week.
Where was I … Oh yes so armed only with a pair of ears , sharpened pencil and fresh piece of paper I challenged myself to listen attentively to all that went on at this week’s meeting of the Essex Business Forum.
With Aidan away it was left to the equally gregarious Brian Painter to lead us on our merry way. Brian who is a seasoned “stepper-inner” is well known for his legendry introductions to the 60 second speakers (some of which take as long as it does to produce a legend) . This was not going to be an easy task as today was the first of our meetings where breakfast was not served until half way through the meeting and it took some time to get the restless natives to settle, but eventually he managed to get us underway .
First up was Janice – on her maiden voyage in the education slot. She delivered a succinct piece on the need to set and check business goals. The word goals was mentioned so many times that I found myself thinking I was at Upton Park watching the mighty hammers bang in the goals (COYI !). A well delivered piece ,well done Janice.
So on into the 60 second round. I had made a note to look out for themes this week and I ,sort of didn’t have to wait long. First up was Jolly “Mike “ Rogers, what a tantalising tease he delivered about mortgages for affordable housing, but what is affordable housing he asked? well apparently we were going to have to wait until the 6th November , when he delivers his 10 minute presentation to find out. Now either Alan Shaw didn’t hear this bit or this was a well rehearsed double act to rival Morecombe and Wise , as no sooner had Mike sat down than Alan stood up and told us exactly what affordable housing was . I am sure I caught the sound of ripping paper coming from Mike’s direction.
Neal Lewer ,(our new Dad) stood wearily from his chair with the vacant expression that only sheer exhaustion of having a new baby can produce. Half way through he forgot what he actually did and there was a tense gap, I was sure that he was going to say, feed, burp and change your nappy, but in reality he had done an Aidan and taken the opportunity of a 10 second power nap when he knew he wouldn’t be disturbed, suitably refreshed he was able to finish his piece with no further alarms – Oh he builds prestige designed furniture by the way.
My next theme then came along all about customer service ,first delivered by Terry Maylin , who obviously had heeded my mild dig about his attire last week, was immaculately turned out in a rather sharp suit , crisply ironed shirt and perfectly matching tie. Terry explained that whilst he had done nothing wrong he had decided with a customer on review that he hadn’t reached his own high standards and had therefore voluntarily given a discount on his fee. That client was so impressed that he had now returned with a much more lucrative deal. This theme was followed by Dean of Redstone lettings and by Kim ,although I must confess that my concentration had been broken at this time by the EBF pet fly who decided it was my turn to play the swatting and ducking game, so I think this was the gist of her presentation. Incidentally , my tummy just started rumbling reminding me that breakfast would soon be here , so lets rush on.
Marcus of Dacco cleaning had this week cleared a building of Fleas, removed a rat from a kitchen (sorry to interrupt again, but I did hope this wasn’t the same rat who starred in that Pixar film about the Rat who did all the cooking-anyone know what it was called ?) and finally he had been scrubbing pigeon poo from the top of a lift canopy. Two things crossed my mind, firstly I was glad I hadn’t yet eaten my brekkie and secondly this wasn’t really a great advertisement for those aspiring to be contract cleaners.
Finally I must tell you of my personal favourite Howard, who had returned still wearing his shorts (does he only own one pair ,this pair will be turning up on their own one day, and the leg hair could do with a trim) who quite unwittingly delivered a piece of immaculate comic timing accompanied (quite unknowingly to be fair) with descriptive hand movements. Because I am writing this before the watershed I cannot say any more, other than you had to be there. A bemused Howard returned to his seat bringing the 60 second round to a close.
It was now over to Kim to deliver the award of the Oscar. There is nothing quite like positive feedback to make you feel good about yourself and her deliberations were nothing like positive feedback, in fact most of our efforts were described as C**P leaving her by word association, I suppose, to award the Oscar to Marcus , who you may recall had been up to his armpits in the stuff. I suppose at least it will be extra shiny for next week’s winner.
So chastised as we were, we headed off for brekkie where spirits were soon revived and we settled in for the 10 minute slot delivered expertly by Marcus who told us exactly why they are such a successful cleaning Company – Customer service was the main theme. I did, however pick up on one inaccuracy in your presentation. You mentioned that you were born in 1966 and suggested that this was a very good year as England won the world Cup, I feel it only right to point out that it was in fact Westham United who won the world Cup, but I forgive you were were only a baby after all.
So accomplished was his presentation, that during the referral and testimonial round his performance was described as “well polished” , 2A sparkling performance” and, “that he was sure to clean up”
There were also a couple of strange admissions during this round in that Stuart Smallcombe confessed that he had been addicted to Soap but was now clean , and Terry Maylin was interested in the fact that one of Marcus’s contracts was to clean a morgue . I will leave you to muse on that one while I finish by telling you that there were 21 referrals and £25,600 passed.
Wake up Aidan , all is forgiven