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Chairman’s Blog – Meeting Thursday 30th May 2013-05-30
A good turnout, 29 present including one guest Kathryn Painter of K.E.M. Event Management.
Some Meetings just feel right from the outset. There was a buzz about the pre breakfast networking which carried through into the Meeting.
David Plumley’s Ed Slot was about “following through”. When he announced this theme, any reservations any of us had were quickly dispelled as he went on to illustrate a very useful aspect of marketing your business. Namely, when you have completed a job for someone, follow it through and check how well your services were received and indeed use it as a marketing opportunity. He was able to illustrate this with Richard Reed’s approach in following up the holiday he arranged for David, which was exemplary. We should be conscious of our fellow members techniques in both improving their services and dealing with us as customers. Richard had the good grace to blush but it really was unnecessary, it is always nice to be able to applaud fellow members endeavours.
From David Plumley’s upbeat message we tripped positively into the 60 second round. This had all the makings of “the Mike Rogers show”. Mike was multi-tasking by combining his duties on the bell with judging the Oscar. His claim to fame however was not only that he won the Oscar last week but he won it the week before, (look what happens when I am not there!). Anyway, old grumble guts was positively radiant as the round got under way.
Dawn was looking for referrals for schools in Essex and made certain suggestions as to the appropriate people to approach to “get a foot in the door”. She mentioned an awful lot of people but did not mention the caretaker. I understand they have a slightly more politically correct title these days. If anyone can supply it please add a comment to this Blog.
However as the round progressed upbeat messages abounded. Neil Lewer has a 26 bed roomed mansion that he is involved in converting, apparently this will keep him busy up to Christmas. Mike Rogers, no longer Mr Grumble Guts, pressed home his advantage by declaring that houses were going up in value and that things were moving. His optimism was chilling. Chris Sadler was looking for bookings for Weddings…for next summer. In the meantime he does a nifty line in temporary studios in the middle of fields which are apparently useful at festivals. I would have thought that they would be equally useful if you wanted to photograph animals. Kevin Radford was very happy because his firm had won a very big insurance contract. Optimism abounded.
And then of course there was Mrs Redwood-Lee. Who? I hear you ask. I can now reveal that I was probably the first person to have the privilege of addressing Kim Douglas by her changed name. To avoid confusion, the business name apparently remains the same. Just remember, at pain of being turned into a pillar of salt, not to use the name Douglas….ever again. Mike Rogers had the temerity to, very quietly, ring the bell as she hit the 90second mark, he was give the stare, told off, and then everything went back to normal. Even that did nothing to dent his cheerful demeanour.
Talking of things being normal, Alan Shaw had discarded his “sunshine superman” glasses and was wearing slightly more conventional eye gear. He described how he was currently working on 3 coach houses. Isn’t it always the way, you get one and what happens…3 come along. Brian Painter was up on his feet slightly earlier than usual talking about stress. It’s all in the eye of the beholder apparently. If you are suffering from as headache, cannot concentrate, can’t sleep and have lost your libido you are probably suffering from stress. Alternatively, you are a member of EBF who has just arrived at a meeting after being awoken by a 5am alarm.
Having been on holiday last week I had missed the triumphant return of Graham Thurston. It was back to old times however, if only for a short period of time. He stood up faced the expectant throng and promptly thrust his hands into his pockets. To his credit they were only there briefly before they came out and quickly clasped the chair in front of him. He then went on to mention artificial grass, which he has previously mentioned in other meetings, and which caught our imagination. Apparently you can, not only get properly mown grass but also artificial grass with weeds in it. Presumably you could get one of each and alternate them to give an impression of growth to the passing pedestrian. If things were becoming slightly convoluted Adrian Crosdale came to the rescue with an illuminating illustration of LED light bulbs. He had rather inventively arranged a power source that enabled him to demonstrate the relative brightness of different types of bulbs. Adjectives abound but the best one probably was to describe his talk as illuminating.
Rarely in these Blogs do I mention my own 60 second contribution but recent experiences (professionally speaking) have illustrated the importance of having a Will and the statistics show that only 30% or so of the population have a Will. This prompted me to express a concern to all members that they should be very much part of that minority. Making provision for your demise could include, in addition to a simple but tasteful headstone a layer of Graham Thurston’s artificial grass regularly changed by grieving loved ones to simulate growth.
Despite everybody’s best efforts including Ed Crocker, who I think said he had been “screwed by Yoda” we were all put in the shade by Tina’s 60 seconds and she duly walked off with the Oscar. What with Ed Crocker being screwed by Yoda, the rest of us felt “rogered” by Rogers as he awarded the Oscar to Tina, that it was well deserved is neither here nor there. The simple fact is that it is very difficult to react rationally when Mike Rogers appears optimistic and cheerful. Still it made a change and the Oscar award rounded off an excellent 60 second round.
The 10 minute slot was occupied by Ed Crocker, yes he who was disadvantaged by a Star Wars character in his 60 seconds, who went on to illustrate and educate us upon his courier business by having us pass around the table a parcel that shed its layers as it went from one member to the other in true pass the parcel style. He produced lots of information about himself and his previous employment history that more than adequately illustrated his effectiveness as a courier. This impression was strengthened by the referrals and testimonial round when he transformed the role of “runner” into that of “courier”.
The referrals and testimonials round was again very successful. Lots of referrals, Kim “what’s her name” had 5. Scott Griffiths Kevin Radford and Jason Nortey at least 4. Scott announced £77,000 worth of business recorded this month and on this note there drew to a close a meeting that appeared to me the best we have had in weeks.
Before I sign off, something to stimulate your comments. One where was Ed Crocker born, two where was he registered as being born and finally where would his father liked him to have been born. No prizes I am afraid this week.