Guest written by Paul Dulieu
As I pulled into the car park at Hutton Cricket Club, ahead of our final meeting before we return to Calcott Hall Farm next week, the heavens opened.
As someone who doesn’t particularly relish early mornings, sitting in a dark car park at 6.20am in the pouring rain wouldn’t usually appeal. However, with the prospect of another fine breakfast in store, courtesy of Neil Belham, and two hours of networking with the fine bunch of business folk that make Essex Business Forum such a successful networking group, EBF is a firm fixture in my diary which I strive not to miss.
Numbers were slightly better than last week (17 of us in total), with a few members absent because of holidays, work commitments or through illness and injury. These included Brian Painter (damaged shoulder, rumoured to be from trying to master a ‘frontside 180 kickflip with ollie’ on his skateboard, although I’m not convinced), our Chairperson Aidan Squire (thankfully on the mend after ‘succumbing’ to Covid-19: see last week’s blog!) and Howard Bullock. Get well soon chaps!
The switch back to real ‘in-person’ meetings is obviously quite a change from “rolling out of bed at 7.25am, pulling on a t-shirt that doesn’t look slept in, splashing a bit of water on your face, and logging on to Zoom”, which has been our (ok, it has been my) way for much of the past two years. However, the difference between an in-person networking meeting, and a video meeting, is immeasurable. Sure, you do have to put on trousers and brush your teeth when you meet up in person, but it’s a small price to pay for the bonhomie, banter, and breakfast that in-person EBF meetings provide. Hopefully, as we get back into the swing of things at our usual venue, we’ll soon be back to full strength.
In Aidan’s absence, Scott Griffiths Chaired the meeting and, with script at hand, away we went.
The Performance League
There were some substantial changes at the top of the performance league this week, with John Freeman now in third and I (Paul Dulieu) am in Second. However, Scott Griffiths is almost one hundred points in the lead in first place. It’s certainly not an unassailable lead, so remember to get your referrals, “thank you for the money,” 1-2-1s, and testimonial slips logged in the members section of the website. There is still everything to play for!
It was great to have our education coordinator, Ben Golding, back this week. The topic of his education slot was the difference between listening and hearing. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what he was saying as I was doing the former. However, with his sage advice and practical tips delivered so expertly, I soon found myself doing the latter and everything became clear. Well done, Ben-Ben.
The 60 Second Round
Scott Griffiths posed the question to members “How do people find your website?” The answer includes having a well-made website and good content, which Matt Barry and Paul Dulieu can also help with.
James Humphries then explained that, as well as insurance for normal properties, he can help if you have something more specialist or niche, and was followed by another broker – this time of the ‘mortgage’ variety – in Mike Rogers. With lots of gesticulations (and scant regard for the concept of time), Mike explained how he can help match you to the right lender and the right product for your circumstances. Will Verner was next and is also a financial match maker, albeit his focus is commercial finance, and he is regulated to help businesses find the money they need to live, thrive, or survive.
Someone who also provides help when it is needed is Alison Bean, who explained how Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy can help prevent depression from reoccurring and increase self-awareness and focus. The very focussed Paul Booth has been busy helping clients with all things tax, especially online tax returns ahead of the 28 February deadline, which has come around quickly for some
people. However, probably not those that have already started enquiring about Neil Belham’s availability to provide his exquisite fare at New Year! That said, perhaps they are using the services of Tina Walker who provides businesses with help when they are busy.
John Hammond is immensely proud to have built his business through word of mouth and referrals. His mantra is ‘if you are going to do something, do it right, and do it right first time.’ This is something that will echo with Nick Cook who has little margin for error when it comes to his structural design service.
Last, but not least we were joined again by a guest, Emma Taylor, who is an independent estate agent. She is a big advocate that ‘people buy from people’ and remember how you make them feel, which she applies to helping people buy and sell properties.
Mr. Motiva… Toby pondered long and hard about who to award the Oscar this week, but there was only ever likely to be one clear winner. That was Ben Golding who explained that, despite soaring prices elsewhere, he can help cut the cost of people’s gas, electricity, and mobile phone bills. A well-deserved Oscar win!
10-minute presentation by Tina Walker
Following last week’s deferral, Tina Walker stepped forth this week and gave her 10-minute presentation. Even though it was the first ‘in-person’ 10-minute presentation for, perhaps, two years, Tina delivered it perfectly. She explained how her work as a virtual executive/personal assistant provides business owners with something that money usually cannot buy: time.
Well done, Tina. Truly priceless.
Our conclusion to the meeting was, as always, our referrals round, which saw a bountiful number of referral slips being passed about.
At shortly before 8.30am we concluded the meeting and, to a much dryer morning we emerged from Hutton Cricket Club for the last time. See you all next week at The Barnyard Café, Calcott Hall Farm.