My ode to the WIBN

This week I enjoyed a festive joint WIBN meeting with the groups from Wokingham and Reading.  For those of you familiar with networking, you’ll know that you are usually asked to present a 1 minute at each meeting about you and your business.  Being the season to be jolly, we were asked to include certain festive words like “Sparkle” and “Snow”.

We are both huge fans of networking (Claire belongs to a local Athena group and Lisa is a member at the WIBN).  Rather than use the minute to promote my services, I wanted to say a little thank you to the inspiring ladies who are all part of my networking group.  We can honestly say that over half of our business comes from networking and 2015 has been a fantastic year for us.  We’ve also used the services of many of these ladies and better still recommended them to our contacts.  So here is my little ode to the WIBN!…

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all was not well.
Santa was exhausted
And started to yell:

“The kids are all sorted.
It’s the adults you see,
They’re tired and stressed
And that’s bothering me!

My elves have all finished
Their work for the year.
But those adults lack sparkle
And need festive cheer.”

St. Nick scratched his beard
And called on his brain.
Then picked up the phone
To his Chief Elf Lorraine!

Lorraine was delighted
And knew just what to do.
For inspiring ladies;
She knew one or two!

There’s Rachel for photos
With fab shots of your head.
Then go and relax in
Camilla’s lush shed!

Alison has style
And colours galore.
Joanna has cushions
And candles and more.

Shell or Jenni for admin
And Julie for cars
Lisa and Karen
Are marketing stars!

For healing and calming
Too many to name.
We have lawyers from divorce
To making a claim.

Did we mention our coaches
And physios swell?
We even have gifts made
From Aloe Vera Gel!

We have experts for finance
Including your wills.
We also have ways
Of reducing your bills!

Santa was clapping,
His face was abeam.
All he needed was the help
Of the WIBN team!

He ran outside
And loaded his sleigh.
With vouchers and gifts,
Rudolph lead the way.

And all of those adults
So frazzled and low.
Had the best Christmas ever
(Despite no snow).

And on Christmas Night,
Santa sat with a grin
And raised a glass to the
Wonders of the WIBN!

~ Happy Christmas Everyone! ~

hohoho

Networking……in it for the long haul!

Anyone who knows us well will know we’ve built our solid client base largely thanks to our commitment to local business networking.

As long-standing members of both the Women in Business Network and the Athena Network  over half of our client base has been gained from meeting like-minded business women at these monthly lunches.

It’s not about ‘ladies who lunch’ – wine is not quaffed and we do not talk about our children or our next holiday – we discuss real business issues, we support each other and importantly we refer work to each other.

Many of the members are self employed and the meetings also therefore serve as a replacement ‘team meeting’ – working on your own can be isolating at times and networking unlocks a whole virtual team.

The reason I wanted to write about networking is because I have heard too many times sentences like this, “I’m cancelling my membership, I’ve been coming to the meetings for 5 months now and I still haven’t got any work out of it.”

Networking doesn’t offer immediate, or even short term ‘success’ ….. it’s all about getting to know people, getting to like people and getting to trust people. Would you hand over your accounts or your brand identity to a complete stranger in the street … of course not.

One of our most recent clients employed us to manage their social media and blog presence in its entirety in February – we are working on the important pre-launch phase of their new business venture and we are thrilled to be working with such an exciting new brand (we promise to share more once the launch is all set!)

We have known this business woman for almost 3 years – we met at a WIBN meeting and we have built up a ‘know, like, trust’ relationship that means working together is natural and easy.

This is networking …. working!

We’re in it for the long haul – are you?

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WIBN Conference 2013 – our highlights!

 
 
Hanbury Manor was the setting for the first ever WIBN conference and it was exciting to see almost 150 women in the room….what a force to be reckoned with!! Both myself and Lisa attended, as WIBN members we  ere excited to be part of this conference and it didn’t disappoint.
 
 
The first guest speaker was Helen Roberts, MD of CPG Executive Consulting Ltd. Her biography shared that she set up in business aged just 25 and made £1million in her first year trading! Wow!!
Her presentation shared with us her belief that hard work, planning and positive mindset are three key ingredients to business success.  Can’t argue with that!
She recommended we all change our mindset to be positive not negative and plan! Have a business plan in place, draw up a marketing plan (oh we know people who can help with that!!) and know what makes you different.
She told us to delegate where we needed to, communicate and be courageous. Don’t stop developing personally or professionally – live life to the full and continue to learn and have vision for what you want out of life.
How can that fail to inspire?  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A quick coffee break and a chance to chat with other members from around the UK before the wonderful Jennie Bond took the floor.
 
WOW!!!
She commanded the room, was fascinating – she really has worked her way up the media ladder from cub reporter in Richmond to sub editor at the BBC and then Royal correspondent. I loved her honesty – she said the Royals didn’t really interest her when she got the job (!) but for 10 years she followed them around the world reporting on every step they made. She shared the relationship she built with princess Diana (now there’s an off the record note book I’d like to read); she shared a gaff she made whilst speaking with the Queen….the room was enraptured! She also shared the juggle of this International career with her role as a Mum – her husband took on the role of ‘house-hubby’ and they are clearly a great team.
Jennie Bond quit as royal correspondent because she wanted a new challenge, she felt she had done all she could and admitted that although she had a financial cushion she was scared……but what a good feeling being scared was.
Her big leap was taking part in I’m a Celebrity
 
……she said she loved it. Her husband didn’t want her to do it….her daughter did and she thought “why not.”  (The picture to the left shows her underground surrounded by rats and snakes – yuck! But she did the challenge!) She explained how this u-turn in her career saw her suddenly being viewed differently by the media and TV execs and she now works on programmes very far removed from her serious news days (she even appeared on Stars in their Eyes as Blondie!) But she is  loving it…..and making more money than ever before. Has she sold out?….I say NO she has pushed herself and is reaping the benefits, good for her!!!
Her message to the room was don’t be scared of being scared, of change! Step out of your comfort zone and you may achieve great things!
 
 
Lisa and I got to meet her after her speech and she took the time to have a photo taken with Lisa and I?..a genuinely nice, inspiring lady (who looks amazing for 63!!) 
 
More open networking over lunch and some great connections were made in the room with much business card swapping!
The day was rounded off with the panel discussion where experts in finance and law answered questions from the audience.
For those of you who attended I hope you had as great a day as we did and for those of you who didn’t, I urge you to consider attending if another event is held in 2014 ……..even if just to take time out for you and be inspired by all of the business women in the room.
I can promise you won’t come away disappointed!
 
Claire x

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Watch Claire in action at the WIBN

Some of you will know that I am Chair of the Women In Business Network Maidenhead group – it’s a role I absolutely love and networking has been the lifeblood of One to Three since we launched back in 2010.

I was given the opportunity to present the five minute spotlight at the October meeting and as much of my work lately has been refreshing websites for all manner of businesses I chose to share my top tips on what content I consider to be the must haves. I’d like to share this presentation with you all as one of my fellow members, the wonderful Ann Rennie was on hand to video the session!

It’s just over five minutes long so grab a cuppa and enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGFEkSlSeHg&feature=plcp

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