Local Connections

A more relaxed piece following on from the Budget article last week. We are all acutely aware of how important tax, VAT, national Insurance and PAYE are to our businesses. From the outset the two focus points for any business are:

1) Can I afford to run my own business: Accounting fees, tax and national insurance contributions, VAT quarters, premises costs, equipment costs, bank fees, employee wages…?

2) How do I get more clients/customers?

ABC has always nurtured local connections and much of the success of the business has come from this relentless activity and interaction. We get transfixed with bills and numbers when ultimately the real source of income is never going to be found at a desk!

I don’t have time to network!

I am too busy working for socialising and drinking coffee!

It’s pointless – everyone is out there to sell- not buy!

Belinda Darley, ABC’s director, couldn’t have proven these statements more wrong. She has an experienced team behind her and a very healthy client base but this has not reduced the amount of time she spends promoting her business. There are three solid reasons to attend networking events and meet with local business men/women:

1) If people like you they will think of your company when someone is in need of what you sell – you will get recommended because people connected to you/liked your story/found you genuine

2) You will get your business name out there – generate interest/make people aware of your existence

3) You will meet the faces behind local business and the ones you connect with can introduce you to friends/colleagues/other businesses – so your network quickly grows

Establishing local connections is far more valuable than sending out a run of flyers because you are face to face with your audience. You are your business and you get the opportunity to tell people why you do what you do. Tell them why this matters to you and maybe it will begin to matter to them as well. What business man/woman wouldn’t want to tap into a supportive network full of like-minded individuals?

Belinda has recently partnered with Lizzie Jordan of Yello Story to launch ThinkBIG. These will be a series of events designed to help those considering becoming self-employed, those who are self-employed and people who are already running a business.  The events are designed to empower entrepreneurs with the confidence and knowledge needed to make smart and decisive decisions from day one.

The workshops will include practical advice and insights from a marketing expert, a discussion about pooled experiences and knowledge, lots of advice from experienced and successful business owners, and lots of networking with likeminded individuals.

Belinda is hoping to impart some of her wisdom in a no jargon, easy to follow, inspirational format.  There really is no reason you cannot be out their putting your business on the map – it won’t sell itself and the greatest spokesperson for it is the person who founded it!

Go to http://www.doitthinkbig.com/ for more information and details on when and where the events will take place.

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