Wanstead Business Network
We meet at Wanstead Golf Club every Thursday at 7am.
As a member of our Wanstead Business Network, Janet Herber knows only too well the benefits that networking can bring to local businesses. Here she offers some insight into our weekly meetings.
“Before I discovered networking as a way of gaining business, I had no idea that there were groups sharing expertise, networking tips, business referrals and breakfast in the morning. But it’s happening right here in Wanstead.
Wanstead Business Network is an independent, non-profit making group. Our 7am start allows time for the full meeting agenda whilst still leaving plenty of time for us to get to our respective workplaces. The meetings are lively and fun and leave you buzzing and ready to seize the day!
There is definitely an etiquette to networking. For example, it’s generally frowned upon to randomly hand out business cards before being asked. It is best to establish a connection first. Generally, a good approach would be a good handshake, good eye contact and a show of genuine interest in the other person. When a need has been established for contact numbers, then exchange cards.
Each week, members talk for 60 seconds about their business, who or what they are looking for and how they help their clients. A strap-line or memory hook is very useful as it helps other members to remember your business. For example, mine is: “Top-quality design and print that won’t make you skint!” Cheesy I know, but it does get remembered!
At the beginning of my membership, I was dreading delivering a 60-second talk, but it’s a case of the more you do it the easier it becomes. The weekly 10-minute slot is for members to take it in turns to explain in more detail what their company does.
Networking is a great way to learn about local businesses. We all try to help each other by recommending members’ services to our friends and contacts. I think of it as having a whole room full of salespeople. I know that each and every member will spread the word that our company provides a good service.
Many people who have become self-employed can often find themselves feeling isolated, where perhaps at one time they would have been employed by a large firm with lots of people around them. I find business networking is very beneficial in that respect because I know there is a whole team behind me, and there is help and advice there if I need it.”
Catalyst Design & Print