Author Archives: 10-12 Business Club

women networking

Are you a networking butterfly?

Category : Uncategorized

Networking can be an essential part of marketing for small business and can help find new customers enabling the business to grow. It’s about taking time out of your business to connect with other local business owners and build relationships that will turn into referrals.

Not everyone gets networking for their business and some can come across as being a networking butterfly. The key thing to remember is that not everyone you meet will need your products or services, but they may know someone that does. Likewise, everyone you meet might not offer what you need but you may know someone that does.

We have all met a networking butterfly in our time!

Networking butterflies are easy to spot. They are members of every free group both on and offline and have tried every networking option possible at least once. They often don’t commit to membership networking claiming they don’t have the time as their diary is so busy or that they have tried it and it didn’t work for them.

They often “hot seat” for free or look for free options as their first preference. They know everyone by name but never take the time to know the individual personally.

They normally sell sell sell with little interaction or referral of those they have met on the networking scene. Every had someone come up to you at a networking event and say sorry we didn’t get time to chat but here’s my card.

You could even be reading this thinking am I one of those?

If you are there is still time to change. Networking is a slow burner for local business owners. No one refers to people without taking the time to understand who they are and what they do. Some networking I have done for years before the right type of business has been referred and it’s been worth the wait.
You wouldn’t walk in a public venue such as a bar or restaurant and start spraying business cards around and expect people to buy your products or services. Or maybe you do?

How can you network your business successfully?

Build trust and a reputation as someone that knows their industry. Only by showing in person and online that you know your stuff will gain you referrals and new business.

Pick a group that suits your personality there are so many networking groups out there and note everyone suits every business. Try a few, research online what you think you might like then give them a go. If you hate early mornings then avoid breakfast meetings as you will eventually grow tired of the early starts. You can network your business at all times of the day so think which time suits you and then find a group that matches.

Don’t treat your networking membership like a gym one! Don’t sign up for a year and visit a few times then declare “it didn’t work for me” you have to make the time and commit and ensure you take time to get to know everyone in the group.  You need to make the effort to turn up every meeting.  When you sign up,  put the dates in your diary for the year and keep them there only to be moved for mega business transactions.

Consider pre or post meetings with one of the members for a more in-depth 1-2-1. Doing this helps you to build relationships with others in the group.

Offer to present at your group, organisers are always looking for speakers and it is a great way to promote you and your business.

Lastly, continue your networking online, take time to share fellow networkers social media posts, comment and like. In return, good networkers will do the same for you.

If you would like to know more about networking come visit the 10-12 Business Club or sign up to our newsletter.


Christmas marketing

How to be heard in the Noise of Christmas

Christmas time is such a noisy time in every household. Its hard to be heard in the Noise of Christmas. Everyones” calendars are rammed with things to do, people to go see and thing to buy! Time seems to fly by at this time of year. As a small business owner, it can be hard to be heard amongst all this noise. So how can you do it without looking like you are just trying to sell sell sell!

Read on for our top 5 tips for the business owner to be heard in the Noise of Christmas.

  1. Send an email marketing campaign with your top tips of items to buy relevant to your industry. This could mention other local business owners that sell items relevant to your industry. Dog groomers could send an email with top tips for dog accessories, jackets, leads and toys for example. Accountants could suggest stationery companies where customers can buy calendars, post-it notes and other items that will help them collate their business accounts.

    image4you / Pixabay

  2. Change your social media profiles to show your festive spirit. This could be a specifically designed Christmas logo or an image of you (and your staff) dressed as an elf or father Christmas. Think about creating a specific Christmas message in a video for your Facebook (and or other social media profiles) Header image. There are lots of options out there so plan ahead and be ready to show your Christmas side socially.

    jill111 / Pixabay

  3. Optimise your local search in Google to adapt to those searches people are making specific to Christmas. Think of items you offer or sell that might be good as Christmas presents and advertise those ready for a Christmas search to be displayed. This could be good for beauty therapists that offer vouchers where they can create adverts in local search specific to the vouchers for Christmas.

    Pexels / Pixabay

  4. Support a local charity and use this to connect with your customer base. Offer a donation to the charity for a certain amount if your customers purchase from you between now and x date.  Explain your reasons for supporting the charity and if personal add your story. People buy from people and sharing a story will help your customers to connect with you on a deeper level.

    rawpixel / Pixabay

  5. Run a Christmas campaign with a prize. Think of an affordable prize for your company and encourage customers to do something and share on your social media profiles using a specific hashtag. Make a big announcement of the winner of the prize and why you have chosen them to win.  Use all your social media channels to generate interest in your competition and include text, images and video. Consider getting involved with another business or businesses to offer the competition to your customers.

    StockSnap / Pixabay

    The 10-12 Business Club is a networking club that meets monthly in a fun and friendly format. Our meetings help local business owners to meet and network together, sharing information and building relationships resulting in business referrals.  If you would like to hear more about the 10-12 Business Club get intouch today or book on to attend one of our meetings.


evolution for women

Dreams for your future

What are your dreams for your future?

Unlike me at her age, my daughter is not really a dreamer for the future if I ask her. She is very much about the here and now and even though a part of me wants to hear her talk about her dream job (knowing that it will change), I actually like the independence that she shows in not being under pressure to talk about growing up.

As a child, one of my dreams was to work in Africa saving animals, partly influenced by watching the Diane Fossey story in Gorillas in the Mist and others like it. Back then, before the days of social media, if you wanted to help a cause, you went out and got involved, you couldn’t make a difference in the world via facebook and perhaps you still can’t. I still hold on to that dream a little, perhaps one day I might go to Africa for a time when my daughter no longer needs me quite as much and offer my services to an animal charity.

Our Dreams May Have Changed

Our dreams may have changed since we were little as our responsibilities have grown, what’s the dream that gives you the reason to get up, work hard and do what you need to do in your career or for your loved ones every day?

  • Retire early?
  • Get a better work/life balance?
  • See more of the world?
  • Spend more time with or caring for your loved ones?
  • Buy that holiday home or move abroad?

Is this just a dream or are you making the plans that you need now to help this to become a reality?

Saving for The Future

When we are in our 20’s or 30’s it can be easy to not look too far into the future while we are busy focusing on the financial demands of the here and now, juggling work and family life and the additional living costs at this time. For many, this is the reality, well into our 40’s with big mortgages and low disposable incomes. Saving for the future seems impossible. In our 50’s, some have managed to get to point when we can start seriously planning for our future though the task ahead of them to achieve that dream can seem quite daunting at that time.

Savvy Choices with Your Spending & Borrowing

Whatever stage of life you are at, savvy choices with your spending & borrowing can help you to make your dreams a reality sooner than you think. Planning for your future in other ways such as protecting your income and family, can help you to cope better with the curve balls that life may throw at you. It’s not too late to start. We want our clients to have fun, be happy and spend quality time with loved ones with the peace of mind in knowing that your finances are in order, you have a financial plan for the future and your family will be provided for during some of the more difficult life events that can happen. If you know or think you need help in all or any of these areas to make your financial future more certain, please get in touch with me or your local Evolution for Women Adviser and see how we can help you.


Office Christmas Party Table

My boss made out with a mop. It’s always the quiet, serious ones.

Category : Blogs , Networking

Office Christmas Parties

My boss made out with a mop?! Really what an odd thing to do, you may think but then add the fact that it was at the office Christmas party and it may all make sense as to why this statement was made. Every year there are people wake up, the morning after their office Christmas party hoping that by some chance overnight they have changed jobs, moved cities and have a complete new identity. Has that ever been you?
christmas lunchAs solo traders or Solopreneurs (the trendy description) we don’t have that consideration to worry about as the days of Christmas office parties disappeared along with the long chats at the coffee station. so what do solopreneurs do for their Christmas parties? Or do they just become bah humbug and not bother any more with the passing comment “its only another day!”
I must say that this was the case when I first started working for myself and had no staff and no-one to share the office party festivities, and I did miss that office party ritual the first year in business. In later years I had staff and we did lots of different events each year to make it more interesting, from cheap flights to Barcelona one year (yes we did the Ryan air cheap flights for only 50p to Barcelona for the Christmas party!) to mug painting in the office with drinks and food at the local restaurant. Whatever we did they all had a common theme, having fun and letting our hair down for a few hours without the mention of work or deadlines. And guess what? Team work improved, harmony and work ethos were great in the office and all down to some time out together.
Christmas GiftsThat is why at the 10-12 Business Club we work hard to organise a great Christmas party meal for members and non members to come and join together for one lunch and recreate that feeling of the office Christmas Party. Obviously for a lunch there is no heavy drinking and amorous events with mops or any other piece of cleaning equipment! But we do have a lot of fun with party games, great conversation with as many people as possible due to our chair swapping and of course a fabulous venue with excellent service and food.
All these things together make the perfect office Christmas Party and I know for sure there will be a few collaborations and sales take place after this event as that’s what great networking brings creates for all its visitors. If you don’t believe me, just read one of the testimonials from our Christmas Lunch yesterday.

business networking gifts

Thank you so much for organising Christmas lunch today.It was great, with a lovely mix of ladies, Proseco and good food!
I am delighted with my secret Santa gift - The Daily Hunk - and my scarf - stolen twice before I finally got it!
What a great day!
Well done to you.

Sue Hill - UWDC Christmas Lunch December 18, 2015


If you haven’t tried the 10-12 Business club yet, get in touch and consider making it a date for the New Year, 2016

To find out more on what others got up to at their Christmas Party, have a read of “Your best office Christmas Party Story


12 Days of Christmas

Business – 12 Days of Christmas

Business – 12 Days of Christmas.

10-12 business club merry christmasI’m sure you will have heard of the Christmas song “The 12 days of Christmas”?  Well this month we are using the theme of the 12 days but applying it to our business.    If your business slows down over the Christmas period or in the run up to Christmas then take this opportunity to give your business an overhaul and do all the things you keep promising to do!

You can decide when you want to start your 12 Days of Christmas for your business. It could be on Thursday the 10th to finish on the 22nd of December or have a few days break and finish on the 31st of December? Or if you want to keep your business mind engaged then plan to do it over the Christmas holidays and start it on the 20th of December.

Whichever way you do it, consider the following actions and if you can think of any others that are more important to you then add or replace to the ones below.  Most of all if your business is quiet at this time of the year use the time effectively to reflect and plan for the future and perhaps even try some structured Business networking by the 10-12 Business Club.

 On the 1st Day of Christmas – Merry Christmas Message

Christmas giftsSend out a Merry Christmas Message to all your existing clients and prospective clients.  Use mail chimp to design a festive mails hot and import your database. Consider

  • What message are you going to say
  • Include contact details
  • Include links to your website
  • Consider an offer

On the 2nd Day of Christmas – Filing

Tackle your filing pile and I mean all of it, including archiving any files that are fit to burst! This could also include looking at your in box of your email! Do you file everything into various folders or does it just sit there in one big in box!  If you don’t have any filing then I’m impressed. Please let me know your secret to keeping it up to date.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas – Accounts

business club giftAccounts. Today, check to see if your accounts are up to date. If you do your own accounts take the time today to get everything up to date including up to date bank reconciliation. If you don’t do your own accounts is everything ready to hand over to your accountant/book keeper?

  • Have you loaded all your expenses?
  • Can you account for all the receipts?
  • Have you invoiced everyone?
  • Do you have a spread sheet or software that accounts for all your sales and expenditure? If not today consider creating one to use for 2013.

On the 4th Day of Christmas – Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan 2016. Today start the foundation of your marketing plan for 2013. Do you actually plan all your marketing activity including when and where you network? Think about your business and whether you could set a 6 or 12 month marketing plan including when, where and what you are going to say and how much it will cost you to get your message across. Consider what you are going to use to market your business;

  • Social media? Which one? How Often?
  • Flyers? What will they say? Where will you distribute?
  • Leaflet drops? Where?
  • Cold calls? When? Source data?
  • Networking? When? Where? How often?

Whatever you decide start to search out the best options for you and the exact costings for your marketing campaign.

On the 5th Day of Christmas – Linked In Profile

snowmanLinked In. do you have a Linked In profile? Is it up to date? When did you last update what you have done/achieved/qualified. If it has been a while then go in and make some bold changes:

  • add new skills,
  • Change your profile picture.
  • Update your opening statement to sell yourself and your services.
  • Recommend some fellow 10-12’ers for their services if you have used them.

On the 6th Day of Christmas – Website

If you have a website, give it a review with fresh eyes. If you don’t have a site, then consider what you would need to have on each of the pages.

  • Does it do what you want it to do?
  • Does it bring you in the right enquiries?
  • Does it have a call to action?
  • Is it getting enough visitors?
  • Is there anything you can do to make it better?
  • Ask friends and family to do the same for you and compile your results. Compare your site with competitors!

 

On the 7th Day of Christmas – Blog

Christmas PuppyBlog. Do you have a blog? Do you need a blog for your business? Do your competitors have a blog? If they do, what do they write about?

  • Think about how you would use a blog,
  • What would you write about?
  • Can you write down 20 things to blog about for your business?

If you can do this in 10 minutes then you need to consider a blog. If you don’t want to start a blog, maybe you could guest blog for others. Search out some other blogs and see if they allow guest blogging, if they do write an article for one of them and send it for consideration. Remember a blog only needs to have 250-500 words!

On the 8th Day of Christmas – Social Media Plan

Social Media Marketing plan. Do you use social media? Do you have a marketing plan? If not then today consider a social media marketing plan for your business. Think about:

  • How often you want to use social media in a week,
  • When can you allocate the time for to do it?
  • Where are you going to find the content?
  • How many posts, tweets, blogs etc are you going to do
  • Set targets for how many new followers, mentions, retweets you want to achieve.

On the 9th Day of Christmas – New Customers

Search out new customers. Today consider new areas where you could find potential new customers. Have you exhausted all areas for potential new business or is there places you could go, people you could see to get new business? Find some competitors and see who they are talking to in their social media, where are they advertising, what are they offering? Can you do similar? Consider using a telemarketing company to get more business leads for you. We have two members in the 10-12 Business Club.

On the 10th Day of Christmas – Business Plan

Christmas networkingBusiness Plan. Do you have a plan for your business? If so dig it out and review it today. If you don’t have one then consider starting to write one, it can be as basic or as grand as you like. At the very least consider setting yourself some goals and write them down to review throughout the year.

  • Does it reflect where you are?
  • Have you achieved what you planned?
  • Consider what you might have to do next year to achieve your forecasts.
  • Do you need to make any changes?

On the 11th Day of Christmas – Emarketing Campaign

e-Marketing or telemarketing Campaign.  Design and set up an e-marketing campaign to send in the New Year to your existing clients and find some potential new ones to send to also.  Consider your Linked In connections, have you ever sent them a Happy New Year Message? If not give it a try, they agreed to link with you so maybe they’d appreciate a short Happy New Year Message. Follow up with a telemarketing campaign to see if they receivedchristmas-kids-gifts

On the 12th Day of Christmas – Review

Review.  Take today to review all that you have done over the past 11 days for your business. Give your self a pat on the back and raise your glass to toast the future and the New Year.

  • Has it inspired you?
  • Motivated you?
  • Have you reconnected with old/new clients?
  • Are you confident of your marketing activity for the New Year?
  • Printed literature planned, costs obtained?
  • Business Plan modified or created?
  • Social Media considered and a marketing plan produced?

Charlotte Haye

Latest Presenter at the 10-12 Business club – Charlotte Hay

An Interview with Charlotte Haye

Could You Tell Us A Bit About Your Business?

My business is called Eleven Eight, and we create engaging content for other businesses. Our main services include blogs writing, newsletter writing, web copy, white papers and graphic design. Our customers are usually business owners or marketing companies who need content in order to market their business, but simply don’t have the time or skills to do it. I run the business with the help of my husband Chris, who manages our admin and does the graphic design work for our clients. We started out as 2 freelancers – a copywriter and a photographer/graphic designer, but when we got engaged we thought we should ‘tie the knot’ in business terms too, so Eleven Eight was born!

What Made You Want To Start Your Own Business?

For me, all I ever wanted to be was a writer. I’ve always been an avid reader, and I wanted to be able to spin wild and fantastic stories like my favourite authors. Despite being told I wouldn’t make any money doing it, I went to university to study English and Creative Writing. Once I finished I didn’t really want to stop, so I carried on with an MA in writing for children, and during this time I penned my first novel. When it came to finding a full time job, there was nothing that would let me do what I wanted and be creative. I could never settle down in an office job, and I found retail incredibly dull, so I decided to set up on my own doing what I loved.

 What Would You Say Has Been Your Biggest Challenge?

I would say my biggest challenge has been taking care of the financial side of things. Because I am classified as dyscalculia, I have never been very good with numbers, so simple things like managing finances and keeping accounts was incredibly difficult. After a few months of trying to struggle through it myself, I found an accountant who was happy to help me out, and since forming Eleven Eight Chris has taken on that responsibility. My advice is to know your strengths, and know when you need to ask for help.

What Are The Biggest Risks You’ve Taken In Recent Years, And How Did They Turn Out?

In terms of risk, I have to say we are hopelessly boring! We have taken a few risks in terms of how we market our own business, but for the most part those have involved visiting lots of networking groups to see what fits. We are however currently planning a move to an office block, and discussing hiring our first employee, which could be a huge risk. We will let you know how that one goes!

If You Were Starting Over Again Tomorrow, What Top 3 Rules Would You Follow?

  1. Know your limits. If you think or know that you don’t have the skills, energy or time to do something, then outsource it to someone who can.
  1. Always do your market research. I went through 2 or 3 years of freelancing before I figured out exactly who my perfect customer was, and how to reach them with my message. It’s always worth taking the extra time to figure out the details before you rush into things.
  1. Appreciate your achievements, and don’t let the failures get you down. It’s important to take a step back and enjoy it when you’ve done something great, and not let setbacks known you down for the count. Every set back opens another door, but you’ll only see them if you’re looking forward, not back.

Do You Have Any Tips For Business Owners Just Starting Out?

Always set aside some ‘you’ time. Setting up your own business can be incredibly stressful, and if you’re trying to keep up with everyday home and family life as well it can be overwhelming. You can end up working 14-hour days because you feel like you have to, and relationships can get a bit strained. Never forget to take some ‘you’ time every day – even if it’s just reading a book for half an hour, going out for a walk over lunch or having a hot bath.

What Are Your Plans For The Future?

Well in the business our next big step is to move into an office and hire some staff, eventually growing into a medium sized content agency with a few employees. Personally, we’re also trying to buy our first house, so there is excitement all around this year!

You can contact Charlotte at the following:

www.eleveneight.co.uk

tel: 01252 879 837

mob: 07745 524 734


Baghsot Launch

10-12 Business Club opens New Networking group in Surrey

Category : Press Releases

Business Networking Surrey, Windlesham Golf Club

The 10-12 business Club launched their 5th women only networking group and their first in the Surrey area on the 17th of June at Windlesham Golf Club. It is the first group to be opened in the Surrey area by the 10-12 Business Club, after successfully hosting 4 groups in Berkshire for the past 3 years. “We are excited to be opening our 5th women only networking group in Surrey to cover local businesses in the Camberley/Bagshot area” said co founder Karen Livingstone. Networking is key to any small business said Karen, and we believe it is essential to get out of the office and promote your business products/services in a structured networking meeting.

The 10-12 Business Club was founded by 3 local business women; Issy Wiggins from Where’s Your Website, Karen Livingstone of Little Acorn Marketing and Lucie Robson of Off the Red Tees. The 10-12 Business Club was set up in September 2012 as a networking business club for local women Business owners in the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire area. Each group meets once a month for structured networking where they can build relationships with like minded professionals. Each meeting starts at 10am with a structured agenda including open networking, 1-2-1 meetings and brainstorming sessions with a prompt finish at 12noon.

“Women are natural refers” says Lucie Robson “and once they have built a trustful relationship they will willingly help to promote one another in business” Third co founder Issy Wiggins said she personally had seen her business grow since the launch of the 10-12 Business club and is excited about their plans for 2015.

If you are a business owner in the Bagshot, Camberley, Windlesham area then consider visiting this women only 10-12 Business Club meeting which meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

10-12 Business Club founded September 2012 by owners Issy Wiggins, Karen Livingstone and Lucie Robson. Structured networking for women serious about growing their business.

Contact details; 10-12 Business Club Website email hello@10-12businessclub.co.uk Follow us on Twitter or catch up on  Facebook


Karen Livingstone

social media content, ideas on what to post

Social Media, what content do I post?

Ever wondered what you should post to your social media feeds? do you look at it and think, i’d like to, but what will I say? What should I say? and when should I say it?
These are all familiar questions raised by business owners who know the need to use social media but are unsure as to what they should say or do. some of you reading this post may even think, why should I bother with Social Media for my business?

At the 10-12 Business club we use social media to drive traffic to our website, engage with our members and discover new visitors for our structured networking.
It’s a free way to reach out to your audience and most of all it is fast, friendly and a more relaxed way to communicate to that of a company email or mailshot.
If you are a self employed business owner you can also manage your social media out of office hours in front of the TV or on your way to work if you commute using public transport.

So all that said what do you talk about and how often should you do it? We all have different opinions on this subject but our co-foudner, Karen Livingstone of Little Acorn Marketing has posted the following blog on “I don’t know what social media content to post

If you enjoy reading this let us know and we will top you up with more 10-12 Business Club members thoughts on social media.


wheres your website seo

SEO Training Course Berkshire

Category : Blogs

SEO Training Course for beginners

Learn how to optimise your website

Ever wondered how to optimise your website for the search engines so that your customers and future customers can find you online? What if you found out it really was quite easy to make your site optimised and ready for the crawlers and spiders to find you? Well it really isn’t that difficult and with the beginers SEO workshop held by “Wheres your website” you will gain an understanding of what needs to be optimised and how to do it.

For more information on the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Workshop, visit Wheres Your Website for more information.


networking visitor month

Business Networking Visitor Month

Visitor Month at 10-12 Business Club Networking

Try business networking for women in Berks, Bucks, Surrey

June is the month for visitors at the 10-12 Business Club. Come try our friendly structured networking events in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey. Normal visitor rate is just £15 but in the month of June you can save £5 and come visit for just £10.00

Come try our new Bagshot and Camberly networking group that launches on the 17th of June or consider one of our established groups such as Reading, Marlow or Maidenhead.

Reading Networking Group is held on the first Thursday of the month at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club

Marlow Networking Group is held on the second Friday of the month at Harleyford Estate Golf Club

Maidenhead Networking Group is held on the fourth Wednesday of the month at Monkey Island Hotel

For more information on our network agenda, visit our meeting agenda page or email for more information.

We look forward to welcoming you to one of our groups in the month of June.