Perfect Layout attended a Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) business showcasing event last year, which you may have read about. It was a well-attended event where we got to network, not only for potential clients, but also to gain a feel for other local services and what they had to offer.
Whilst there, we found out that HCCI also offers monthly breakfast meetings, where non-members are welcome to join for a small fee. The aim of the Breakfast Club is to have guest speakers, workshops, specialist advice, business showcases, networking and more. What was there not to like?
At the beginning of January, Perfect Layout went along and found the group to be extremely welcoming. Isn’t it always a little daunting heading to these things when you don’t know anybody…? I think we all feel the same way. But with the HCCI there was no need to be, everyone mingled and I met a number of interesting people and businesses. Some of them may help improve our business and others, we hope, will use our services at some point in the future. Time will tell, but these are the little seeds that will grow into wonderful oak trees.
If you are the owner of a local business, I recommend you look for your own networking groups in your area. Go along and learn what’s going on in your neighbourhood; there may be an chance for you and your business to grow connections in the local business community.
Later in the month Havering Women in Business were hosting a networking evening in Hornchurch. The theme of the evening was how to increase profit with training. This provided us with insight into hiring apprentices and offering work experience, as a way for smaller businesses to expand their team with staff wanting to learn on the job whilst at the same time studying for a qualification. This was a smaller gathering, but it was rich in information, contacts and prospective opportunities.
Off the back of that meeting we were invited by one of the ladies to attend a Women in Business Network lunch, which was another opportunity to meet other local business owners, exchange business cards, have a chance to tell the group what you do, as well as network independently. From that meeting we made more interesting contacts that could potentially turn into new business.
If you haven’t yet dipped your toe into networking events - be bold, be brave and go forth. It can open you up to a whole new world that you were previously closed off too. As I always say, it not just the people you meet, but it is who they know that might benefit you too.