Penny Heys (ACCROSS) Rob Heys (MD, ASFC) Berni Rosco (ACCROSS)
This months ACCROSS Business League meeting was the first following the end of ASFCs playing season. I think the atmosphere in the room was a mixture of relief, nervousness and excitement, from several quarters.
Professional league status was assured for another season and the appointment of a new manager was announced only minutes earlier on local radio. There were visitors present from two prominent colleges to share ‘best practice’. An apprentice and an Enterprise Academy Scheme candidate, with their support workers, were preparing to address the room. Add all of that to the feeling of ‘expectation’ from the regular networkers and first time visitors – Little wonder the atmosphere was positively charged.
Several new guests were present including two that I had invited. Rob Gillard, Pattinson Property Introducer and Anis Amanjy, Premier Cleaning and Premier Security Services. Another first time attendee was Susan Beaumont of Bigger Fun. Susan is on the NEA scheme and mentored by Julie Young Spenser Fold Management services. I had shared some of my experiences and contacts with Susan through my association with Julie.
Time for Rob to call the room to order. Rob explained the financial implications of maintaining football league status, the high level of optimism within the club, moving forward with the new manager and Store First as the clubs main sponsor. ‘Throughout all the trials and tribulations of the recent months, the club had maintained a good positive mental attitude’. The attendees spontaneously applauded Rob for his sentiment. The added bonus for Rob was ‘shaving off his beard’.
Berni introduced Penny Heys who welcomed Lancaster & Morecombe College and Preston College. Accrington & Rossendale Colleges first apprentice, Leoni, was introduced as was Sarah Hardy. Sarah is enrolled in the Enterprise Academy Scheme and has launched an initiative to market pre-loved clothing.
Fittingly Jo Fulthorpe Hyndburn Enterprise Trust and Chrissy Pilkington Chamber of Commerce shared how they collaborate to help business start ups and continue to offer ongoing support through their network of business support contacts.
I was late getting to my seat at the table and surprise surprise, the captain’s armband was at my place! No worries though, I love that role. Berni gave the go ahead and I led my team out.
We moved around the table with ease and efficiency. There was one person on our table new to ‘Networking’ so I gave her the opportunity to watch and learn before presenting her business. Angela Eason presented an alternative investment scheme with a minimum guaranteed return. These types of schemes are well established and very popular in the Self Investment Pension Plan Schemes (SIPPS). Interestingly, this scheme has been launched by Store First and you invest in storage space.
Michael Donkins presentation was full of humour. Michael related the usual frustrations that users suffer regarding their PCs and PC Networks – just the sort of problems that the IT Dept loves.
We then enjoyed a mini open forum discussing aspects of other people businesses and challenges before moving on to the next round and breaking for lunch.
Karen Hands, Thought Into Action, presented a very vivid depiction of how most people feel regarding public speaking. She then explained some of the techniques that she teaches to move you from ‘Panic to Poise’.
Karen also explained the importance of having the skill and confidence to speaking in public. You may see an opportunity for your business but may not be able to take full advantage of it through lack of this skill.
As the footie season is over now, there were no hospitality tickets as prizes. Instead ASFC offered ‘corporate gifts’. Hats, Scarves, posters and Air fresheners! (Where did that come from?).
Berni wrapped up the meeting with a couple of short announcements and as now has become customary, open networking began again.
I counted 70 people seated at the tables. Also noticeable was the amount of laughter and banter in the room, a sure sign that people like and enjoy each other’s company. That’s a great precursor to doing business.
I didn’t get the opportunity to chat with the two college guests but they must have left the Business League with awe inspired feelings. Credit where credit is due, Berni and team have done a wonderful job that must be the envy of other network events. I’m just grateful to be a small part of this and I enjoy the success it affords my business.
See you all at the Haslingden Business League.