Month: December 2020

Having a virtual bubble

Well, it’s all done and dusted and the remains of the turkey, which as always, was of ostrich proportions, is sliced, diced and frozen. Now into the New Year, when my mantra for 2021 will be “Never talk about 2020” I’m going to get my last CoVid-19 comment in.

Every four months I visit all my Groups, have 1-2-1s with Group Directors and, at Christmas, take this as an opportunity to wear one of my elf outfits (FYI I have three). This year the Group meetings were quite emotional, as people said “thank you” to other members, the GDs and, a few times, me. During one meeting a member summed it up by saying that their Group had become their ‘virtual bubble’, providing a safe place with people who would support them, whether with their business or their wobble days when emotionally they were not coping so well.

This member then said something that made my heart glad, and my eyes moist, they said “Glenys you should be very proud of what you have created”, and, you know, when I took time to think about it, I am proud. I’m proud that people have felt able to share their concerns, maintain and grow their businesses, supported each other and are still standing at the end of this year. When I decided that all our meetings would be held under the Chatham House Rule (what is said in the meeting cannot be attributed outside of the meeting) I did it so that people can have a place of safety where they could share their concerns without fear that it was going to appear on the 9 o’clock news.

This has worked and continues to work. Within each Group people have shared and been supported. People have visited and joined because they have seen the worth, experienced the ethos and felt supported. And, since business can be a lonely place, I am proud of what I, my GDs and my members have achieved

When we are in business we worry about all sorts of things—staff, customers, cashflow seems to cover it for me. We celebrate when the business grows, when we get that contract, when our team grows, when we need larger premises, and we agonize when the business shrinks, or we don’t get that contract, when we have to make difficult decisions about our team members, and we realise that maybe we didn’t need such a large office.

Rarely do we take time to feel proud, of what we’ve achieved; the business we’ve developed and nurtured. However we started our business, whether from scratch or buying something that we have then moulded and grown—I’ve done both—it has taken persistence, passion, strength and commitment. So today, as you read this and we head into a brighter 2021, let’s all take a moment to feel proud of what we have achieved.

My New Year gift is some support for your networking in 2021. Go to and download my Top 20 tips.

Have fun, stay safe


I don’t know anyone called anybody or somebody

Last week I met some new members to help them to get the most from their networking and, in particular, from their membership of ebn. One of the things I talk about is helping others to get you business from their contacts. To enable people to do this they need to understand what you do and who would be your best customer. The first part of this I cover in the blog which I mention below, so here I’ll deal with the second part: understanding what your best customer looks like.

We are all busy people, keeping our business working and growing, looking after staff and customers, both existing and potential, planning and implementing marketing, sorting out premises, equipment, insurance… you know what it’s like. Here I’m dealing with marketing. Part of any marketing plan is knowing what your ideal customer looks like, so at ebn we are looking for decision makers. Usually this is a business owner but sometimes it can be an employee with a sphere of influence, think Director in a very large company.

Now, because I am busy working out what my ideal customer looks like I don’t have time to work out what other people’s ideal customer looks like. That is not me being selfish, it’s me being honest. We have to help people to sift through all their contacts, mentally not physically, and find those who, we have said, are ideal customers. How does this work? First and most important: Never ask for anybody or somebody.

Instead, be as specific as you can. So let’s say you are a caterer looking for people who want catering. You do different types of catering so focus on one type of catering at a time, whilst making brief mention of the other types of catering, my blog: explains this in more detail. So let’s say that today the caterer is focussing on the wedding market. They don’t say “Anyone who might need catering”. They say “Do you know anyone who is starting to plan their wedding”. Perhaps narrow that down further by saying “In the Essex area” and because they are fully booked for this year, they may further narrow it down to “and are planning to get married next year”. The caterer might want to have contact with venues who have preferred supplier lists. So they don’t say “Any venues that have preferred supplier lists”. They do the research and find out if a venue has a preferred supplier list, and then say “Do you know the owner of…and name a venue”. This narrows down who they are looking for and enables more people to mentally sift through their contacts and potentially make the introduction.

Help people to help you grow your business.

If you would like more tips on networking go to my top 20 tips.

Have fun