Monday, 24 November 2008

Next meeting December 10th ..give a gift that grows.....

No, I'm not talking about a Christmas cactus or a potentialla but a gift of knowledge - a little bit of well-earned wisdom, a skill, or a bit of information others might have missed. In keeping with the season, this months networking (& Christmas party!) invites you to give away something you've learnt & to receive some gems in return.

Think about what you have learnt that would be useful for other businesswomen. Is there something you could share with a small group in twenty minutes? It's an opportunity to convey something of your business and to learn something valuable simultaneously. If so, please send me a 1-2 line description by 28th November. We've already got great contributions lined up from MDs Sam Rimmer, Vicky White & Katy Sewell & I'll be putting in links to contributors' websites in my next email.

But don't worry if you just want to come along, listen, join in and learn. That's OK too, and besides, I'll confess, I'm cheating a bit and showing a particularly disturbing/mind-blowing film in 20 minutes!

That's not all. December's meeting is being co-sponsored by Michelle from The Green Box Shop. Thanks to her there'll be a few of Dottie's fairy cakes and a glass of something alongside our healthy veggie buffet - and a few more surprises in the Christmas Goodie Bag. Don't forget you can add something to the goodie bag too - a small gift or voucher perhaps - just bring them along to the meeting. Don't miss it, it's the last chance we'll get to catch up this year.

See you December 10th - 12 noon
Booking form

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Great story from Anna Girstun

Vanessa inspired Anna to send in this great story to sahre

"There's a hole in my sidewalk"
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson

Chapter One :I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost .... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two :I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three :I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit ... but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four :I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five :I walk down another street.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

November 12th - Getting ahead with your values intact

Can you really have your cake and eat it? Yes!
Are all of your values being met? Are there any that are unfulfilled?
When your values aren’t being met, it gives rise to dissatisfaction, conflict, disillusion and stress, and your energy drains away.

Vanessa Boon offers a thought-provoking and fun session to help you explore
your values and how they can help you to re-energise
and unlock your full potential.

This session will help you to identify what you really want from your business, for your relationships, your community and what you want just for yourself!

Navigate politics, sabotage and ethical dilemmas with style using practical tools such as the ‘Windfall Challenge’, awareness of your ‘head tapes’ and the satisfaction you can enjoy by ‘leaving the ladder down’.

Get ahead and get what you want – with grace!
About The Speaker

Vanessa launched Energise in May 2007, following a career in Human Resources and Diversity. When deciding on a name for her business, she looked back at appraisals and feedback from training events – recurring descriptions included ‘dynamic’ and ‘creative’ and ‘energising’, and so Energise was born.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Oct 8th Unweaving the web and turning visitors into customers

"My,what a tangled web we weave..."

Do you have any of these issues about your website?

- " I don't know where to start."
- "I don't know how to choose a designer."
- "I don't know what it will cost."
- "How do I know what I am paying for."
- "What do I do next."

If so, on Wednesday 8th October you will find answers with help from Kirsty Farrelly of the Open Book Agency.

If you are passionate about your business then you need a site that shows that passion to your visitors. Only then can you make the connection you need. With web skills backed by 17 years of retail management, Kirsty offers a unique approach to the world of the web. She can guide you to create a clear concise message and the right first, all important impression of your business.

In small manageable chunks, she will ensure you gain a clearer understanding of what works (and what doesn't) on websites. Once you realise the practical, basic principles of website design and construction you can ensure your website gives you the best value for money, maximizes your sales and offers your visitors and customers the best experience possible.

The Open Book Agency offers you and your organisation web training, web consultation, web usability testing, search engine optimisation advice and guidance, social networking strategies and web marketing advice and training. Helping you to save and make money.

Join us at 12 noon on 8th October - booking form

Monday, 18 August 2008

10th September - Penny Poyzer - How green is your business?

The Women's Network returns in September to all things eco as we host the second Green & Organic exhibition. Penney Poyzer, BBC presenter of No Waste Like Home and author of 'The Virgin Green Guide' will give a bracing insight into the steps you and your business can take to do your bit, and help save our environment. Let's face it, it's an issue that takes a bit of a back burner for most of us. We think we're too busy and hope others have got it in hand. But it's the small steps you can take which really do make a massive difference. As Penney points out '...we have one planet and one set of resources and we are in a race against time!' Increasingly your customers will be asking you 'What are you and your business doing to help?'

And there's more ....taking a break over summer means we're back with a treble bill for September's meeting. Straight after Penney, Jay and Lou from Savvy Style Consultants are running a Ditch2Switch Clothes Swap.

How many unworn items have you got in your wardrobe? Fact is most of us wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time and every year 2 billion items get chucked in the bin. Bring along up to five clean, quality items to swap and with advice from this award winning duo, you could be cutting your best deal of the day!

And more! Arrive early to browse our exhibition and some specially selected eco-stands and products including Network member, the Green Box Shop. You can check out what's on offer at our Green & Organic blog.

So, to sum all these treats up - it's lovely lunch and networking from noon or arrive early to browse. Penney's presentation from 12.50pm and Ditch2Switch from 2pm. All this for £15 including lunch! £10 for Network members. Download the booking form now. You don't have to book but it helps us with the catering and you get a badge and a free gift if you do!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Ann Martin - So Let's Just Do It!

Ok, it’s time to be honest. It’s time to be frank. It’s time to hold your hands up. Admit it! You know you wanted to be further with your business than you are, don’t you? You know that you’re burying your head in the sand and hoping that one day the perfect contract will land on your desk, aren’t you? You’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on courses. You’ve read mountains of books. You’ve attended umpteen networking events. And still something’s not quite right, is it? So, what’s happening, or more to the point .... what’s not!
This presentation is not for the faint hearted. It comes with a warning, that if you commit (and I mean commit) to actioning 3 simple steps, you could take your business and your life to the stratosphere and beyond. Or, you could stay in your comfort zone and apply excuse number 23.
So, the first step is to make a decision. Book now

Ann Martin of the Women’s Alternative Network promises participants a good shaking at View from the Top on Wednesday 9th July. She is renowned for her lively, challenging and humorous style, so expect something a little different and come prepared to take action.

Download the Booking form here...

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

June 11th - Lesley Brown - How to lose customers and alienate people - (and not realise it!)

Are you indifferent to your customers' different backgrounds? Do you like to think you treat everybody with equal courtesy and respect? You’ve thought about discrimination and equal opportunities issues, but do you know what your practices say about you and your business? Can you afford to ignore the £8 billion pink pound or the £80 billion disabled pound, 15-20% of the UK population? Do you know what you don’t know?

Lesley Brown set up Rainbow Training in 2006 following a lead role on Equalities with Nottinghamshire Social Services, including running Diversity for Senior Managers and Becoming Culturally Competent courses for front line staff and their managers. In an entertaining session Lesley will,

· Give some insight into how the big players like Asda, HSBC and Sainsbury’s achieve staff and customer satisfaction and large profits.
· Demonstrate how understanding the diverse needs of each individual maximises business opportunities.

Don’t miss a rare opportunity to learn how to connect with powerful new markets in today’s competitive climate!

Booking Form for Wednesday June 11th - Lesley Brown

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Speaking opportunities

I'm trying to get the programme together for the rest of the year and would love to hear from women interested in speaking. You need to talk for about half an hour with an additional ten minutes for questions. The golden rule is that fellow networkers should learn something useful they can apply themselves. So it's an opportunity to enhance your profile and demonstrate what you know or can do, rather than to simply talk about your business. However (as the 21st century sales gurus tell us) giving something away, and thereby inspiring trust and confidence, is the very best way of selling your business and achieving great referrals!

Email me with a rough idea of what you'd like to do and when - we've currently got some free slots July through to December.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

May 14th - Suze Watts - 'Branding on a Budget'

Having a 50 page glossy brochure is pretty much out of the question for most small businesses. But there are lots of options available for smaller budgets which, used effectively, can form the basis for a strong and continuing brand promotion. Looking after your brand is critical - it is the visual representation of your business! Suze will be:

• sharing knowledge of brand development
• giving ideas on cost effective marketing literature & promo items
• sharing tips on making the most of your visual space on these items

Suze is an experienced graphic designer with over ten years in the industry - five as director of her own business, Fatcactus. She is now creative director and 50% owner of The New Fat, a Nottingham design agency offering creative design for brand communications.

Booking form for 14th May

Thursday, 10 April 2008

April 9th - Susan Luke on 'Presenting Confidently'

Susan Luke, professional trainer,accredited coach and advocate provided a superb, comprehensive introduction to presentation skills, including lots of practical points on how to appear calm, confident and capable. She guided us through the critical preparation stages, including advice on the audience, content, the environment and preparing yourself (right down to your undies!) The Network audience was unanimous in appreciation. "Excellent speaker." "Thank you for practical advice I can use." In my case I used it much of it two days later in a presentation for Intelligence East Midlands - especially the bit about not taking too much notice of your audience's facial expressions!

There's no getting away from the need to make good, effective presentations in business and it's an area that calls for a little investment in yourself. You are your business's greatest asset after all! To help develop your skills, Susan's offering a half-day session at View from the Top on April 30th. Check out the details and Susan's website

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Become a member of the network that means business!

"Brilliant… refreshing… it was so great I could have stayed there all day.” “An excellent network and one I always recommend.” “My top choice from the networking I do - I've had more leads from this group than any other networking groups I attend.”
These are just some of the things women said about View from the Top lunchtime networking.

Meeting on the second Wednesday of every month (except August) the Network brings together women running businesses, to support each other, buy and sell, learn something and explore ways of collaborating. But make no mistake, this network is not just another talking shop, it is an opportunity to do business with other women. Bring your business cards, take away information and samples. All women are welcome, whatever your business.

From April 2008 we are asking participants to consider paying £5/month membership fee (on standing order) to help to support, sustain and develop the Network. Network Members receive a number of immediate benefits which will increase with the growing membership. These are:

1. If you are a member and you advance book to attend the Network meeting, your name and a link to your website will appear in a special section of the emails sent to promote the meeting. At least one mailing goes out per month to nearly 500 local businesswomen and it is promoted on other sites.

2. In addition to the free business exchange table, a limited number of marketplace tables will be available for hire at Network meetings. These can be used for selling, demonstrations or information. Members get priority and reduced hire fees (£25 r/t £40).

3. As a member you can hire our gallery or meeting room at not-for-profit rates.
(eg. Gallery @ £500 r/t £600/wk. Meeting room delegate rates @ £25/head r/t £27.50)

4. Members will be entitled to use the View from the Top clubroom, available shortly.

If you decide not to become a member you can still come to the meeting. The cost for members is £10 and for non-members it's £15. So it's all the same really - except members get additional benefits and we get some regular income to use to support, sustain and develop the Network. Rest assured all monies raised through membership fees will be used for that purpose.

There is more information on the booking form You can also email me, with any questions, thoughts or comments. Or catch me at the next meeting!