WIBN - Southampton - Inspirational Networking - Tool Box

Local Business Networking for Women, Southampton

Southampton City saw the latest roll out of Tool Box, as regional WIBN Ambassador Joannah Bishop presented to the group she chairs.

Tool Box training and shared learning is proving highly successful. Established members are taking on board timely reminders, whilst new members welcome the knowledge and visitors see what WIBN offers.

Jo’s focus was literally to focus. “Focus on what you want – not what you don’t want,” she said as she welcomed eight visitors, six of whom visitors from other WIBN groups. It’s worthwhile to experience the vibe and connections found outside a regular group.

Jo reminded us that if you ask for positive things and project a positive outlook, opportunities and new ventures will happen. Look at a significant past success too, because it may prove the catalyst for a project or provide an answer.

For networking newcomers Tool Box knowledge explains how to present in a structured, safe and supportive environment. “First impressions count, so make it memorable,” advised Jo. “Your one minute presentation should be precise. It’s about sharing information. Make it fun, add a testimonial, keep it factual and find a strapline.”

A five-minute slot offers a wonderful opportunity to expand. These need a beginning, a middle and an end and Jo suggested treating such as a 10 o’clock news slot: “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you have told them.”

Cast your net and invite as many contacts as possible to groups; this is integral to growing WIBN. Visitors Gill Werrett (health insurance) and Emma Rundle (communications agency) plan to join.

Members’ news included Carolyn Page using 3D design visuals to bring a planned kitchen to life, whilst Jo Jewer (business banking, one of our cornerstone professions), recommended taking a look at Solent LEP Bridging the Gap funding, as it may be applicable to members.

Jo asked us to share what we would be doing straight after the meeting and responses varied from Ali Beaumont preparing for a major pitch to a national retailer, to doing the school run, finishing work, dance classes and horse riding. It illustrates we not only pack a punch with time management and multitasking, but also enjoy a healthy work/life balance!

Let’s Talk Business featured excellent collaborations and referrals, including:

• Julia Prior has recommended Jo Bishop to her new marketing head, whilst Jackie Halford is using Jo’s marketing expertise.

• Jackie would like to meet and learn more about health supplement importer Elena Rayner-Melnikova.

• Pauline Grant empathised with Natalie Hutchins’ work because she is married to a sailor who goes away for long spells and understands ‘you welcome a stranger back into your life that you are married to, so support is vital’.

• Lorraine Orridge is seeking Carolyn’s advice – she has a 23-year-old kitchen and does not know where to start after visiting a large showroom.

Finally, Natalie said the only problem with WIBN is: “It’s so inspirational I want to quit my job and start my own business!"

Advice from the Chair: “Start it alongside the day job!”



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