Kate Denne Administration Services Northampton

Networking the next step!

You may have read about my first steps into Networking in my blog “Launching into Networking with a bang!” Here I describe my first experiences of networking via Twitter.

Since then a lot has changed…

I have begun face-to-face networking and over the last few months, I have visited a variety of groups to see where I fit best. Networking is a must to promote your services but to also meet others who provide products and services you are likely to need too.

I have visited small groups, large groups, groups that operate a lock-in and those who don’t. Early breakfast meeting and even earlier breakfast groups! Women only and mixed groups.

What I have found is that it is daunting and nerve-wracking standing in front of a large room full of people, but everyone is in the same position.  Everyone in the room has been a beginner and has tips to share. Once you’ve been to a few meetings it soon becomes easier.

The standard structure of most networking sessions is to mingle when you arrive. If it’s a breakfast meeting, then you normally eat and then you may have 45 or 60 seconds to sell yourself, this is known as an elevator pitch. After this, a speaker or group member will provide an in-depth presentation on an aspect of their business or a skill that could help others develop.

Some groups offer 1-1’s or a section where you may ask advice from the others in the room. Usually, there is a section where other group members can pass on referrals or acknowledge those who have helped them in some way, which is a really positive way to end a session.

I have been warmly welcomed everywhere I have been which has really helped. To learn more about networking, I attended a workshop called “Making the most out of Networking” run by Paul Green from NN CoNNect and Jacky Sherman from Assentiv. I found this session invaluable and so glad I attended whilst I was new to networking. The seminar made me focus my pitch, not to try and reach everyone but to be specific on how I can help and who my ideal client would be when asking for specific referrals.

So which groups did I choose to join?

After attending several groups, I have decided to join The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), NN CoNNect and Rushden Town Partnership (RTP) as my main networking groups. They all have something slightly different to offer me and I have already met people who would like to work with me.

Kate Denne Administration Services Northampton

I chose The FSB as it represents not only my own business but small businesses and sole traders who are my idealclients. They also offer an enormous range of resources to support small businesses from free legal support to free business banking! The FSB has thousands of members from all over the UK and I am looking forward to becoming more involved with them in 2017.

Kate Denne Administration Services Northampton I joined NN CoNNect as it offers a selection of meetings in my local county, Northamptonshire. NN CoNNect doesn’t operate a lock-out which promotes healthy competition and choice. Paul and the other members are welcoming which creates a friendly atmosphere to do business in. Becoming a member has many benefits and one of these is to attend free training to develop your business skills.

Kate Denne Administration Services Northampton

Finally, with another warm welcome, I chose Rushden Town Partnership (RTP) as it operates in my immediate vicinity. This group is just for businesses based in Rushden and serves the public by providing them with a directory of services, shops and businesses which they may never know existed. The RTP is a non-political group formed in 2012 with the express aim of engaging with business and the local community to ensure Rushden continues to be a great place to live and visit.



I am looking forward to attending my main networking groups and visiting other groups to develop KDVA in 2017!

Why don’t you come and join me?

  • Paul Green
    Posted at 13:37h, 08 February Reply

    Thanks for the mention Kate and for taking advantage of the free workshops for NN coNNect members. See you soon.

    • Kate
      Posted at 22:16h, 22 February Reply

      Thank you Paul, I have found each course I have undertaken with NN coNNect really insightful and invaluable.

  • Jane Francis
    Posted at 14:48h, 22 February Reply

    It’s been amazing to meet you Kate, really looking forward to working along side you and networking with you at FSB and RTP.

    • Kate
      Posted at 22:17h, 22 February Reply

      Likewise Jane, you have made me feel very welcome, thank you.

  • Stephen Church
    Posted at 20:34h, 22 February Reply

    Kate – I reckon your approach to networking is spot-on – to try them all nd then make a balanced decision. No doubt you’ll find in time for yourself what Jacky and Paul will have preached – that the more you put in, the more you get out.

    It takes time and diligent persistence but, in the end, I’m sure you’ll reap the rewards.

    One great idea at events is to focus on new people – going out of your way to empathise with their nervousness, fetch them a cuppa, sit next to them and generally help through the meeting.

    They’ll always remember you for this and love you for your generosity 🙂

    • Kate
      Posted at 22:19h, 22 February Reply

      Hi Stephen, thank you for your comments and suggestions. I hope to make others feel as welcome as other networkers have made me feel! Hope to see you soon.

  • Alison Mead
    Posted at 17:32h, 23 February Reply

    Great post about networking. One day I’ll make it to NN Connect and I might see you at the FSB breakfasts but I’ve got out of the habit of going.

    • Kate
      Posted at 14:01h, 25 February Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Alison. You should try a meeting with NN coNNect when you can, they are very relaxed and friendly. I’ll look out for you at FSB, it would be nice to meet face-to-face. Do you normally go to Kettering or Northampton FSB?

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