Business networking in Tavistock

Tavistock Chamber of Commerce kicks off with its 1st business networking event

Today (Tue March 17th) sees the first Chamber networking event in Tavistock.

Location is the Ordulph Arms in Tavistock and there are more than 20 local businesses attending.  This is set to be a regular monthly get-together.  Chamber members £10, guests £12 to cover cost of the buffet.

The event features a short presentation, 4 business sponsors and plenty of time to network with other local businessess.  Everyone welcome – and if you’re interested in the next one, watch this space or speak to Chamber Chairman Nigel Eadie on 07802885117.

Visit the Tavistock Chamber of Commerce here.

Rate me good! Endorse me! Give me a testimonial!

Does asking for a rating, an endorsement or a testimonial devalue the whole idea?

Late last year, I let my Ecademy membership lapse.  Why?  Firstly, because I’d learned myself how to get the Google positioning that Ecademy offered via its blogs and profiles. Secondly, because I’d never got any actual work directly or indirectly from being active on it.  Thirdly because I’d got fed up being repeatedly spammed by Ecademy members – particularly Black Stars.

Fourthly (this is turning into quite a list, isn’t it? – but you’ll notice, Ecademy, I spared naming you in the title and h3 tag) – I got fed up of people asking to be connected, to be rated and for a testimonial – even though I’d never heard of most of them, far less bought anything from them.

Today, I joined ‘WeCanDO Biz’ – out of curiousity.  It’s an online directory / network I looked in on when it started sometime last year and was pretty underwhelmed.  About the only thing that raised my interest level a fraction was that users have a ‘I need….’ status feed (a bit like Facebook).  Could be handy – if it wasn’t full of people saying “I need… introductions to more customers” and such like.

It also has ‘endorsements’ – the idea being that you get reviewed and endorsed by your customers (bringing them into the network at the same time).  Nice in principle.

Two things happened.  First, I noticed the ‘No negative feedback’ approach. Ah, so only positive reviews then, or silence.

The second was that as soon as I joined, someone from a forum I’ve signed up for appeared with a request that I give them an endorsement.

Do you think that asking for an endorsement is wrong?

What would make an online endorsement carry the most weight for you?

The Hub – a great example of free business networking

Last Thursday saw me give a 35 minute talk about podcasting to The Hub business network in Cornwall. The venue was the Maritime Museum in Falmouth and it was the first time I’d been to a Hub event – and the first time we’d been to the Museum too. Both were excellent. There were about 60+ people at the event (a great turn out for an event so far South) and the Museum, overlooking the Marina as night fell, was a spectacular venue.

The Hub do free business networking very well. They get sponsorship from a few key businesses to pay for food, wine and venue hire and it’s free to the public. A very simple, effective model where everyone wins. The picture, btw, is of me setting up 45 minutes before people arrived. Honestly ;-)

New podcast

Here’s a screenshot of a new podcast we’re just starting – a fun, business network-focussed weekly production. Its designed to give a summary of the region’s networking events and opportunities and showcase local Devon and Cornwall businesses.

Its designed to ‘make-itself-up-as-it-goes-along’ so it will be interesting to see how it develops.

Free and open forum for Devon and Cornwall businesses

Today, we kicked off G2B@ networking - an idea that Clare, William Nel-Barker and I had a while back. There are lots of different networking organisations and groups in the UK with a wide variety of ways of doing things. But, after a couple of years of sampling most of what was on offer, we still hadn’t found anything that worked for us. We’d experienced every shade of approach and seen just about every kind of excess too: ego, cult of personality, machismo, sleaze, in-fighting, scamming, dog-fighting, xenophobia and mysogyny to name but a few.

All we wanted when we started ‘mu:kau was to network with interesting people in an open, respectful and accountable environment. So that’s all G2B@ is. It stands for ‘good to be at’ networking.

New podcast in the pipeline

Rule No. 1 – “Be yourself”

We’re about to launch a new business podcast and we’re thinking about how far we go to try to make the content acceptable to everyone and how far we go in expressing views, insights or opinions.

Podcasting Rule No. 1 says that the most important thing is to be yourself. Which means this time round, it’s not going to walk down the middle of the road – and it isn’t going to please everyone.

We’re creating this podcast to give small, entrepreneurial businesses useful information that isn’t normally easy to get – and to give it to them in a format that is easy to consume. It’s going to be aimed at the commute to work, whether that’s by car, cycle, bus or on foot. There are many ways podcasting can pay off – and for us it’s a great way to highlight what we do; a perfect excuse to go out and talk to loads of interesting business people and way to generate valuable content.