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Five top tips to keep your business finances working for you

Thrive members work in different sectors doing different roles, but one thing we all have in common is the need to be financially savvy. Luckily, at Thrive we have expert accountant Mark Johnstone from Argents to give us his insight into money matters. Here are Mark’s top five tips for keeping your business finances in check. Read more

Are you responsive? You should be!

We all know that if you want to succeed in the digital age you’ve got to have a website that showcases what you do. But looking good is only the start of the process. Norwich Thrive member Tracy Martin from it’s eeze websites says that it’s not just having the right content and images that’s important, being responsive is crucial too. Read more

Networking – don’t just turn up when you want something

The more successful networkers, the people who use networking to build their business, are very used to spotting the people who only turn up when they want something.  Most people hate selling and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being sold to, just hearing someone’s hard pitch, their words often make me mentally switch off.  I think that hard selling is now old fashioned, we’re subconsciously aware of these selling methods and marketing has come round full circle, it’s about building relationships rather than about ‘selling to’ and for me I think that all hard selling does is hack potential clients and customers off and send them rapidly on their way to someone else who doesn’t do it. I like to buy, the way I want to buy, when I wish to buy.
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Success comes from building real relationships and having meaningful conversations

Conversation is an art and like any art some people are more practised in this than others but whatever your skills, this can be developed further through practice and have the art of meaningful conversation become a good habit.  Read more

Thrive Spotlight – Michael J Flynn, European Patent & Trademark Attorney

If you’ve had a bright idea that needs protecting, Michael Flynn is your man. A specialist in intellectual property, Michael helps creative types navigate the complicated process of safeguarding their ideas, and helps inventors and brands owners on the tricky journey to market. However, this niche area of law isn’t Michael’s only passion – he’s also got a vintage VW campervan hire company and has an impressive collection of guitars.  Read more

A networking gaffe that weakens your reputation?

Have you heard this? “I don’t need to network”.  What you’re really saying is that you will never be in need of the help of others.  

Networking is just a fancy word for relationship building, in which business people and entrepreneurs meet, so what you’re basically saying that you are happy to live enclosed within the group you’ve created, you know all you need to know and have put up barriers to stop anyone else entering in. We rely on our networks to advise us and keep us on track, and we give back to our networks in return, the better your network the more knowledge you can tap into. Read more

Is growing a successful business a puzzle for you?

Growing a ‘thriving’ business requires you branching out to find new contacts, including partners to collaborate with, along with clients and customers to sell to. We all at times need a little help and guidance opening specific doors, with networking key to making this possible. Networking should not be sly and devious, treated as an unscrupulous strategy that takes advantage of others’ talents, rather, we should embrace networking as a creative skill of relationship-building and treat it as the precious resource which it is. Read more

Missing Networking Ingredient: Are you sharing with your network what you need?

Building a tight-knit network helps get you and your products or services get noticed by the right people in the right place, but keeping your network informed is just as important as having great people in that network, if not more important.  Read more

How to turn your social chit chat into business chat.

Socialising is all part of networking, but networking is more extensive than this.  The purpose of networking is to create connections between different people with different needs, so how do you turn the socialising and get to the point of having a deeper conversation with someone in the first place?  Networking is a skill, like any others, which means that it needs to be practiced on a regular basis.     Read more

A great place to make surprising and lasting connections

Being a member of Thrive has opened up several business opportunities and helped me to expand my network of professional contacts, many of whom have become friends. I’ve been impressed by how several aspects of Thrive has helped change and shape my business.

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Tours tastings and talks, not just your Grandad’s beer.

Last year Cheryl Cade gave up her day job to embark on a business built around her true passion – beer! Now she and her husband Mark run The Thirst Consultants, a company committed to celebrating beer and elevating its reputation. Here Cheryl tells us about turning her hobby into a living, and how networking is key to making her business a success! Read more

Make networking an art . . . not an accident.

Today there are all types of opportunities to meet people and strengthen business connections, but it’s only with time and patience that these relationships will thrive and flourish, but naturally like anything good, this takes some effort. Read more

Top tips for successful networking

By Rhian Morgan
Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM)
Succeeding in business is all about making connections, as one of the world’s top entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, once said. Rhian Morgan talks to Lorna Burroughes, director of networking group Thrive, about why we need to network, how golf can help with business, and her top tips on making networking central to your business success. Read more

Are you beating the feast or famine cycle?

Business may be great at the moment, and if it is I’m pleased for you. A couple of months ago I spoke with someone who was struggling with his time – quite simply he had so much business that he couldn’t prioritise his networking and yes you guessed it, when I met him last week he’s coming to the end of this and he now needs to look for work. Read more

Thrive Face of the Fortnight – Caroline Billings

Caroline Billings – solicitor, Hatch Brenner.

Forget what you know about aloof legal eagles in a stuffy suits, Caroline Billings is a solicitor on a mission to bring the human touch to this serious business. That’s why she’s found Thrive to be the perfect place to reach out to other professional people, and ensure she’s giving her clients an even better service.

Thrive: Give us your pitch, Caroline.

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A few basic tips for Christmas networking

As the year draws to a close and the traditional Christmas party craze begins, don’t forget that this seasonal fun they call ‘networking’, involving crackers, funny hats and the drinks-laden party, is not the serious stuff, but all networking is personal, it is about human chains of connections, both to other people and to ideas.

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It’s not about you!

Thanks to technology, new contacts are only a click away, but if you are starting up a new business or taking your business to the next level, developing actual contacts and new business leads can be the most daunting aspect of growing a business.

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Networking can you hack it?

The way of networking is changing – we have to change and to modernise, but do not discount the face-to-face method, as nothing can supersede in-person networking, it is this that creates a fundamental personal relationship. Read more

Thrive Christmas Lunch

December can be a tough time as a business owner, as often work slows down and it is hard to keep motivated on your business. Add to this all your friends out celebrating Christmas with the rest of the office and it sometimes can feel like all work and no play so again we will be holding our Thrive Christmas festivities.

Something Christmassy to think about

You and I know Christmas is a once a year occurrence, but networking is a year-round endeavour, networking is something that should be done by everyone 365 days a year because networking is how you get ahead and stay ahead in business and in life. Read more

98% of businesses rely on word of mouth to gain new business

Business life has always been about connections and the best business leaders spend decades building and cultivating relationships. So having a strong network will be one of the best tools a businessperson can have and one of their most valuable assets, of course we all cherish our networks and are naturally cautious about jeopardising them. Read more

Networking – it’s a people game not a numbers game.

Are you meeting as many different people as possible at different events and collecting the maximum number of business cards? Are you playing the networking numbers game? I believe that this is like being on a carousel, just keep going round and around and getting nowhere, starting from scratch every time you network. Read more

Make networking part of your marketing routine.

Many business people don’t bother with asking for leads and connections. It might be that they find asking uncomfortable or just assume their friends, customers and clients will pass along good words about them. They hope to get new work, of course, but they don’t do anything about it.

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There’s nothing more powerful than having a your networking group………..

Have you ever sought advice from the people in a business network you belong to? If not, you could be missing out on some of the other benefits of being involved in a networking group. Yes, the primary reason you’re networking is to get referrals, but you also gain access to professionals in almost every type of business.

Why are you keeping your business a secret?

Do not keep your objectives and networking missions to yourself. 

By letting everyone know about you and your plans, you create a support system with sound advice for growth and development. Share your ideas and plans with your colleagues, your trusted networking group, friends and family. Read more

It not how big it is that matters!

One of the biggest myths in business is that you must have a large network if you want to succeed.  The reality is that the size of your network is not what’s important.  It’s the influence of the people within your network that counts.
So stop wasting your time swapping business cards at networking events.  Many of the people attending these events are there to sell to you, not to buy from you. They walk into a room, hand out business cards and boom – they score? I don’t think so! Have you ever bought from them?
 
But let’s be realistic, how do you go about networking without driving yourself crazy?  The fact is you don’t have to run yourself into the ground shaking hands and attending social events. The art of networking is much more subtle than that, choose carefully who you network with and look at their circles of influence. Think of networking as a way of life and a two-way thing, rather than something you don’t like and don’t want to do. Networking is about being able to work together in such a way as to build trusting relationships and lasting friendships. It’s the ability to maintain valuable links and connections with people and to enjoy each other’s companionship along the way.
 
If your network has 1000’s of people but you don’t know them well, it will have a commercial value of close to zero.  If your network has just 20 people but they are motivated and have a real circle of influence within their connections, it will have a massive commercial value to you.
 
Thrive networkers in Norfolk and Suffolk have discovered that size doesn’t matter but the best way to network is to get connected is to the right people!
Lorna Burroughes
Thrive developing connections for growth


If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email enquiries@thrive.buzz or ring us on 01603 597727


Are you flying solo?

Can you network with people who share the same joys and frustrations in business as you? If you rely on their support and encouragement it’s vital to network with people who have the same values as you do.

As an Entrepreneur or Business Owner you can feel isolated, so it is important that you network with people with whom you can share or bounce ideas, ask for assistance or brainstorm solutions. Everybody needs a good reliable sounding board, second opinion, and sometimes just emotional support, but what is critically essential is that you know, like and ultimately trust these people.

In many instances our Thrive members ‘have been there, done that’, they willingly share their lessons and experiences with you. You can learn from their successes and mistakes. They don’t have to have experience in your particular industry. They don’t have to be up on the latest trends or technology you’ve got other sources for that, but one of the biggest lessons you can learn is from their own experiences.
Who else can you turn to? There’s no boss anymore to turn to for advice or direction—maybe not even any employees yet. You’re flying solo!
Thrive – developing connections for growth


If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email enquiries@thrive.buzz or ring us on 01603 597727


Network with the aim of helping other people, not yourself.

People enjoy doing business with those that they know, trust and like. The only way to build that trust is to connect with others in a helpful way. True trust takes a time to build and nurture. Once you’ve developed a relationship and created a tie or connection, then you can move on to asking for help.
What does this mean in practice?

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Do you know what success looks like?

By going out and networking is one of the most effective way to succeed in business. But ask yourself before you join any networking group 
what does success look like to you?
How much time are you prepared to invest in your success?

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How do you choose your networking groups?

There are issues or areas to think about, when deciding which group to attend, or join. These will vary from person to person and business to business. However, there are a few common areas to consider before you start and certainly before you commit and invest your time and money. Read more

How curious are you?

Did you know that some of the best and most effective networkers are generally inquisitive and enquiring people? This is because they are interested in you, your products as well as being a specialist in their own fields.  They have a wide range of interests and friends and this enables them to start and maintain conversations on a wide range of topics.
Networking is for everyone who is serious about growing their businesses. At Thrive, you’ll find people you can confide in about problems in your business – people who have a refreshingly objective approach to things and you’ll come away feeling even more positive and upbeat. We believe that the reputation and health of the business are vitally important, as well as getting good quality business referrals.
 
Brilliant networkers know the value of diversity, that opens them up to new opportunities and breaks for them and their company.  So why not find out the latest and best networking tools and techniques and join us at Thrive with our positive approach to business networking.
 

Thrive – developing connections for growth


If you want to keep up to date with networking hints and tips or would like to find out more about how to make business connections and networking in Norwich and Norfolk, please email enquiries@thrive.buzz or ring us on 01603 597727


 

A connection that opens new doors can be priceless.

“I’m no good at networking or I don’t like going into a crowded room full of strangers” is something that we all often hear. If that’s how you feel, be encouraged – nobody was born with perfect networking skills. If others can learn, so can you!