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How Neil’s helping small business owners grow and guarantee it’ll work for you.

It’s a sad fact that many small businesses fail. At Thrive, we’re committed to doing all we can to help sole traders and entrepreneurs build an excellent network of connections and grow organically. But it’s not just potential client connections that count, we’re also lucky to have experts with a wealth of experience among our membership. In our Thrive Friday Breakfast group, Neil Foley – the founder of the Business Growth Club – is happy to share his insights after coaching hundreds of SME owners to success. Now he’s put his knowledge online and is reaching more people than ever before with a new website launched recently. Read more

Will you be my friend?

With the summer holidays almost over and the children ready to go back to school, it’s time to turn our attention back to business.  The first day back at school children look to catch up with their old friends, share their holiday stories and look to make some new school friends.  Now we’re all grown-up is it the same for us?  How do we, as business people do this? The answer – network! Read more

Done right, networking builds trust, an important element for success in business

It’s my belief that the most successful people are the usually the best connected, this isn’t because they have the best contacts or are known more people but they instinctively know how to build develop and nurture their connections. Read more

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 – Sandra Flanagan, director of Maynard Training and Consulting

It was just last year that Sandra Flanagan left her role as deputy CEO of mental health charity Norwich MIND to set up her own consultancy. Her mission is to teach companies how taking care of their employees wellbeing has huge benefits to the business as a whole. It’s been a big leap of faith but Sandra is now working across the country with all kinds of different professionals. Here she tells us about striking out on her own, how Thrive keeps her sane and her passion for fashion. 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

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 business network to a higher quality and our Thrive tips for building a seriously tight network

Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about our network, it’s just something we do, this is the same with those you are networking with. What are they thinking about? Most likely it’s not you.  Read more

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

Networking know how: What’s your networking strategy?

There are plenty of people who turn up to networking events believing that their very presence will unlock doors and help them build important connections. At Thrive, we passionately believe that face-to-face connections are vital and that forging personal relationships at networking events is the key to building a strong business network. But simply arriving and shaking hands is not enough to make networking work most effectively for you – you need that all-important strategy. Read more

Networking: an apprentice’s view

It turns out there is more to life than the school bubble I’ve sat in for the last 13 years. Whilst some of what I learnt at school has turned out to be useful after nearly 4 months into my first full time job I’ve learnt a lot, too much to write in one go. What I’ve learnt about the most is networking. Like most people my age I had only really heard the word ‘networking’ if it had been preceded by the word ‘social’, I already knew that social networking was important for businesses but my apprenticeship with Thrive has taught me the importance and power of face to face networking. Read more

LinkedIn Pulse an under-appreciated gem!

Why publish on LinkedIn Pulse?

Most of us don’t have time to tweet, post or publish from every available platform with any level of frequency or quality. LinkedIn reaches more than 364 million professionals worldwide, with the focus being on the professional life, this is what differentiates it from Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. B2B marketers rate LinkedIn the top social media for delivering B2B content and most effective for generating leads. Read more

How to Thrive on Linked In!

We are passionate about the benefits of face-to-face networking, but there’s no denying that technology has opened up a whole new way of connecting. In the UK, 17 million people use Linked In, the social network of choice for business people. With that sort of reach and potential, it’s a great way to support your other networking efforts. Here are some tips on how to be a Linked In networking master. Read more

Make ‘real’ connections

How to be brilliant at networking: make real connections

It’s never been easier to engage in networking for your business. These days, it can be as simple as a click to follow on Twitter or a ‘like’ on Facebook. If we take the notion of networking at it’s Wikipedia definition, which describes it as a ‘socio-economic business activity by which groups of like-minded business people recognise, create, or act upon business opportunities’, then perhaps a Google hang out can do the job. Except that’s not been my experience. Read more

The Thrive Family

Developing connections for growth