Networking – it’s a necessity for us small business owners if we want to grow and develop but oh, what a nightmare it can be sometimes!

We’ve all done it at some stage I am sure; booked a meeting and then wandered into a room full of strangers and expectantly tried to catch someone’s eye so you can speak to them – so you’re not left like Billy No Mates in the corner – but what do you speak to them about ….. WHAT?

Some people are confident and able to go up and introduce themselves to others like this ‘Hi – my name is Dave and I run a digital marketing firm located in Brighton – what do you do?’ (said in a deep swarthy voice and a hand held out for shaking)

I wish I could do that – actually, maybe I will try that approach next time, might even use the Dave bit too!

We were determined that TOAST Network was not going to be stuffy; it needed to be warm, inviting, welcoming – yes why can’t business networking be warm and welcoming?

We wanted it to be lively and motivating and energetic and different because, well, Licia most certainly is and I am probably too, especially if I start calling myself Dave!

SO, our first meeting took place and well – it was a HIT… Licia and I were a little nervous and keen for everything to run smoothly; the room looked bright and sunny with our wonderfully designed Melba Toast handbooks on the table, but – most importantly we focussed on the visitors, making sure EVERYONE was introduced to each other individually – the ice was broken. I knew who everyone was and what they did and could make introductions by mentioning something they may have had in common….

The rest was over to them.

If someone was standing alone, they were immediately spoken to – we are genuinely interested in who you are and what your business does and how we can help you network.

The meeting was a ball…. Lively and motivating and the feedback at the end was that WAS a warm, engaging and friendly meeting. We had achieved our aim and we were bloody excited!!!!

AND so, to our next meeting – we have had plenty of people re book and so far, two firms have signed up for Toastie Membership – giving them exclusivity… and this is just after our 1st Meeting!

I know of at least 3 pieces of business referrals that were made in that room a couple of weeks ago so our BOB round on Tuesday is going to be buzzy….

I cannot wait to hear how Gerry Thompson can inject some humour into business, I am already looking forward to my delicious breakfast and most importantly I am looking forward to meeting all of you – have you got a ticket yet???