Women Mean Biz
When first I stuck my toe into the murky waters of self-employment with AA Editorial Services, I quickly realized the importance of business networking. I went to many Outset meetings (Outset Swindon are sadly no more due to the plug being pulled on their funding) and a variety of other networking groups. Some of which were free and some of which I paid for.
After a few months of this I took the plunge and joined Women Mean Biz. I won’t lie – pragmatics played a big part in my decision. As a non-driver location is crucial to me – any networking needs to be easily accessible. But that aside, after attending the group twice as a visitor, I felt it had a nice feel to it and that I could get plenty from it beyond actual work.
A small picture gallery from our most recent meeting:
And so it has proved. I have indeed had good quality referrals from it – but much more than that. The ladies in my group are a very supportive bunch and the business surgery part of the session is very useful.
Generally speaking I don’t find networking terribly easy and tend to view it as a necessary evil. Though now of course that reticence is easing thanks in part to WMB and I genuinely do look forward to the meetings now.
We meet on the first Friday of every month in the upstairs room at the Pig on the Hill – a pub in Swindon’s Old Town. Our networking is largely conducted over a two-course cooked lunch which we choose from the regular menu. Being all about the food I’m enjoying working my way through that.
What I like about it in particular is that one is never under any pressure – real or imagined – to bring referrals in to every meeting. I’ve visited other networking groups using that model and am not so comfortable with it. For me, I like that WMB is more informal in that aspect. Though referrals still come – simply, as one of the speakers in the video below put it, ‘more organically’.
So if you are a woman and you are in business in Swindon or its environs then we’d really love to meet you.
You can find out much more by visiting the website and Facebook page. Links to all social media are at the bottom of this post.
A little about Women Mean Biz: ‘Join Women Mean Biz and you’re joining an established network of businesswomen and entrepreneurs working in all sorts of businesses from start-ups to established companies and large corporations. The only qualification you need to join is the desire to be successful in your business.
Each group meets once a month for a two-hour session over lunch, and all meetings follow the carefully developed WMB format. You’ll be given the opportunity to swap and share ideas, gain new contacts, build alliances and partnerships and get the support you need to drive your business forward.’
This YouTube clip shows all manner of folk pontificating about all sorts that’s Women Mean Biz related – what it means to them, what they’ve got from it and so on. 🙂
Women Mean Biz on social media:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WomenMeanBiz/timeline
The website: http://www.womenmeanbiz.co.uk