Networking will always triumph over competence

We’d like to think that competence and expertise in the workplace are the qualities needed to advance in your professional career; however, the key phrase here is ‘We’d like to think’. Whilst these attributes are commendable and aid somewhat in career progression, it is now more than ever that the phrase ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know; that should be the first thing addressed in any given career advice.

With more and more young people heading off to university, the pool of once desirable university graduates has become saturated with more of the same. Many are under the false pretence that getting a degree is a sure fire way of gaining success when the real answer is networking.

A study last year that looked at student loans and tax data for England revealed that at more than one in ten universities, male graduate earnings were lower than non-graduate earnings. We can no longer tell our youngsters that higher education will secure them their dream job; we need to start telling them that making contacts and developing networks has always been and will always be the pathway to success.

More importantly, this message is not exclusive to the youth of today. At whatever stage in your life making connections and building networks, if done right, can prove beneficial to your professional career; whether that be securing a job or maintaining a company relationship.

Networking often holds the misconception of aimlessly standing around making awkward small talk with strangers for little gain but it creates opportunities that you would otherwise never have. The reality is that hundreds of people, just like you, are good at their job so unless you are the Einstein of your field, you need something to separate you from the crowd – good connections.

We live in a world where staying connected is easier than ever with networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn so there is no excuse for losing contact with a future employer or potential client. Who knows what openings could arise from these connections. Once you’ve established a friendly relationship with someone it is harder to break a business deal or employment promise because whether we like it or not being a likeable person is one of the most useful playing cards you can hold in today’s society.

That is not to say you should stress over an unanswered email or unfriendly tone because let’s face it, you’re not going to get on with everyone. Networking is thinking about what you can give rather than just what you can get. If you act confidently, think about what you can offer and pay attention to important contacts, you’ll develop a web of people who will prove more useful than any background, education or experience could ever do.

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Entrepreneurial Successes and Failures

Any good business man or woman knows that to be successful you have to be prepared to fail. As Richard Branson says: “Every person, and especially every entrepreneur, should embrace failure with open arms. It is only through failure that we learn. Many of the world’s finest minds have learned this the hard way.”

With increased connectivity and the cost effectiveness of setting up on the internet, many more of us are starting to get that entrepreneurial spirit and go out on our own. Manuals and guides explaining how to become your own boss are falling off the internet ebook shelves in their thousands and there is now more advice than ever on how to push out on your own and become a business success.

If you’re a true entrepreneur then you’ll know that sharing all those hints and tips about how you succeeded, particularly amongst your network friends, is a good thing. It might seem counter intuitive to spill the beans on your latest niche marketing ploy but the truth is that showing a little good old fashioned altruism can often lead to some very beneficial side effects – not least the development of trust and the prospect of getting something just as important back in return.

At a networking group like Southend Peers the ethos is about sharing and caring. Yes, business can be competitive but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all help each other too.

What your successes say about running a business

Those hints and tips that hard earned experience has taught you are a valuable commodity and can help other businesses; particularly start-ups make a success of their own venture.

Successful entrepreneurs do more than just make money for themselves. They create jobs and opportunities for others, create new businesses and invest in the economy, and provide valuable revenue that can be used to tackle the issues that make a real difference to people’s lives. Sharing what you know and how you got to be so successful helps everyone move forward collectively and creates a much better world.

Why your failures say more

Our failures often teach us a lot more than our successes. There isn’t a successful entrepreneur out there who hasn’t had to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and start all over again. It’s part and parcel of being the best. Having said that, sharing your failures can help others avoid those pitfalls and give them more chance of success. Experience always counts for a lot and if you can pass it on within your networking group then remarkable things begin to happen.

  • You become a respected member of the group who is willing to share vital experience
  • Your fellow networking colleagues begin to share back and give you the benefit of their experience
  • You create a world where local businesses can succeed and grow.

That’s the reason why many business owners chose to join a local networking group, quite apart from the obvious benefit of developing useful leads. At Southend Peers our members meet weekly to catch up and find out what’s new, creating a thriving community of like-minded people who are committed to helping each other and pushing their business opportunities forward.

If you want to come along to one of our meetings then contact vikki@allthingsscene.co today!

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Southend Peers – 31st August 2017

It was great to see the sun shining again this morning as we made our way to The Arlington Ballroom for Southend Peers – summer isn’t over yet! And yet again, we had a great turnout of members, all ready to enjoy a cooked breakfast and the benefits of another morning of exceptional networking.

Today’s meeting featured a focus on straplines – what’s good about them, who uses them, and how they can work for us. We found a range of members currently use straplines – from witty ones (Green Light’s “You think it, we print it.” and LDN Electrical’s “Wire You Waiting?”) to industry-specific ones (Crown Vocational Training’s “Specialists in Work-Based Learning” and Bryman’s “For all your recruitment needs”) to ones featuring the business name – like Merenda Insurance’s “Don’t meander, go Merenda!”.

In short, we found that good straplines used properly can be a good way to add an extra bit of individuality to our branding, making us more memorable to potential clients. They can also add more information about what we do if it’s not clear from our business names.

10 minutes from Sarah Kelleway, Juniper Copy

Today’s 10 minutes came from Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy. Although having recently moved to Suffolk, Sarah has a great number of clients in the Southend area which is why she’s still a member of Peers! She lives with her partner Mike, their cats and chickens, and is undoubtedly still an Essex girl at heart.

Sarah went on to share her 5 Golden Rules of Writing to help members when they come to write any copy for their business. After all, there’s no point investing in a great website or beautifully designed leaflets if the content isn’t done properly, and if you can’t invest in a copywriter to do this for you, you need to think carefully about how to write for yourself.

Her rules included ‘Putting Yourself in the Reader’s Shoes’ (after all, the reader is more important than the writer in all of this!), making sure you include what the reader wants to know, and writing accordingly to how they are reading your content, when they’re reading it, and how much time they have to read it. She also encouraged us to focus on ‘Benefits, Not Features’, as the reader wants to know how they will benefit from your product or service, rather than just what it entails.

She also detailed the importance of spelling and grammar (recommending the use of grammar tools like Grammarly to help us out!), and why we must be careful not to use jargon. Keeping it simple for our readers will definitely have the greatest impact! Finally, she reminded us of the importance of the ‘Call To Action’, making it clear to our readers what we want them to do next – whether that’s calling for more information, going to our websites, or buying our products!

If you could do with some help with your copy, why not give Sarah a shout? She’s always happy to help! www.junipercopy.com

 

The meeting closed with our usual referrals and testimonials round, and a reminder of our next Later With Peers event on 11th October at The Arlington Ballroom. Tickets are available now for ‘Success-on-Sea: It’s a risky business!’ – so don’t miss out! https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/success-on-sea-its-a-risky-business-tickets-37308467631

And don’t forget you can always meet us beforehand as a guest at one of our breakfast meetings! Why not come along next week at 6:45? Just get in touch and we’ll be happy to welcome you.

 

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Southend Peers – 17th August 2017

Another Thursday morning, and another brilliant Southend Peers meeting – expertly chaired by our vice-chair Diana Collins today! We also welcomed Daisy from the Arlington Ballroom who is extending her networking experience (we’re a friendly bunch to practice on!) and welcomed back marketing consultant Tom Rae on his second visit to Peers.

With breakfasts polished off and coffee sunk, we then went into groups for a breakout session, where our conversations focused on ways to make our next ‘Later with Peers’ event even better than the last, and how to raise more money for the Southend Hospital Charity. We heard a great selection of ideas from all members, and if they’re anything to go by, October 12th is going to be a brilliant night, so put the date in your diaries now!

10 minutes from Lesley Finch, Bryman Recruitment

This followed with a great 10 minutes from Lesley Finch of Bryman Recruitment. We began by hearing some insights into Lesley’s varied career, which has spanned from working in HR for Nat West to doing voiceovers! This remarkable woman has worked with stars ranging from Chris Evans to Paul McKenna, has written a number of nationally published articles, and also works alongside James Caan on his enterprise scheme. She even coaches applicants for The Apprentice, helping knock them into shape before they get to Lord Sugar himself! However, this morning, we had the pleasure of her company and some great information on recruitment.

Lesley runs Bryman Recruitment alongside her business partner, Wayne, and together they head up a team which has developed a strong reputation for sourcing high-quality candidates for a range of industries. She gave some great tips on recruiting for our businesses and also detailed the pros and cons of DIY hiring vs using an agency such as Bryman.

So how could your business benefit from using Bryman Recruitment to find your next employees? Well, as Lesley explained, it will save you time and money, taking away the arduous task of sifting through CVs yourself, so you can actually focus on your main responsibilities. Bryman can also source better quality candidates, as they have more contacts and know where to go to find the candidates you’re looking for.

What’s more, if you don’t hire one of Bryman’s candidates, you’re not bound by any fees – so why not try them out?

You can also take advantage of a range of other services from Lesley, including one-to-one and group coaching, and HR advice. Or you can even take the Bryman Challenge, where Lesley will interview Bryman’s candidates against your own, for no additional fee! So to get the best candidates for your next job opening, head to Bryman Recruitment, and our Lesley will be very happy to help: http://www.brymanrecruitment.co.uk/.

As ever, we ended with a referral and testimonials round, demonstrating Peers in action as we work to put business each other’s way. If your business could do with a boost, why not see what Peers can do for you? Join us next week, from 6:45am, at The Arlington Ballroom, and we’ll be very happy to show you!

Written by Peers member Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy (www.junipercopy.com)

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Southend Peers – 10th August 2017

Where’s the summer gone?! Luckily, the rain didn’t dampen our spirits at Southend Peers as we gathered at the Arlington Ballroom for another morning of networking and a great buffet breakfast.

It was great to see a good number of members around the table, some looking more sun-tanned than others, and many reporting how busy they are this summer (Peers certainly pays off!)

We began with an enlightening 60-second round, where members could give updates on their business, or advertise new products, services or events. We heard some really interesting insights and useful tips this morning. Peter Mehner of Ace Carpet Cleaning reminded us he could clean car interiors (just in case you left your roof down in this week’s rain!), Colin Merenda of Merenda Insurance pointed out the perils of cheap insurance bought online, and Lesley Finch of Bryman Recruitment let us know she’s looking for warehouse workers for packing and picking – so if you need a job, or know someone who does, give her a call!

The winner this week, however – as judged by Karen Sallows of Crown Vocational Training – was Gina Blundell of Forever Living, for bringing in two of her products to remind us of what the summer should be like! This followed with more grumblings from the men that the female members keep winning – but surely this means they just have to up their game…

10 minutes from Daniel Rosewell, The DG Group

Today’s 10 minutes came from Dan Rosewell of the DG Group. Dan is a self-proclaimed lover of life, and recently cycled an incredible 900 miles in 8 days, raising around £8,500 in the process – what a hero! Today he told us, however, about The DG Group, and mainly Dawes and Green.

Dan started with a brief history of The D&G Group. DG Servicing was founded in 1983, following a gap in the market to service and repair double glazing (DG stands for double glazing!). The next part of the group came in 1996, when DG Supplyline Ltd was set up to supply hardware for doors and windows to other companies, such as locksmiths and window doctors. In 2010, the group set up ADS – Automated Door Systems – which offers automated windows and doors solutions for customers, ideal for customers with disabilities. The final arm established was Dawes & Green, which supplies high-quality doors and windows to customers.

As Dan went on to tell us, Dawes & Green can supply a huge range of entrance doors, all of which are superior in design and quality. Dan can source any style or any colour to suit a whole range of house styles, from period cottages to modern architectural builds. One example he showed was a traditional style door which was made of aluminium, which provides outstanding security. Dan can also arrange bespoke details into any door, and gave us a case study of a replacement door he supplied, which gave the client keypad entry on the door and a secure key drop integrated within it.

Dawes & Green also supplies a wide range of beautiful sliding doors to maximise views, light and space. Dan can also fit motorised blinds for a beautiful finish to your home, and can provide software to control your blinds, lights, and home entertainment from your computer, phone or tablet! Dan is currently looking for anyone who is making improvements to their home, as well as builders, property developers, project managers, surveyors and architects. So if that’s you, please get in touch with him: Daniel@dawesandgreen.co.uk or 01702 608844.

The meeting closed with our usual referrals and testimonials round and a reminder to keep our diaries free for the 12th October – our next ‘Later with Peers’ event! And if you’d like to join us next week, get in touch and we’ll be happy to welcome you for networking and breakfast from 6:45am!

Written by Peers member Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy (www.junipercopy.com)

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Southend Peers – 27th July 2017

And so we met again this morning at The Arlington Ballroom for another successful Southend Peers meeting. Despite a few members sunning themselves on holiday, we still had a strong turnout this morning and were also pleased to welcome Trevor from CHC Construction again, as well as Wayne on behalf of Lesley at Bryman Recruitment. We also welcomed Tom Rae for the first time, a freelance marketing specialist.

Once we were charged up with a buffet breakfast and plenty of tea and coffee, we started things off with our 60 seconds round. Mike Rutter from Best4Advice reminded us of the importance of pension planning and planning for our retirements, Paul Stibbards of S. Stibbards & Sons explained the benefits of a Golden Charter funeral plan, and Dan Rosewell told us all about secondary glazing and the benefits it can bring in cutting down heat loss and noise pollution.

However, this morning’s winner – as judged by Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy – went to Karen Sallows of Crown Vocational Training. Crown was recently visited by an assessor, who praised the college highly for its superb provision for apprentices and the outstanding work the staff do along the way in supporting employers. The only criticism? They don’t shout enough about how good their work is – so here’s a big shout out for Crown Vocational Training!

10 minutes from Tony Mudd, British and Overseas Property

This followed with 10 minutes from Tony Mudd – his first as a Peers member. Tony owns British and Overseas Property, an estate agency under the umbrella of Keller Williams. As his business is just 6 months old and still developing, he took the chance to explain more about himself, his background and his family, giving us great insight into his life.

We heard all about Tony’s descendants, a story filled with fascinating tales about his great-grandparents, his grandparents and their experiences of WWI, and his own experiences as a child in WWII. Born in Hampstead and later a resident of Barkingside, Tony and his family moved to the local area when he was still a child, and he attended Westcliff High School for Boys. After leaving school, he worked for a shipping company in London, before spending two years in Malaya on National Service.

After leaving the army, Tony went back to his job at the shipping company but didn’t really enjoy it. This prompted him to set up his own business with a friend, selling office equipment to various large businesses. In 1979, he left the company, and set up again a couple of years later, this time with two junior directors. The business went from strength to strength and, at the point of Tony’s retirement in 2003, it employed 500 people up and down the country!

Retirement didn’t stop Tony, and he went on to purchase some property in France and Spain in 2006. In 2016, he undertook his training with Keller Williams to become an estate agent and is now building his business to find fantastic homes for his clients both in the UK and abroad. You can find out more about Tony at http://www.kwuk.com/agents/Tony_Mudd.

The meeting closed with our usual referrals and testimonials round, as well as a number of notices – the most important of which involves you! Yes, the date for our next ‘Later with Peers’ meeting has been set, so grab your diary and keep 12th October free for more great networking with Southend Peers! Details to follow!

If you can’t wait till then, why not join us next Thursday for breakfast and networking from 6:45? We’re looking forward to meeting you!

Written by Peers member Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy (www.junipercopy.com)

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Southend Peers – 13th July 2017

What were you doing at 6:45am this morning? The members of Southend Peers were congregating for another session of friendly and successful networking at The Arlington Ballroom! We were also pleased to have two guests with us today: Trevor Williams of CHC Construction and Wayne Mearns on behalf of Bryman Recruitment and Seaview Properties.

After our buffet breakfast, we kicked things off with a lively 60-seconds round,

with each member having the chance to advertise developments, services and products in their business. Steve Lescott reminded us that tax return season was well underway, but to be aware of some IT glitches that HMRC is currently experiencing, Diana Collins of DLC Engage put the findings of this week’s Taylor Review on our radar, while Colin Merenda of Merenda Insurance told us how his services had recently saved his clients hundreds of pounds.

However, this week’s winner – as judged by Gemma Dark of WebbyTech – was Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy, whose 60 seconds focused on the various benefits of blogging for your business, and why we all should be doing it!

10 minutes from Luke Osborne, Luke TS Osborne Photography, EnergyMyWay and Urban Farmers

This followed with a very interesting and very informative 10 minutes from Peers member Luke Osborne. Luke represents three businesses, and today we heard the story of how he has diversified over the years, but also learned the themes that connect his photography and sustainability services.

Luke initially trained as a mechanical engineer on an apprenticeship scheme, before studying his A Levels at night school. One of these was Photography, and it was on this course that he learned all the skills that he uses day-to-day as a portrait and event photographer.

This was not the end of Luke’s studies – or adventures; he later went on to receive his Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degree from the Open University, and, prior to setting up his own businesses, had the wonderful experiences of working in Australia, the Philippines, Tahiti – and even exotic Gloucester!

In 2009, the company Luke worked for needed to make cuts, and unfortunately, his job was one of the ones to go. However, the timing coincided with a need for Luke to get involved in his family’s business, Renown Fisheries – so he moved back to Essex and brushed up his cockling skills! Even though the family later sold the business, Luke still spends summer stints on the cockle boat in Leigh-on-Sea – and he invested his proceeds from the sale in a franchise of EnergyMyWay.

Luke is now the Regional Director for Essex with EnergyMyWay, and – following considerable training by the company – is your go-to man when it comes to renewable energy. He’s incredibly professional, really knows his stuff, and loves working in a field that focuses on his passion for sustainability. At the same time, Luke has continued offering his photography services, and is in high demand in the local area for weddings, portrait photography and product photography.

Two years ago, Luke diversified even further when he and his co-directors set up Urban Farmers. Again, this business has a strong sustainability theme, ‘turning waste into taste’ by growing sensational oyster mushrooms in coffee grounds. This unique experience has come with its own lessons for Luke, and the business continues to adapt and grow (recently releasing ‘Grow Your Own’ kits!).

To find out more about our resident photographer and sustainability specialist, check out Luke’s websites: http://www.luketsosborne.photography/, https://www.energymyway.co.uk/region/essex/ and http://www.urbanfarmers.co.uk/.

As ever, we closed with a referrals and testimonials round, with lots of 1-2-1s being planned and business passed around the table. Last week’s ‘Success-on-Sea’ event was great, look out for more information about our next event, coming soon!

Do you want to join us next week for more networking? Be like Trevor and Wayne and come along to check Peers out! 6:45am at The Arlington Ballroom – get in touch to book your spot today.

Written by Peers member Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy (www.junipercopy.com)

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Southend Peers – 29th June 2017

Another month is nearly over, but it’s been another month of successful networking for Southend Peers. Today’s meeting began as usual over fresh coffee and tea at The Arlington Ballroom, before sitting down to our buffet breakfast together. Today’s insightful 60-second round saw some fantastic advice, updates and latest products from our members.

Daniel Rosewell of the DG Group brought an example of one of their latest products – an integral blind built into the glazing of the window (no more cleaning!). We also heard about the importance of vitamin B12 in our diets as we get older, thanks to Gina Blundell from Forever Living. Luke Osborne of EnergyMyWay shared how now’s a great time to get solar panels if you’re thinking about renewable energy for your home or business – not just because of the weather, but because of the great schemes available!

However, the trophy went to Gemma Dark of Webbytech! Judge Peter Mehner was very impressed by her simple yet vital advice to help us all protect ourselves from viruses like the ransomware attack which has hit the headlines this week. It’s amazing what you can learn in 60 seconds from our Peers members!

10 minutes from Vincent McCarthy, Vincent McCarthy Solicitors

We were then treated to an excellent 10 minutes from longstanding member, Vincent McCarthy. Vince specialises in divorce and family law, as well as offering a private client arm in wills, probate and lasting power of attorney – so he’s a helpful man to know in times of need! Vince began with his background prior to practising law. After school, he trained as a

Vince began with his background prior to practising law. After school, he trained as a plumber – a job which took him to some incredible places (including The British Museum and The Tower of London). However, after a spate of travelling with his girlfriend (now wife!), he began to wonder whether the building world was for him any longer. When he was 28, an injury on the squash court finally convinced Vince to explore new fields, and he chose to study law as a mature student at the North East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London).

Despite being mistaken for the man who’d come to fix the drinks machine when he turned up for his interview, Vince made a real success of his degree! His first job came by chance, when he bumped into a man who had his own law practice. Vince embraced his inner Yosser Hughes and chanced his luck with ‘Gizza job’ – and it worked! Vince’s career went from there. After working alongside a few law firms, he ventured out on his own in 2012, creating Vincent McCarthy Solicitors. Vince prides himself on being able to apply common sense to very complex matters, and works hard to take the heat out of difficult situations.

Indeed, as he pointed out, many of his cases do get heated, such as acrimonious divorces or will disputes between siblings. However, Vince is on hand to offer calm, understanding, salient advice 24/7 (yes, unlike many solicitors, he realises legal matters don’t follow the 9-5 rule!).

The reassurance and comfort Vince gives his clients is just one thing that puts him in such high demand. As many members around the table testified, his advice and work is second to none – so if you need legal advice on a family matter, or you need to get your affairs in order to make things easier for your loved ones in the future, why not get in touch with him yourself? http://www.vmsolicitors.co.uk/

We finished with our usual referrals and testimonials, and a reminder of next week’s Later with Peers event – ‘Success-on- Sea: The Key to Entrepreneurial Success’! Have you booked in yet for this fantastic networking opportunity? Tickets cost just £10, with all profits going to Southend Hospital Charity – our designated charity for the year – and you can get yours here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/success-on-sea- the-key- to-entrepreneurial- success-tickets- 35397969279

We look forward to seeing you next week, either at 6:45am at The Arlington Ballroom, or 6pm at The Beach Hut – or both!

Written by Peers member Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy (www.junipercopy.com)

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Southend Peers – 22nd June 2017

This morning saw us back at The Arlington Ballroom, after last week’s visit to the Southend Business Partnership briefing. As well as a very full table of Southend Peers members, we were also delighted to welcome Yasmin Collard – owner of Penneys Hair Salon – and former Peers member and motivational coach, Baiju Solanki.

Our meeting this morning took a rather different format (but luckily still began with our usual breakfast!). We began with a breakout session, during which Peers members discussed the benefits of social media, and how we as a networking group might use social media even more to reach out to potential clients and members.

The feedback session was very interesting, given the diversity of the responses. Some members don’t use social media at all, some haven’t (but would like to begin), some do (but not enough), and some can’t get enough of it!

A range of platforms were discussed, with Facebook and LinkedIn proving to be the most popular for members who use social media. However, a number of members also use Twitter; Lesley Finch of Bryman Recruitment pointed out that this was particularly effective at getting short, sharp messages out before redirecting readers to where we want them to learn more. Gina Blundell has also started using Instagram to promote her Forever Living products.

It certainly made us think more about how social media could benefit our businesses, and left a number of members thinking more about how they can use it to boost sales and grow connections!

Success-on-Sea: The Key to Entrepreneurial Success – 6th July, 6pm

We were also very excited to hear more about our next Later with Peers event: ‘Success-on-Sea: The Key to Entrepreneurial Success’. This event is shaping up to be a great night out and incredibly useful for attendees. As well as hearing inspiring presentations from Martin Stibbards of S. Stibbards & Sons, and Business Action Coach Lucas Vigilante, you’ll have the chance to network with all members of Southend Peers!

The event will be held on 6th July at The Beach Hut (on the seafront!), and starts at 6pm. Everyone is welcome, whether you’ve visited Peers before or have never visited us in your life! You can also be sure of a warm welcome, a great buffet, and some superb networking.

Tickets cost just £10, with all profits going to Southend Hospital Charity – our designated charity for the year. Why not book yours now? https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/success-on-sea-the-key-to-entrepreneurial-success-tickets-35397969279

And if you want to join us next week for our usual breakfast networking at The Arlington Ballroom, get in touch – we’ll be glad to see you there!

Written by Peers member Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy (www.junipercopy.com)

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Southend Peers – 8th June 2017

Everyone was certainly in good spirits at this morning’s meeting of Southend Peers! Maybe it was the good weather, the great breakfast or election fever, but there was a definite buzz around the table as we met today at The Arlington Ballroom.

Today’s meeting began with our usual 60-second round, this time judged by Diana Collins of DLC Engage. There was a lot to learn from each other today – Keith Davidson told us all about the three awards Utility Warehouse has already won this year for customer service, Karen Sallows of Crown Vocational Training explained the full range of tutoring services on offer, including 11-plus tutoring, and Damon Langlois from Green Light Print Solutions prompted us to start thinking about our Autumn marketing plans.

Presentations by Southend Peers' members on 8th June 2017

This week’s Southend Peers meeting

The trophy was awarded this week, though, to Peter Mehner of Ace Carpet Cleaning. Not only do he and his fiancée Inge now offer traditional cleaning services as well as carpet cleaning, but he’s a champion of great customer service!

Peter Mehner of Ace Carpet Cleaning winning the 60 seconds trophy at Southend Peers meeting, 8th June 2017

Peter Mehner and Diana Collins

10 minutes from Peter Mehner, of Ace Carpet Cleaning and Southend Rocs!

Peter and Inge then went on to give us one of the most spectacular 10-minute presentations Southend Peers has ever seen, including a live jive demonstration!

As Peter says, he and Inge are carpet cleaners by day and run a jive club by night – Ambleside Jive Club to be precise. Meeting every Thursday at 8pm at the Ambleside Social Club, they teach people of all abilities to get fit and have fun on the dancefloor.

The pair began dancing ten years ago, and have been teaching for four years, receiving their qualifications from the United Kingdom Alliance back in 2014. The exact type of jive they teach is Le Roc – a style developed in France during WWII, when American soldiers brought Lindyhop to Europe.

In the years to follow, holidaymakers to France discovered the dance style, bringing it back to the UK with them. However, during the ‘60s, dancing styles began to change, as people began to dance on their own, rather than in pairs, in dances like The Twist. However, a revival began in the 1980s, encouraging people to learn the older styles, dance together, and the modern dance club was born!

Even if you’ve never danced before, you’re couldn’t be made to feel more welcome at the Ambleside Dance Club. Peter and Inge will work with you to build your confidence, and they often see people making great progress in just a couple of sessions! Each session blends freestyle jiving with two routines, with options for all abilities. The group also supports many local charities, and has great fun outside of practices, even going away together to enjoy music and dancing beyond Southend-on-Sea.

Peter and Inge then treated us to a demonstration of their moves, and boy, can they move! We were all tapping our toes along (with quite a few itching to get up there themselves…). Learn more about Southend Rocs and the Ambleside Jive Club. And if you fancy getting fit, having fun and learning some new moves, why not head along?

If you want to join in with our Thursday morning networking fun, we’re always ready to welcome new members to Southend Peers. Next week, come and see us at the Southend Business Partnership breakfast at The Park Inn Palace Hotel, or come along on the 22nd, when we’ll be back at the Arlington as normal.

You can also book tickets now to our next Laters with Peers event: The Key to Entrepreneurial Success, scheduled for 6pm on 6th July. Join us for drinks, nibbles and two great presentations from Martin Stibbards and business coach Lucas Vigilante – learn more on our Facebook event page!

Written by Peers member Sarah Kelleway of Juniper Copy

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