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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