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Your Business Growth Specialists

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GDBC: It's the Season to Network


GDBC December Meeting: Seasonal Drink & Reflection

 The next meeting of the Grim’s Dyke Business Club business networking group will be our “Seasonal Drink”, in the evening, that’s 6.00 to 8.00 pm, on Tuesday 5th December 2017.  This will be in the Atelier Patio Bar bar/coffee shop, downstairs, at the Hilton Hotel, Watford.  No fee, just buy a drink and/or snack.  Let’s reflect on what we have achieved in 2107 and look forward to what we need to do make 2018 a great year.

What better time of year to network as 2018 looms.  Obtain some free, advice and an ear to listen?  Join in; share and care.

GDBC January Meeting: Planning Your Future

We’re planning a Year Start meeting at Sami’s Restaurant in Edgware on Tuesday 9th January 2018.  Book it into your planner know.

For details or to confirm attendance, email Laurie:; text or call him on 07973 361 994.

 To Grow, Look at Your Past


Your company has its own DNA.  Something special that makes customers buy from you.  When a business starts this is often clearly defined.  You have a clear vision, know where are going, defined values.  Perhaps you talked to advisers, documented everything in your business plan.  But as the business grows things change, the market and the economy change…

 I love history and know we can learn so much from it.  Look at your company’s history.  Note what:

  1. problems you solve
  2. are your values
  3. did not go well
  4. did go well
  5. has changed
  6. to do in the future

The goal of this exercise isn’t just to increase your understanding of your company; it’s to think about how your company can create value in new ways while staying true to its origins.

Business Review

This is can facilitated by undertaking a Business Review.  What better time of year to conduct your business check-up; 2018 looms.  Look back and plan forwards. Interested?  If so we can help you.  Contact Laurie Bernard at The Business Services Partnership on 07973 361 994 or email; the experienced business reviewer.

Don't Let Stess Takeover


I saw this short article in the Harvard Business Review and it is equally relevant to small business owners.

Be Kind to Yourself When You’re Feeling Stressed Out

Burnout is a serious problem at work. It can make you feel emotionally exhausted, cause cynicism, and hinder your job performance. If you notice these signs of extreme stress, resist the urge to beat yourself up — that will only make the situation worse. Instead, have some empathy for yourself and what you’re going through.

 Start by considering how you might be creating unnecessary stress: For example, are you setting unrealistic expectations for yourself? Remember that we all have only a certain number of hours in the day. When you feel overly stressed, acknowledge it and recognize that others would feel similarly in the same situation. Being kind to yourself, instead of laying on the self-criticism, can shift your mindset from feeling threatened to being self-compassionate, strengthening your resiliency and making you more likely to bounce back from a stressful time.

Want to Talk?

A colleague was recently stressed at completing the draft of his book.  He was just about to go holiday and said he would finish it there.  Myself and another colleague both advised against this.  He would be more productive after the rest and his batteries recharged.

 “A problem shared is a problem halved”

Contact Laurie of The Business Services Partnership; on 07973 361 994 or email  Let’s help you put life back into perspective, set realistic goals and restore the work life balance.

 Sweep up more than just leaves this autumn

Autumn Tree 1.jpg

Is your business planning for a golden autumn or just working hard sweeping up the leaves?  The choice is yours.  To sweep up you need to have a plan, carry it out and communicate to your customers.

 It’s time to put your messages across

  Have you the right marketing in place:

 *  Sales letters

 *  Emails

 *  Blogs

 *  Offers

 *  Brochures, leaflets and fliers

 *  Web site content

 *  Networking pitches

 *  Social media, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter…

  Don’t Miss this Golden Opportunity

Take advantage of professional support.  Want help to produce effective marketing materials?  Contact Laurie on 07973 361 994 or email  Let’s help you sweep up for profitable sales success.

 What's Your Market Worth?

You’ll have your own view as to what is good value.  Do you value yourself, your products and services and your time?  If you don’t others won’t either.   Don’t under value yourself, your services and products.  If you sell too cheap, people may just feel you’re not very good.

Sometimes we need help establishing our confidence.  That’s where a mentor or coach comes in.  They’ll help you “know your market worth”. 

Negotiating is a 2-way process

Yes, clients often want to negotiate.  This is sometimes a cultural thing.  I remember bartering in street markets and buying a rug in Turkey for about 30% of the marked price.  That’s how it works there.

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Here, if you are quoting a reasonable price and someone pushes you on the price take something away from what you are offering in lieu of the extra money.

 Assurance from Mentoring

We’ll tell you straight what’s good and what’s not.  If you are looking for an experienced proven mentor, to boost your confidence, then let’s talk.  Call your “critical friend” Laurie Bernard of The Business Services Partnership on 07973 361 994 or email LB@TheBSP.Co.Uk.

What’s the Point?  Do You Need a Critical Friend?

 Here’s an example of why you need one.

 Why do You Network?

 Essentially to get business.  Yes, it’s good to get out, meet people and exchange gossip, help and advice.  This morning I attended a friendly, local networking group.  So far so good.  Chatted to a few people went to exchange business cards.  Guess what several people did not have a card.  They said; “my business is new and I’ve not ordered any yet”.  Someone else stated; “I’ve run out and I need to pick them up from the printers”.

 Well, I know it was not just me because they told others the same story.


 The Point Is

 How many people will remember these people’s details.  How will they follow up and stay in contact?  Many businesses state that most of their work comes from past clients and referrals.  So, by just attending the meeting, it’s like eating a meal.  Good at the time and you’ll be hungry tomorrow.  You need to find ways of sustaining the relationship for when the time is right to do business.  Use LinkedIn, a follow up meeting, blogs, emails, Seasonal Greetings etc.

 What Other Basics are Missing?

 When running our own business’s, we are the boss.  The “buck stops with us”.  Who is going to be your “critical friend”?  The little nag on your shoulder.  That’s why clients engage us to review their businesses and mentor them.  We assist them to produce action plans, help them implement these key actions and when necessary give them a kick up the anatomy!  Not always popular.  But I work with several groups who mentor, coach and motivate me.  It’s good to have someone to bounce ideas off of and help with your direction.

 The Success of Mentoring

 We were mentoring a fresh business and I asked the founder what they account their success to?  She said we have mentors in different aspects of our business.  She’s gone on to be a successful serial entrepreneur, a UN Ambassador and has earned an OBE.  Not bad for someone still in her thirties!

 Interested in Mentoring?

 If you are looking for an experienced proven mentor, then let’s talk.  Call Laurie Bernard of The Business Services Partnership on 07973 361 994 or email LB@TheBSP.Co.Uk.

P.S. I've just reordered 1,000 business cards!  After all the newtworking season is here...