Stowmarket Chamber September 2010 breakfast news

Stowmarket Chamber September 2010 breakfast news

19 Sep 2010

A full house of 32 for September's breakfast provided a challenge for volunteer Alison Fisher, who had offered to cook for the assembled multitude – and she managed to produce more than enough to satisfy appetites!

With 60 seconds necessarily having to be curtailed to ensure everyone had their turn Nigel George took the prize for the most succinct description of his business: “short, sharp legal advice.”

Among several memorable contributions were Kate Kelly’s description of her services at Saffron Consulting as “a business plumber” and Allan Scott, of Newsletter Genie, whose singing of his presentation at 7am earned a well-deserved round of applause.

Bridget Keevil had good news that Travel Stop has reached a shortlist of six finalists in a national travel competition and David Baker, of Charting Success, and Alison Withers, of Multimedia Reputations, had brought newly-completed books, both of which have been printed by Gipping Press, of Needham Market, thus demonstrating that the Chairman’s encouragements from a couple of meetings back that we should use each others’ services had not fallen on deaf ears.

All of which goes to show that even a well-established breakfast event where members all know each other need not be boring, with a little ingenuity and the use of humour, props – and even singing!

Alex Parr on Brains-Trust

Despite Bob Boxhall-Hunt’s best efforts at sabotage courtesy of a steaming coffee pot too close to the smoke detector and an unexpected fire alarm, Alex remained calm and collected at her first ever chamber meeting with her presentation about her organisation, Brains-Trust.

“Everyone likes to buy but no-one likes to sell,” she said. “So what you have to do is to make your business so good people want to come back.”

She emphasised the importance of business etiquette and courtesy – small details like saying thank you for a recommendation and acknowledging communications - and of appearance: “I recently ran a training workshop and employed a chap who pitched up in jeans, t-shirt and belly sticking out.  That’s what I remember about him. It’s not what you do or say. It’s how you make people feel that they remember you by.”

It was important, she said, to have a really memorable USP that would make an impression of someone who had never met you before. It should make it clear what you do and include no jargon.

Equally important was the business card, which again can make an impact the first time you meet someone.  Her tip is to store collected cards for a month to see which ones she remembers.

Equally important, she said, was to regularly revisit the business website, look at it impartially and ask whether it really delivers what you want it to tell people.

She described Brains-Trust as a kind of friendly Dragons Den, where you don’t get your heart ripped out and where participants get the chance to be dragons themselves. It gives participants an impartial view of their businesses. The secret is that opinions are coming from people who don’t know you at all.

Anyone interested in finding out more can join the next Brains-Trust Dragons’ Den on October 5 and the first five sign-ups will get a 50% discount.

Alex can be contacted at  telephone: 07547 023780 website

Chairman’s updates and Bees for the month

Proposed merger between district councils: Following last month’s brief overview of moves to merge all or some services provided by Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils Peter urged members to get involved and make their views known during the consultation period which is expected to go to a referendum early next year.

Full details of the consultation are on the Stowmarket Chamber News section of the website.

Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) bids: Peter reported that on September 6 Suffolk Chamber, supported by local authorities and Cambridge University agreed to support the One East Anglia LEP bid because it was the only one of those bids submitted to give attention to resources and needs in rural areas of Suffolk and Norfolk.

Town Centre Partnership: Peter announced that there are plans for an exhibition to be called “Made in Stowmarket” in March next year.

 Peter's Bee for the month:

Stowmarket Chamber future committee meetings:  it is proposed to review the frequency and meeting times of the committee and has been suggested that committee meetings could be quarterly rather than monthly and to hold an AGM in the New Year.

Peter suggested that with the launch of the quarterly e-newsletter and more information now being regularly added to the news section of the website there could be more interaction without the need for the committee to meet so often.

Members should let him have their views please. Email Peter please

 The next breakfast meeting will be on Friday, October 15, at the Rugby Club, when the five minute presentation will be Donna Talbot, marketing officer with Ipswich Town FC, who will be talking about ITFC’s community work.



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