I've just come back from a morning spent at the #NatWestBoost conference at the Liverpool Hilton Hotel. What an excellent event it was!
espite the early start to get there for 8am, and the pouring rain to run through from the car park to the hotel, it was the best use of a morning I've had in a while.
The speakers inspired me, I am full of ideas and I need to manage my time to make sure that I actually do all the things that I want to do to boost my own business and increase my presence in Liverpool.
But let me breakdown what we were treated to this morning...
Firstly, there was about an hour of open networking (with the obligatory breakfast rolls!) which was great as I managed to catch up with some people I already knew and talk to a number of people I hadn't met before. One of the important things to me when talking to other businesses is to build the early stages of a working relationship on fun and humour. Although I am deadly serious about my business, I think engaging with people in a fun way is the best way to build a relationship.
The 200+ delegates sat down and listened to the introduction by NatWest Regional Director for the North West Paul Telfer who explained what we'd be listening to during the morning. Mark Winters, NatWest MD for the North of England talked about what #NatWestBoost wants to do for SMEs. They are hosting numerous events all over the region to provide support to boost businesses. At the events business is getting done, and people are discussing business, thereby increasing their exposure to potential clients and building connections.
Mark Basnett, MD of theLiverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, inspired me the most to make sure I work to make the Women In Business NW meetings take off in Liverpool. The area is a huge growth potential and I think I can help make a difference to businesses in the city and surrounding areas. As he said "we can only succeed, if you succeed".
Amanda Walls from Google presented an excellent session on how to increase your online presence, how to take control of what you are doing online and explained about #DigitalGarage.
I made a million and one notes and now just need to put it all into practise. I knew my website needed updating to be more Google-friendly, but Amanda made me realise it shouldn't keep falling to the bottom of my To Do list.
I need to decide on my keywords, what I want visitors to my site to do, publish a lot more useful content and make sure I have a mobile-friendly site. I'm also going to make sure I use Google analytics to measure the 'customer experience' on my website... I love phrases like that.
Our final speaker was entrepreneur and councillor Gary Millar. He has been successful in his working career and he puts it down to be surrounded by the right people to support which has boosted his business. He said "5% of businesses with support WON'T fail during their first 3 years".
This is definitely somewhere I fall down. I want a mentor, I want sales support, I want a business advisor, I want a web designer, I want a social media guru.... I want an awful lot but at the moment don't have the finances so I'm going to think about where I most need support and start there.
All in all, it was a superb event which inspired me to boost my business and increase my connections, make my voice louder and stand out from the crowd.
Thank you NatWest, I'm looking forward to the next one...