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If I go back to 2008, our first year of trading, was perhaps when I first went ‘networking’.
Well I say networking, I would now call it ‘netselling’ but we live and learn!
Back then I used to see these local ‘names’ sponsoring events, speaking at events and generally being involved with what I would consider the fabric of the local business community.
The likes of Forbes, Thwaites, Sagar Insurances, Senator and the like and I used to think to myself “That’s where you need to be – out there, getting involved and being credible as a voice in your industry and part of the local business community.”
Like many reading this I loved the idea of ‘owning the conversation’ around my chosen field and raising mine and the businesses profile with our target market.
Of being seen as a trustworthy person and company to do business with.
To be known as a company that looks after its clients and is ‘front of mind’ for those local businesses that I so admired and still do.
But of course it always seemed out of reach, not for us, too much investment of money and time, too scary to speak in-front of an audience – and then what would I say?
We are only a small business – is it really for us?
I would also worry about the investment in time and money but mostly I would worry about speaking in public.
Lucky for me I got involved in BNI in 2017 and that enabled me to expand my comfort zone to be able to speak in public – amateur level granted, but good enough…
But then you have to look at what you could possible get involved with.
What mostly fits the demographic of the type of business and people we would like a relationship with?
What works for our budget?
Who will we get on with?
Which organisation matches our values?
Where can we add some genuine value and get involved in a thriving community and help build it?
Our aim was and is to be the go to leasing and fleet management provider for SME’s in Lancashire and the North West – who better to talk to than our local Chamber of Commerce?
We’ve known the guys there especially Darren and latterly Debbi for some time now and of course have made new relationships with the rest of the team.
The opportunity came up to sponsor the Curry Club and to re join the Chamber as Diamond Ambassadors and its been a fantastic journey with the team there so far.
Along with the other networking and charity work we do I feel that the association with the Chamber has been at the heart of our mission to be the go to provider as mentioned above.
We’ve made some friends, built our reputation, increased awareness, won some business and generally enjoyed working with the guys there and we feel as though we are aligned in that we both want to support Lancashire businesses to grow and prosper – its something I’m very passionate about.
So my take is YES – if you are a regional player, want to raise your profile, meet some great new people and want to be seen as a voice in your industry then put the keyboard down for a while, talk to people like the Chamber and get out there and press the flesh!
Its still a work in progress for us at KeyFleet but we have made some great strides this year and have actually just committed to extend our CC sponsorship and Diamond Ambassador membership into 2020.
Thanks to all the team at the Chamber and also my KeyFleet legends too!
Next time Curry Club is at Ewood Park on 15 May 2020
Register your place now HERE
See you all there
All the best – Marc
Key Finance and Leasing Ltd, t/a KeyFleet are a credit broker and not a lender, we are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered No : 714978
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