Session Notes - 23rd January 2019
Welcome to The Business Community 2019
We have made a few changes to how we are going to run our business community this year. Firstly, we now have different membership levels and a slightly different structure – see the Membership Update section below for more information. There won’t be any contracts, so you can stop paying and stop coming at any time. As always, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) will need to be signed by every member to ensure full confidentiality. Guests will also be invited to attend our group sessions. Julie Armstrong will be your first point of contact and notes from each group session will be sent to you afterwards. We will be sending out notes after each session, quarterly newsletters and we will be hosting guest clinics, where you can tap into the knowledge and expertise of some of my high- profile private clients.
Accountability, Motivation & Support
The main focus of The Business community is to give you everything you need to become successful. It’s tough working on your own, so the idea is to provide support and help you learn, as well as motivating you and making you accountable for your business. One way of doing this is by providing you with a new reporting tool – see Member Reporting Platform section below. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Our success individually and as a group will be continually measured throughout the year.
Reciprocity – What You Give Out Comes Back
The philosophy behind our Concannon Connection community is about mutual support. Working to this principle, we need to think about how we can help each other to become successful. Focus on the ‘giving back’ and not on the ‘getting back’ - help others without any expectation. If you do this right, the getting back takes care of itself. In our group session, we discussed the book, ‘The Selfish Gene’ – i.e. behaviour amongst seagulls; 10% were selfish and did not give back, 80% reciprocated and survived, 10% did not know how to ‘ask’ and died. We need to work as the 80%. Instead of worrying about competition, consider collaborating with similar businesses. Everyone has a network of contacts, so I want you to make use of your connections to help one another. Success breeds success. If everyone works with the same mindset, we can create success for each other.
The website has been developed to reflect the needs of The Business community. My son, Luke, will be managing our online presence. We now have a new Member Reporting Platform (see below), an online directory for members, and Luke will also be developing an online forum.
Each group session will have a lot more content and will run for 3 to 4 hours, depending on the subject matter. This includes guest clinics with high-profile business leaders, e.g. Ian Mattioli from Mattioli Woods will be attending one of our sessions and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. We will cover a variety of themes - marketing with Anna Price, Marketing Strategist; finance with Kym Ellington; accounting with Accumulus Accountants; and so on. Should The Business Community get too big, then we will look at splitting the group into smaller cells. In the meantime, we will move larger group sessions to a bigger venue, as and when required. So, keep an eye on your emails for any venue changes.
Julie will be arranging these and will be in touch with you directly – the first set of 121s will be in February/March. Other 121s in 2019 will take place during June/July and October/November. I will also be encouraging you all to arrange 121s with each other, so you can learn more about each other, which will make it easier to refer business to one another.
The Concannon Connection events are your events – this is your opportunity to promote your business, so we need to think of more ways to showcase members. I will continue to invite members to speak at my events, but at each event, I will be introducing members in a slightly different way than before – i.e. the next event will be theatre-style, so I will ask you to come up and assist me during my talk by holding boards, etc. I would like you to bring any promotional materials with you to the event on 8th February and place on the table set aside for members only. I would also like you to have a think about how you can be easily identified as members at our events – e.g. maybe wearing a coloured lanyard?
At our last session, in small groups, you had the opportunity to discuss your proposition. Consider the value you can offer to others and how you can express this clearly. You need to get good at this so you can easily refer each other. I would like you to send this to me.
Consider how you are going to get more sales and customers this year. There are a lot of natural synergies within the group and I know many of you are already working and referring to one another. Sales aficionados, Andy Neale and Richard Moore, have the confidence to contact leads by calling them directly, but I realise that many of you may not be comfortable with this. I suggested that Andy and Richard lead a future group session on this subject.
Outside of the Concannon Connection community, many of you are members of networking groups. This is a good way to increase the exposure of your business and the number of contacts within your own network. However, you need to make sure that you turn up; networking is about creating relationships and it takes time. At a networking meeting, focus on the other person – spend all your time talking about them and listen to what they have to say. How can you help them with their problems? Could you refer them to a member of the Concannon Connection community? People really appreciate third-party referrals.
I want to increase the reach of our business community outside of Leicester and across the UK. Therefore, future events will not be limited to our local area. Even within our current group, we have members based in Birmingham and North Nottinghamshire, with different networks that can help to increase member exposure. I will also be looking at corporate sponsorship for our events. And, I also have plans for largescale seasonal events in London, so watch this space!
ACTIONS – by 7th February 2019:
Send ideas for identifying members at our next event – e.g. coloured lanyards?
Proposition – what value do you offer? Please send this to me.
Business Plan – this can be a short summary of your plans for 2019.
Budget 2019 – this needs to include all expected outgoings, including
recurring fixed costs for the next 12 months.
Sales Forecasting – how are you going to generate sales to meet your
Prospecting Plan – how are you going to increase your exposure to gain
more customers and sales?
Photo – please email over a head shot for our directory.
Meeting dates – please add to your diary and confirm with Julie.
Membership – (see below)
Member Reporting Platform – (see below)
We now have three membership levels (all prices include VAT), as follows:
Entrance = £30 per month. Can attend 5 x group sessions per year. 121s bought separately.
Regular = £100 per month (from February – this is your current membership level). Monthly group sessions. 121s every 4 months (3 per year).
Full = £250 per month. As above, but with more 121s.
All members will enjoy regular promotion on social media, our website and at our
ACTION: Please can you go to this link and sign up for your membership:
Member Reporting Platform
As a reminder, we need you to complete the following information:
Sales Contracted Year To Date = sales agreed, but not yet delivered.
Invoices Sent Out = enter actual invoices that have already been sent to customers.
Invoices Paid = this is your cash in, therefore, enter all invoices that have been paid.
Costs Incurred Year To Date = this is your expenses and outgoings, including any cash you have paid yourself.
Wins Since Last Report = I want to know your successes and any positive news.
Losses Since Last Report = updates in terms of any negative news.
What Help Do You Want? = this is where you can let me know whether you need more sales, prospects, or help from the group.
Sales Forecasting = review your sales pipeline and look at the confidence levels in relation to potential new jobs – do they have a 20%, 50% or 90% chance of happening? Describe who and what these potential jobs relate to.
The above information will be used to generate a graph. Ideally, this graph should comprise of four descending lines – sales, sent invoices, cash in, and costs. However, in reality, the graph won’t always look like this. For new businesses, the lines are likely to be reversed as you will probably have more outgoing costs than incoming cash.
This is voluntary – however, if you want to get the most out of your membership and receive a monthly personalised report, then you will need to submit your information by the first Thursday of each month. To complete your monthly report, click the button below: