Benefits and Drawbacks of Business Networking

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Business networking has a world of positive benefits. However, with everything positive, comes a few negatives at least. So, without further ado, let’s begin with the positive/pros in support of business networking:

The first point on the up side is;
You’re being active in the accumulation of business contacts and letting yourself be seen. Many people complain that they are just not meeting enough of the right people to help in their career direction.

business-networkingWhen you are actively involved in business networking, you are increasing your chances of meeting those right people. Furthermore, if you are networking correctly by sharing referrals, introducing people, and following up with those you meet, the rewards will speak for themselves.

The 2nd positive point is;
Your 1 on 1 people skills will slowly develop into expert status. This is a benefit not talked about a lot but through trial and error, building great relationships will seem effortless. Consider the fact that when your 1 on 1 people skills are adequate, you will see a phenomenal increase in the positive results you get using all other communication, for example; telephone, e-mail, etc.

3rd, on the optimistic side is;
After being consistent, you will notice your own center of influence expand. If you are engaged actively in meeting, communicating, and generally helping many individuals, you will be liked as well as respected. When these type of things occur, your center of influence grows and you will become well-respected by default.

4, on the high side is;
Networking regularly gives you the opportunity to speak a lot about your profession. You will have the opportunity to educate many people about what you do when you meet them. This situation causes you to be on your toes and more knowledgeable about your profession.

The 5th benefit of business networking is;
You are greatly increasing your overall options. While networking for better business returns, you will meet an abundance of individuals who aren’t directly connected to your goals. Meeting individuals like this can benefit you in other ways like; finding a good plumber, helping you to get hired at a new company, and any other specialist in a particular field. A personal referral usually holds more merit.

And now for the alternatives or the down-side/cons of business networking:

#1. If you are an extreme example of a socially inhibited individual, getting out and networking could be very traumatic for you. I’m not saying that it’s something you can’t overcome but it could very well turn out to be a not so positive experience.

#2. You may find several events that may not be to your liking. This is an occupational hazard of business networking in which you attend business networking events with high expectations but are disappointed by the outcome. As with anything, this is not justification to give up but it does happen.

#3. People in your newly found network been as receptive as you would like. It is very true that many people talk a good game but in the heat of the moment, when you need them most, they can let you down.

#4. An unruly, undesirable individual may enter your life through networking. I know that this is an aspect that’s not discussed too frequently but I must be honest. Sometimes you can attract individuals through your friendly networking activities, which could prove energy draining if not detrimental to your career.

And #5. Networking doesn’t work for everybody. Yes, there are some individuals out there, as rare as they may be, where networking and building relationships with different people just isn’t their cup of tea. A small minority of people will find that no matter how hard they try, it just won’t deliver the desired results. This is sad but it is true.

So now you see the pros and cons on both ends. Personally I believe that business networking is very important and can work for most people in a positive way. Now, you have to ask yourself, “Is it bad or good?” The answer is “Good” and “Bad”. It all depends on the perspective of “you”, the reader.

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Increase the value of your home with a new fitted bathroom

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smallbath7During one of our local network group meetings, we had a discussion about house prices and how best to increase the value of your home for the least amount of expense.

After some research it seems that upgrading your existing bathroom or kitchen is the most cost effective and also most useable way to add value before selling your home, and also making it a more saleable asset.

Our resident bathroom installer in the network group had some great ideas for anyone looking to upgrade the smallest room in the house, so I thought it would be a good idea to include them here.

If you are planning to put your home on the market you must be looking  to sell it at the highest price possible. There are several changes you can make to improve your home value and a new fitted bathroom is one of the things that will immensely improve the value of your home.

For this to happen, however, you need to keep a few things in mind to ensure that your efforts will bear fruits at the end of the day. Some of the things that you should consider include;

The total expenditure
A new fitted bathroom does not come cheap. You should only consider undertaking this project if you are sure that you are going to recoup your investment when you sell the house. Calculate all costs that you will incur to complete the project and only go ahead with the project if it makes economic sense.

Though the final cost of your home will to a large extent depend on how the entire house looks a new fitted bathroom done right is a decent selling point and can earn you a few extra bucks.

Personal taste and preference
t is easy to assume that your home buyer will like their bathroom just the way you think a perfect bathroom should look. The truth, however, is that personal taste and preference differ and your new fitted bathroom may become a turn off rather than attract more buyers.

To be on the safe side keep things simple and keep off garish bathroom accessories and fixtures. While you can put your creativity into good use try and keep to the colors, accessories and additions that most people would be happy with.

Most home buyers today are looking for spacious kitchen, large bedrooms, and an even larger bathroom. Your new fitted bathroom should, therefore, be spacious. This does not mean that you have to knock down a wall or two in order to get more space.

You can still work with what you have and successfully create a lighter feel in your bathroom. Keep off excessively large bathroom accessories, ensure that your layout is space saving and try to keep things as simple as possible.

You should consider hiring a contractor to complete this project. It is important to take your time and only work with a contractor who is professional and has a proven track record. Ask for samples of previous works and get a few references where possible.

A good contractor will be more than happy to show you the work accomplished in the past. You will also get a rough estimate of different bathroom models so that you can see what will fit within your budget.

Design vs. Functionality
Design and functionality should go hand in hand. Do not get carried away and come up with a design that will leave your bathroom looking busy and uncoordinated. Also, the bathroom design you settle for should work well with the rest of the house.

You can get guidance from the contractor you engage where design is concerned if you do not already have a good bathroom design in mind. Remember too that if you are designing a bathroom to be a selling point for the house, which is what our networking colleague was discussing, then you need to design the room to suit your potential buyer, and not just to suit your own tastes.

The video below has some good points too that you might want to consider.

Social Media Explained

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I was looking for a good explainer video to use in a presentation this week and I found this. It said everything that I wanted to say, so I played it to my audience and asked for questions after the viewing.

It was well received and everyone had a better understanding of what social media is and how it works after the show, so I thought I would share it here. Let me know your thoughts too.

The Benefits of Fitted Bedroom Furniture

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space saving wardrobesSo my weekend has been crazy, and it helps to get rid of my frustrations when I write, so here is my take on my recent bedroom upgrade. We had been planning to get new bedroom furniture for a long time, we were using some old stand alone wardrobes and drawer chests that came from somebody in the family years ago. They were ready for the scrap heap probably 10 years ago, but there always seemed to be some other reason to spend any available money than on bedroom furniture.

But anyway, we finally decided to bite the bullet and get it done. To be honest, it wasn’t such a big upheaval, it’s just that it coincided with a large family wedding, and the stress of both was just a bit too much.

As I sit here now admiring my new bedroom, and the great job that my local fitted wardrobe installer was able to do considering the turmoil the house was in, I am really pleased with the result. For anyone else that is considering installing fitted bedroom furniture, hopefully this litle blog helps. I have included the video below as it has some design ideas that may prove to be useful, especially for smaller spaces.

When you have built a new home, one of the things that you consider is whether you should have fitted bedroom furniture or not. If you are planning to do so, then you should not stop because this is a great decision you are making. Fitted bedroom furniture provides a lot of benefits that you might get from other types of furniture. Here are some of the benefits of having the fitted bedroom furniture.

Get the furniture customized to your specific needs

One of the greatest benefits is that you will have the opportunity to design furniture with all the features that you need and all the details that you will use. You will have the opportunity to eliminate any feature that you will not need. When you build fitted bedrooms furniture you will specify the size, design and many other things that you need. You can build any type of furniture including shelves, racks, compartments, hangers to create a more unique and flexible space.

Efficient and wise use of space

With the fitted bedrooms furniture you will be using your space in a wise and more efficient manner. You can make use of the space that is left in your bedroom to have furniture built to occupy it. You can design any type of furniture that will fit seamlessly into the bedroom. Your fitted furniture will just be the right size, with no wasted space. You will not have any wasted space, so you will get the value of the money that you have used to build the bedroom.

Reduce damages

It is good to note that most of the furniture you have in your home gets damaged easily as a result of frequent movements. However, you can reduce such damages by ensure that you have the fitted bedroom furniture that require not to be moved at any given time. When they are built, they will stay in the same place and used specifically for the intended purpose in the bedroom. This will save you a lot of money that you might need to spend to repair those that are damaged during the movements.

Make use of right finishes and materials

When you build the fitted bedrooms furniture in your building, you have the opportunity to make use of materials that will complete your bedroom. You will have the opportunity to build the ones that will match with each other, the design, style and any other features that you get in your bedroom. This will make your bedroom look great and it might even add its value in case you would need to sell it in the future.

Fitted furniture are tangible investment

The fitted furniture in your bedroom, are great investment. They add the value of your entire home because they are viewed as part of the house because they cannot be moved. Unlike most other investments, this is an investment that you will enjoy using on daily basis and you can reap great reward because you resell them together with your home.

The image below is from B&Q, a large UK retailer, they have some inexpensive bedroom ideas there that you may want to look at, as you can see in this picture.


Which Social Media Platform Is Best For Networking

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I don’t know about you but I find it all a bit overwhelming… there are so many social media platforms, and when you start to research which might be best for your local business networking, there are voices shouting for each, and it makes my head spin.

On the one hand you don’t want to get left behind and miss the boat on the new ones such as reddit, but on the other I don’t have the old established sites like facebook and twitter down yet. They all change so quickly.

So anyway I saw this so called cheat sheet with info about each of the social media outlets and thought I would throw it on here in the hope that it might help somebody. As I work through this project myself I will keep updating the blog, and anyone that is interested in swapping ideas please contact me from this website.

I am trying to get my head around instagram at the moment, to see if it is useful for local networking, and the video above gives an overview, hopefully that helps.

social media cheat sheet

6 benefits of double glazing for your home

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double-glazingThe most recent saga with my run down house renovation is having to replace the old wooden doors and windows. They are all leaky, so draughts are everywhere, and they are cold and ugly.

I did my usual research before committing to any purchase, and I was lucky enough to have a small family owned business represented in my local networking group. They visited my home for a free survey, gave me a quote, I did my usual haggle…. we agreed a price and I am now the proud owner of a house full of maintenance free, draught free, warm and cosy upvc double glazing.

The difference in my house is amazing, so as a tribute to my new friend the double glazed glass guy, I thought I would post an article about the benefits, in the hope that it helps anyone considering taking the plunge.

Double glazing is a kind of door or window which is designed specially for minimizing heat loss and reduces noise by placing two pieces of glass which are parallel to each other and have a gap in between them filled with gas or air. Double glazing doors and windows have become popular in the last 30 years. If you don’t have double glazing at your home then you need to know that it is the best money friendly and environmentally friendly glass option for your home. Below are 6 benefits of double glazing for your house.

Highly energy efficient

One of the main reasons of heat loss at home is through doors and windows. Therefore, if you are having double glazed doors and windows installed at your home then it would be a great option for insulating your home more efficiently.

Due to the thermal effects of this technology which is really environmentally friendly, you would find your home warmer in winters and cooler in summers. This double glazed glass locks in the heat and will keep the draughts out which would be highly beneficial for the energy consumption in the homes. This means in winters you can turn off or turn down the heating, thus you would save a lot of money on your bills.

Fully waterproof and weather resilient

PVC-U doors and windows are really perfect in order to protect you and your homes from the substantial rain fall, strong winds and salty air.

Highly noise reducingcomparison

The double glazing doors and windows might potentially block out around 70% of the outside unwanted noise such as the noise of barking dogs, loud traffic or late night parties. Therefore, if you are installing them then you can at least sleep peacefully.

Increase the resale value of your home

If you are installing double glazing doors and windows at your home then it would be notably increasing the overall worth of your home. So, if you are planning to move out from this home in future then it would help you in getting a much better deal.

Fully rot and corrosion protected

If you are installing double glazing doors and windows at your home then you need to know that another best thing about it is that it is long lasting and hard-wearing. Since, it requires little maintenance, they are said to be a sound investment for any home.

100% UV resistant

These special doors and windows prevents harmful UV rays from ruining the furniture, furnishings and carpets by reducing the light’s penetration, which fades the fabrics of the home over the time. Also the frames are maintenance free.. imagine, no painting.

After reading the 6 benefits of double glazing for your home, you must have realized that if you choose this special glass technology for your home then you have made a smart investment decision.

This special glass technology will provide immediate benefits to its purchasers from security to insulation and warmth. You can fit them in doors and windows of any sizes and shapes. Though, it is a bit expensive but it would be worth it as you are going to save a considerable amount on your energy bills.

The video below may give you some more inspiration to make your home warmer and more energy efficient.

Are you using social media for your networking?

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We all use social media to some degree, and some more than others. I know how to use facebook, and I have dabbled with Twitter, but I am definitely a newbie where using social media for business is concerned.

I was just doing some research and found this infographic so thought I would share it here. Later after I have learned more I will post an update to tell you how I am doing.

I think that Linkedin is the better social media platform for business, but Facebook and Twitter are used too.

If you have any comments that you would like to share please send them over, and also let me know if social media is working for your business.


Support Your Local Kitchen Makeover Business

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kitchen doors imageKitchen Makeovers….. it’s become something of a buzzword, and I wanted to feature it here because I have met a local business at my networking group who runs just such a venture.

I was in the market for a new kitchen and this process fitted the bill exactly, the upgrade I needed at a price I could afford, so I thought they deserve a mention here. I saved a bundle of money and got the kitchen of my dreams by installing replacement doors and drawers.

You find that as time goes by certain rooms in your home need to be upgraded to more modern standards or because of wear and tear. There are certain rooms of your home that you might decide to upgrade if you can’t afford to work on your entire home.

Your kitchen is one of the most essential rooms in your home and as such it should be in good order at all times. This is especially true because it is not only a place for cooking but also as a socialising or even relaxing place.

In the past, the kitchen was just used for preparing meals, but in these days times, it is also used as an office, breakfast room, dining room etc. One of the ways you can upgrade your kitchen on a budget is by changing the doors and drawers. Here are some of the major benefits and information about the process

Make your doors and drawers look new

You might have installed your kitchen a long time ago and now they look old or worn. They might not have that look that you would like them to have. It is good to note that if your doors and drawers have the old look your entire kitchen will not be the sort of place that you want to work or relax. Therefore, it is worth upgrading them so that you can improve their overall look and make them look new again.

This will go a long way in helping improve not only the look of your kitchen, but your overall home too. The good news is that you can do this by keeping the cabinets and just changing the parts that you see – namely the doors drawers and handles.

Add value to your home

The value of your home is determined by its attractiveness omongst other things. With old fittings in your kitchen, bathroom, sitting room and other areas your home will be of a lower value. However, by upgrading your kitchen by changing the doors and drawers, you will add the to value of your entire home. This is very important if you are looking  to sell your home. With upgraded doors and drawers you will find willing buyers who are ready to buy it at higher price fast.

Make your home look modern

In these days there are different trends that are coming up and going in terms of the way kitchens are built. If you built your kitchen several years ago, you might feel that it is no longer relevant or attractive. You can make it updated and trending and by spending a fraction of the cost of a complete new kitchen by keeping the cabinets and layouts that you already have, and just change the parts that you can see. You will be amazed at the result.

Customize the look of your kitchen

If you are the kind of people who like to have personalized items in your home, it is very possible to do this with this kind of makeover. You can customize your doors and drawers to depict your own personality and make your kitchen look unique from others, and you can even change worktops, tile, flooring and appliances for an even greater impact.

To ensure that you get the best result available, it is necessary that you hire an expert to carry out the upgrading project on your behalf. Make sure you work with an experienced and reputable professional in order to get the best and highky satisfactury results, and also because they have access to a full range of door types, sizes, colours and styles, so that they will fit the cabinets that you have exactly, and so that you can get the style and colour that you will be proud of.

Watch the video below for more insight in to how this might work for you. The video is for Dream Doors, who are a franchise and a major force in this market, however, 9 times out of 10 you will find that your local kitchen installer can give you the same service and quality but at a much lower price. Remember to shop around before you buy, and try to support your local business wherever possible.

5 Top Reasons to Shop Locally

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shop locallyWhen you want to buy any product that you need, you have the option to buy from a local shop or you can decide to do it from other shops located outside your area. The choice you make will highly depend on your own preference and convenience. However, it is worth noting that there are a lot of benefits involved in buying from your local store, instead of buying from those located outside your area. To help you understand this, this article provides you with top 5 reasons to shop locally.

Boost the development of your community

One of the major reasons why it is advisable to buy locally is that you contribute to the development of your community. This happens because businesses that are locally based cater for the needs of the neighborhood it serves. This means that if a local business owner gets more income, it means that the entire community develops because they also spend the money locally. In addition, they get involved in community projects geared towards making life better.

Most of the products sold are also produced locally, so you will contribute to the development of your community indirectly.

Save on the cost

When you decide to shop locally you can be assured that you will save more, than would happen if you shopped from a store located far away from your area. You will save on transport costs because you do not have to travel far away. In addition, most of the local shops sell their products at a more reduced price as they try to gain more customers through this strategy. It is also easy to bargain for price with local business owners because of strong relationship with them.

Put your tax to good use

It is good to note that every product that you buy is taxed. The money that you get taxed is then used to enhance development in your area. This means that when you buy a product from your local store, the money that is taxed does not go to development of in others areas. By doing this, you contribute to development of infrastructure in your area and ensure that you get other incentives from the government. This goes a long way in adding value to your neighborhood by boosting its income too.


Shopping locally offers a high level convenience, compared to buying from far away shops. You do not waste a lot of time as you travel to another area as you do the shopping. It is also possible for you to buy all the products that you want any time of the day or night without a lot of stress. Thus is because it just takes you a few minutes to reach your local shop.

Get better customer service

By shopping from your local shop, you can be assured of getting better customer service. This is because you develop good relationship with your local business owner and can use language that both of you can understand better.

It is easy to underestimate the impact of not shopping locally. There is nothing worse than living in an area that has boarded up shop windows and closed shops. There is no sense of community or pride.

Totally Locally is a movement that promotes shopping locally for goods and services. They have a fantastic programme that you can get involved in for your local area. Check out their website by clicking here.

Check out Karina Wells promoting Totally Locally in West Bridgford Nottingham in the video below, then go to the Totally Locally website and get promoting local shopping in your area.


4 Good Reasons To Network Your Business

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local business networksIn order to succeed in your business, it is good to ensure that you develop good relationships with all of your peers. One of the most effective ways you can do this is through local networking.

I have been a member of many networking groups over the years, and they all work a little differently, some are better than others in one area, but then the opposite is true in other areas. It depends to a larger degree on the quality of your fellow members. It sometimes seems that half of the attendees are only at the meeting for a social event, and not to network and get new business for yourself and your fellow members

One networking group that worked consistently well for me was 4Networking, there is probably one in your area. If there is you should check them out. I like the style of the meetings and it was always well worth my time to go.

By having great networking strategies you will be able to develop good relationship with your customers and other stakeholders to boost your business productivity. However, just like any other business process that you get involved in, you must apply the right networking tips in order to succeed. To help you in the process, here are some local business networking ideas.

Get out and be active

One of the notions that people have is that networking should only be done in a conference or meeting room. This is not the case because there are a lot of events that happen in your local area where you can network with people who can help take your business to the next level. By attending those events, you will have a great opportunity to have great connection and interaction with great professionals like you.

The good thing is that you will also find other professionals who are also looking for people to network with. This will help you make stronger and deeper sustainable connections.

Invest your time doing the networking

Just like any other business activity, you need to invest your time networking. By investing enough time, you will get in touch with people sharing the same passion and values. All you need to do is to make sure that you take every opportunity that comes your way and get in touch with the relevant people.

To ensure that you also make others want to network with you, ensure that you develop a great portfolio that will attract a lot of requests and interests. Do not just show other people that you just want to network with them; you need to show that you are interested with their business or other jobs too.

Use different media

In modern times, there is a lot of media you can use to network locally. It is easy to network with local professionals using social networking sites such as LinkedIn, facebook, twitter and others. Do not try to network by just using just a single platform because this will limit the number of those who you can network with.

You should also not forget to network using others channels such as emails, phone calls and others. You can also send handwritten notes to those people whom you might have met during an event.

Learn to be a good public speaker

When attending a local networking event, it is good to note that you have the attention of all people in that event. You must take advantage of the short time that you are given to put across your ideas. You can attract a lot of interest, if you have the ability to speak well.

Speaking in a great way in front of people is a great way to network and demonstrate your expertise. Regardless of what you do, you are a professional in something. Allow people know your area of expertise and you will succeed in your local business networking initiatives.