Archive for September, 2014

 

Dishing up Success

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Dinner on Thursday evening started with hard work & motivation, moved on to a large portion of innovation with creativity on the side and ended with a belly full of contagious inspiration. Yes of course, we were at the Kent Independent Trader Awards. #KiTA2014

Bearsted Golf Club was full to the brim with entrepreneurs from across the county. A mixture of excitement, anticipation and the odd glass of fizz kept the chatter going until the awards, now in their third year, began. Organiser Hilary Steel compared the evening bringing, as usual, a sprinkling of humour to lighten the tension.Hilary Steel and Lisa Settle

As the evening unfolded it was clear to see a recurring pattern emerging, each and everyone of these determined business owners were led by passion with a capital P. That feeling deep within that fuels you to make scary decisions, exit your comfort zone and risk your life savings.

Telcare were honoured to sponsor the occasion and even more delighted to hand out two of the awards. As customer service is a subject close to our heart, we were keen to have the opportunity to congratulate the finalists in this category. The role became even more pleasing when we announced that the winner was Beverley Adams-Reynolds of Exquisite Vintage Teas, Beverley was quite overcome and extremely happy. Many congratulations to Beverley on a fabulous achievement.Beverley Adams-Reynolds

The second award we had the pleasure in giving out was for Health & Beauty. There is no doubt that this industry is booming and also an arena that is extremely competitive. This fact alone highlighted the calibre of the finalists. Of course there could be only one winner so the crown went to a very deserving Leah Buckingham with Trayc Randall and Kim Henderson close at her heels as runners up.Trayc Randall & Leah Buckingham

For a full list of finalists, runners up and winners from the evening please see here:
http://kentindependenttraders.co.uk/2014-results/ Finalists Clockwork Moggy

The organisers once again achieved the mammoth task of bringing together the go-getters of Kent; they showcased their talents and celebrated their successes. As onlookers we witnessed the shaping of Kent’s future business community, an impressive prospect. Bring it on.

Old Dogs Teach Networking Tricks

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Last week I joined a group of seasoned business men and women to attend a careers fair at a local school. The brief was to teach the students how to network.

When you’ve been about for a few years the process of interacting with others gets easier and communication skills get taken for granted. For some, however, the thought of making conversation with a stranger can be traumatic and something to be avoided at all costs.

Fortunately these fears can be overcome and skills can be improved with practice. Our aim was to make the students feel at ease, boost their confidence and improve their communication skills.

The options for the morning were either carrying out some soft networking, i.e mingling amongst the terrified students and striking up a conversation or having some fun. We decided on both and put together some speed networking sessions, with soft networking in the background.

The morning consisted of 4 workshops with approximately 20 students in each. Former Kent Entrepreneur Paul Andrews kicked off each session with a humorous rendition of a surfing trip with his son. The story related to attitude and how employers still stress how important it is to have the ‘right attitude’ regardless of the qualifications you may have.

Having politely giggled in all the right places at Paul’s speech, the students were let loose into the room to network. It was encouraging to see so many head towards the speed networking area; in fact we had a queue for most sessions and had to reduce the time of each session in order to accommodate everyone.

Some students began nervously saying that they didn’t know what to say but within moments they amazingly found their voice and were engaging with the volunteers as if they were old friends. Confidence grew before our very eyes, it was extremely rewarding to witness.

The result, an enjoyable morning had by both students and volunteers alike. Personally I was reminded of the power of communication and just how significant networking is to me and my business.

Thanks go to Paul Andrews, Louisa Felstead, David Kirk, Sarah-Jane Herber-Hall, Alastair Wood, Trayc Randall, Soinia Hurren, Jan Fenning, Chris Pollard and Emma Dengate. You were all fabulous mentors and excellent company.