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B2B Networking with Business Cornerstones Review

Date: 11 December 2015

The Business Network Column from Platinum Business Magazine

B2B Networking with Business Cornerstones Review 

By Emma Pearce Marketing Consultant – marketing planning, outsourced marketing services and social media training

Deans_Place_Hotel_front

Emma Pearce gives a more detailed insight into the rare breed of B2B-only networking…

Networking is a great marketing tactic that should bring returns if you do it properly.  For some businesses it can be very worthwhile seeking out B2B-specific networks to really focus in on your target audience and best potential referral sources.

One such network operates in Alfriston and attracts businesses from a mix of towns in Sussex due to its central location between Lewes, Newhaven, Eastbourne and Golden Cross. Some members come from further afield due to the quality of this group.

Business Cornerstones was established in 2005 and holds a lively and friendly breakfast meeting twice a month at the Deans Place Hotel in Alfriston.  The hotel has always been its ‘home’ due to its ample free parking, free WIFI, fantastic 3 course breakfast and comprehensive conference facilities. All set within the heart of the South Downs National Park with easy access from the A27.

Jim Bruckshaw, who set up the group and chair’s the meetings, added “The hotel is perfect because it also accommodates our two business development events each year in the Spring and Autumn – that are open to any business owner.  We have had events specialising in specific business sectors such as manufacturing, the wine industry and the care sector, as well as internationally renowned speakers on topics such as LinkedIn. These events are a great learning and networking opportunity.

The members of the group are varied and experts in their field. They are carefully approved after recommendations and visiting the networking group a couple of times.  The current membership includes various financial-related disciplines, law, health and safety, corporate rewards and hospitality, HR, business development, coaching, marketing-related services, continuous improvement, telecoms, private health insurance, insurance, logistics, telecommunications and more.

 

Meeting Format

The agenda for each event is structured but relaxed:

  • 30 minutes – registration, open networking
  • Sit down for breakfast around an oval table (it’s a great menu and high quality food!)
  • 1-2 minute round with updates from each member – who share useful business knowledge, industry updates and details of what they offer
  • Speaker (10 minutes and Q&A)
  • Closing comments/event discussions
  • 1-2-1’s with fellow members to learn more about their businesses or discuss referrals

 

Jim added “We welcome interest from new potential members in areas where we do not have an existing member.  Our network is all about building long-term relationships, building trust and having confidence to refer fellow members of the Business Cornerstones team.

We all offer a free initial consultation and share the aim of helping SME’s to fully maximise their opportunities, productivity and profitability. It’s wonderful when a number of us work with a business to help it make a real step-change in its processes and success.”

 

Key Facts

  • Location: Deans Place Hotel, Alfriston
  • Frequency: Twice a month (with one only in August and December)
  • Size: approximately 29 members with an average of 18 at each meeting
  • Time: 7 am – 9 am
  • Lock out: yes – one expert per specialism (see member list on the website)
  • USP: B2B only, special events twice a year, close knit team of experts
  • Minute round: each member has 2 minutes usually!
  • Speaker slot: 10 minutes from one of the members
  • Cost: £300+VAT in year 1, £250+VAT in year 2, £200+VAT ongoing, plus £12.50 per breakfast

 

www.businesscornerstones.co.uk

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