Thursday, 30 March 2017

Should you be blogging? ... How do you decide?

Just starting a business? Been told you should be blogging?

Many micro business owners or those just about to start out are bombarded with suggestions, recommendations and tools to help them.

I say help them very loosely. To the 'New' business owner these are yet more things to consider when there are already a million things to do.

When we are starting out the thoughts that will (if they haven't already) pass through your mind are...

  • How on earth am I going to learn all this? ... 
  • How am I ever going to work out how to use this in what I'm doing?
  • How is all this relevant to me?
  • Why should I spend my time doing this rather than that?
  • What is the best use of my time? ... I only have 'n' hours per day, what should I be focusing on?

What we often see standing or sitting before us is someone advising us that this is important and we should be doing it. What we actually need is some unbiased, independent guidance on whether it's a good use of our time now and whether we should adjust priorities accordingly... or is it just a nice to have, and can be introduced later?

To reach a sensible conclusion to any issue like these certainly regarding things you consider yourself to be naive about is to talk to someone knowledgeable who is helping you to find what works for you. So no vested interest in the outcome. Easier to say than do... and tough to find to be honest.

This post is about the subject of blogging... one of a thousand things you might do online. So let's get the basics out the way... (1) What is Blogging? ... (2) What can you do with it? ... (3) Should you do it?

Rembrandt House Watford
Rembrandt House c/o NewToWatford Blog

What is Blogging?

In very simple terms. A blog is a place where you can write your thoughts, with images and video (if you want) and then make available to others on the Internet (publish). 

In the old old days. If you wanted to put something on the Internet you had to be a bit of a technical wizard. Blogging makes it easy for you to write what you want, organise it so it looks nice (just "ok" if you are devoid of design skills like me) and then share it... importantly... in your own space... where just your posts reside. Basically a place for you to 'have your say' about anything you choose.

What can you do with it?

People use Blogs in all different ways. Blogs could be used by a Managing Director of a large corporate organisation to share thoughts on a hobby. Say Dogs, or Hang Gliding or anything. It could be used by a small business owner to share thoughts about their journey in Business in a "no nonsense this is what it's really like out there" kind of way... or... to demonstrate expertise... or just to convey some interesting information about life and experiences... the list is absolutely endless. The important thing to note in all of the above though is this. A Blog must have a purpose.. an objective... a reason to be. You must be wanting to share things to achieve something. 

That might be as simple as ... to improve your writing... to demonstrate you can write... to help others who might be experiencing the same challenges... to enable people to get to know you better... a whole myriad of reasons why people Blog... but you must have a 'WHY' otherwise you just won't do it... and it will be a waste of energy.

Should you do it?

The million dollar question... it isn't hard to blog... have you got 30 minutes a week to collect your thoughts together and the discipline to do it? ... you might want to do it daily... shorter posts (shorter than this one)... short pearls of wisdom... in a "less is more" stylee. Some people Blog because it is an oasis in an otherwise life of turmoil and the quiet reflective mode helps them, rather than for the benefit being directly for others... still a purpose to it though!

In Conclusion

There are lots of ways to blog... there are a few popular platforms on which to blog, selecting the right one for you is important. Are you wanting to have it laid out professionally like a website? ... do you want to spend any money doing this? ... or are you happy to do it yourself and develop it as your experience grows?

Is this going to be the main place you share what you are doing? ...or is it an adjunct to other online colateral you have? ... Is it business or personal? ... is it something for a discreet audience or would you want the world to know about it?

Now you know a little bit about what blogging is and what is possible then have a think about what you might want to talk about and why... to be absolutely honest this is the most difficult bit... if you want to have a chat about that or anything else to do with blogging... you'll find me at one of these events on this page... 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Do you want Networking or are you really looking for support?

We are likely to face come challenging times ahead. Some would say that times are already challenging... but they could get more so as we move through the next 4-5 years.

The Brexit charade will continue to rumble on through... the media will continue to hype up both sides so that those interested will continue to argue with each other in pubs and bars across our SW Herts district. Meanwhile back in the real world and the day to day difficulties local businesses face, the issues at Whitehall and Brussels and even Washington are of little immediate consequence here... paying next months rent is a tad more pressing.

So the question was discussed over in a blog about Networking and its importance to micro and small businesses [please read the blog here]. I am a big fan of networking don't get me wrong. I believe that if you network effectively you will never have to sell ever again... but is the networking environment we've got actually serving the needs for what micro and SME businesses need today?

Well it is up for question. 

What we have as far as networking is concerned was designed back in 1985... that's 30+ years ago... the world we have today is completely different to that era, maybe we're due an upgrade?

Perhaps there were a handful of people working from home back then, with no Internet... today it's 8 million or more working from home, but, connected to all parts of the globe at very low cost.

Do we really need to keep going through the same routine?

When you look at the majority of networking that goes on, there actually isn't much networking going on at all. Much of it is a prescribed scripted format, not all I hasten to add. Contrast that to what we might actually need though. What if we could complement what we're already doing in some way? Worth considering...

What if we had a selection of events / places to go during the month where we know the people we want to speak with are either going to be there or we could arrange to meet them there. Talk to someone who can sort a problem we're having... connect with a few new folk, pick up a couple of ideas, and then be on our way... all of us given the chance to both be supported and help others too. This applies to both community and business related projects and initiatives. But how could we do that?

... If I told you it was already happening in our very own back yard in SW Herts would you be surprised?

Subject of a new mini website coming very soon... maybe the day you read this, it'll already have been shared... All will be revealed in the next day or two ...

If you are as old as I am and remember the government sponsored small business support service called Business Link... it wasn't great but... it was something... some training, some support, some advice, and a place that would connect you to services you could use as necessary. A bit unwieldy as most government things are... but as easily taken away as it was given... as we found out some years ago.

Now... Imagine something similar, but bang up to date... 10 times better... and can't be taken away from us because, we ... yes you and other business owners like you, own it... unbelievable??

If you can get to the +The Kitchen Croxley this Friday 31st March... you can learn much more!! 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Using Twitter? ... a simple way to grow your audience!

Many people using Twitter are on there because a friend or colleague enthusiastically once said...

"Are you on Twitter yet? ... it's brilliant, you can post what you are doing in 140 characters, you can add links, pictures even videos..... You must be on it!"

Maybe you got that line above which teased you to learn more and get engaged? ... or maybe you found Twitter all by yourself... but have you asked yourself how many people actually see what you tweet? Is it actually worth the effort if only a handful of people ever see them? ... and what if the tweets are about SW Herts and the people who see them are in a different part of the world?

The video below is not a training on Twitter so much, but a simple technique to ensure that what you tweet gets a chance to reach a much wider local audience... Quite simply if we start to work together a bit more collaboratively we can achieve a lot more... and faster!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

It's another kind of D-Day for our local businesses... AND us as well...

We have our fair share of local businesses in the area...

I think in terms of small and micro businesses somewhere in the region of 5,000+ and then some! ... We have 3 boroughs in the district with Watford, part of Hertsmere and 3 Rivers too, and with a large population a lot of people who are 'doing their own thing'.

Running a business isn't easy though. Many who are running a business say that if they knew what they knew now they probably wouldn't have started. This has been ever so eloquently described by local coffee shop owner +linda anderson from +The Kitchen Croxley in her blog Challenges.

Where does Linda go for advice and guidance in her situation? Where do any local businesses looking for impartial, high quality, guidance go?  I know from my own experience that we can often meet people who listen to the issues we are having only for us to be greeted with a... well I can help with that... or I have a contact who can do that... neither of whom you know or have had any dealings with before... the initial enthusiasm is often mitigated by the thought... I wonder if this is going to be a chargeable service? ... of course you know what the answer is... often it starts with sums around £500 ... which rarely make it a feasible consideration... Micro businesses need support and nurturance... it isn't readily available through conventional channels...

I am confident that if we can do three things in our community we can really help local independent businesses not only survive but grow too... but we need to get cracking and as consumers we need to play our part too...

It involves us all though!

If we start to 'know' our local business owners and 'feel' that they are part of the community then we can begin to recreate the desire to support them... making that happen is both of our responsibilities. The rewards though are huge... so much more money stays in the local economy if we develop a habit of buying local whenever we can...

How do we make this happen? 

  1. Provide an opportunity for small businesses to get help, guidance, advice, support, training and encouragement for as little as possible... (already in hand) ... website specifically aimed at how local businesses can get help coming very soon..
  2. Provide the ability for these small local businesses to become visible and a platform for them to share the good work that they are doing (in hand, free business directory and noticeboards)
  3. Availability of a community portal that brings business and community together so that more people can find our small independents and buy from / use them. (This website is going to be delivering this)

The good news is that that we're fast creating the solutions to each of the challenges above... D-Day is approaching for many micro businesses but if we all work together as a team then we can do this. So much preparatory work has already been put in place... the infrastructure is there... check out the SW Herts Link4Business website... 

To keep up to date and in the loop then subscribe to the SWHerts business newsletter here... this newsletter will keep you informed of local business developments every 2 weeks.  if you're a business and would like to submit some information to us or find out more about the newsletter then click here

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Watford Big Events - BIG WordFest kicks off

Photograph by Watford Council
11th March saw the beginning of the +Watford Borough Council big events : BIG Wordfest commence.

Watford’s Big Wordfest is back by popular demand, celebrating everything to do with language and words.

Big Wordfest 2017 has all sorts of exciting activities at venues all across Watford – whether you like poetry or crime fiction, want to have a go at writing yourself or fancy a bit of theatre… there’s lots for adults, and just as much for children and young people.

So this Saturday it all began with an event that started from Watford Museum... Initially activities inside the museum itself followed by getting out onto the streets. As you can see below lots of costumes, followed by a parade up into the town, ending up at the Library.

There are lots of events all over the Watford area at different venues right up till the 30th April. For more information and for a calendar of events see the link below..

Bushey Food4Life Community meal

On the 5th March...

and again on the 19th March and every other Sunday Parul Joshi from Beauty Spot Watford is providing a Community meal at St James Church in Bushey.

On the 5th March the initiative started. Parul has realised an ambition to be able to provide a free meal for those that need it twice a month (initially).

Although Parul is passionate about assisting those who really are 'in need' she also believes that there are precious few opportunities for people in the community to come together and just enjoy eating with others who live close by.

Parul is preparing and sharing a complete vegetarian meal including curry, rice, poppadoms, breads, chutneys, juice and even desserts. This is all free of charge and if you know people who are struggling to prepare a hot meal then please do let them know about this service. The food is available between 1 and 4pm on the Sunday's that it operates.

If you would like to come along, obtain further information or help out in any way, please do have a look at the website below for further information.

There is further information on this mini website : Food4Life

Parul can be contacted through her Beauty Spot Watford website also.

Building Better Opportunities - Launched in South Oxhey & Watford

Last week on the 7th March I visited the Southilll Centre in Hemel Hempstead for the launch of BBO - Building Better Opportunities.

The rationale behind the project is to attempt to tackle the root causes of poverty and unemployment. Examples given of the causes are physical and mental health issues, homelessness, addiction and much more.

This initiative is being financed by the Big Lottery fund along with matched funding from the European Social Fund. The £5.5m has been awarded to Herts County Council who are delivering the services through 27 partners in 3 focus areas.

1. Herts Youth Futures. Aimed at 15-19 year age group (extended to 21 and 25 in some cased). 1-1 support to work out training and job goals through involvement in youth projects, sports clubs or creative groups.

2. Strive. Support & transition routes into volunteering or employment. Eligibility is aged 19+, registered unemployed or economically inactive. This is aimed at people who have tried to find employment, have been unable to do so. This initiative will provide 1-1 mentoring, support to help move you into sustainable employment, volunteering or education.

3. Mile. Money information for better Living & Employment in Herts.(MILE in Herts). The aim is to help adults who have debt issues, support transferring to universal credit, or those who are having trouble travelling to where the work is. Eligibility... a household where no one works, individuals requiring support to move to universal credit, long term unemployed or those with general debt issues.

The process

The way the programmes have been engineered is that individuals can be referred for consideration for the different services above. This then is evaluated by the BBO team. Once the candidate is accepted onto the one (or more) of the programmes then a Mentor is appointed. The mentor works with the individuals to identify their needs, signposting as necessary. This might be advice and guidance, working towards a goal of employment, volunteering, education or potentially starting their own venture.

Although there are guideline targets and expectations of how many people should be 'administered' through the various programmes it is very flexible. It is unknown territory, and so ultimately it is being undertaken on a best endeavours basis.

Community BBO Hubs are being set up across the county. We have one in South Oxhey and the other at Watford football ground (starting soon) which are open 1 day per week or 2 x 1/2 days a week. These are spaces where people can go to ask questions, meet others and pick up useful information.

 What do I think?

Let me start off by saying that supporting those people that are most difficult to reach in our society is a good thing. If there is a way of enabling people to develop their self esteem, self value, come out of their shell's and meet others and play a more active role in community then I am all for that.

My concerns about this are two fold.

1. What happens when the project finishes?

So I believe this project is for 3 years. What happens to all the good work, the money being invested now, the team involved when 3 years is up? Like Sports England and many initiatives funded by government they have a life cycle. Money is provided, spent... lessons and experience gained only to be thrown away after the funding stops. This happened prior to the Olympics in 2012 where money was handed out to sports associations who found out that after the Olympics it became very lean pickings... this results in feast and famine and real progress is stifled. This is not a sustainable, long term plan to solve the problems that have been identified as need tackling... a start.

What needs to happen in my humble opinion is that this initiative will need to be transitioned to a sustainable model that is maintained and continued by the community. Nothing regarding the legacy was mentioned at the launch.

2. We're still trying to get people to fit into a tired dying system

I still can't help thinking that we're not seeing the bigger picture here. I went along to a local economy networking meeting held at West Herts College and saw the same thing. We're trying to fit the younger people into a middle aged world... a last century world. They don't want to work as slaves for a pittance... to be unhappy.

A young person is faced with the very real prospect of never owning a home. Having a family seems way beyond reach. As for being a car owner I doubt they could afford to get insurance. And we are trying to motivate them to get out of bed early in the morning to go and work to make someone else wealthy in a dead end job. Wouldn't you rather stay in bed, play on an Xbox / Playstation and just live with little to no money. It's just too big an ask from them.

We need to be innovating a much more exciting proposition than this...

Final Words

Let's see if we can use this money, this initiative to spawn a big community project. Link4Growth I know will be working with the South West Herts team to see if they can assist with education, networking, business advice, guidance and signposting.

Link4Growth does not have the same restrictions on funding, reporting, nor can it be closed down by those providing the funding... so maybe this is one (there will be others) opportunity to turn this into a really sustainable model and carry on the developing the idea after the 3 years is up.

ROLL UP, ROLL UP Get your Quinoa HERE!

+The Michael Green Diabetes Foundation had a stall in +New Watford Market on Friday 10th March, raising awareness of Type 2 Diabetes and talking to people about healthy eating and healthier lifestyles.

We made a vast amount of Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and handed tasters to people as we talked about diabetes and how, with some small changes to the way we live, eat and exercise, we can help to prevent, manage or reverse type 2 diabetes in the majority of cases. Three out of four we spoke to were either diabetic or were borderline diabetic - quite a staggering statistic, but one that, as a nation, we are becoming more aware of. However, with a mindful approach to the food and drink we consume and an increase in the time we spend out and about (instead of sat in front of the desk, computer or tv!), there are very positive changes that can be made. Factor in some other changes, like a reduction in alcohol consumption and giving up smoking, and we can improve our quality of life in dramatic ways.

We were joined on Friday by a team of volunteers from +Watford Borough Council , very kingly organised by Lelita Bloxham - they were all very generous with their time and really helped us to engage with the passers-by. Thanks also to Darren Walford, Chair of Watford Council for popping down to see us in action. Darren and his wife Tanya have really taken an interest in our work over the past few months since choosing The MGDF as one of the Chair's two, local, nominated charities to support this year.

Huge thanks also to +Diane Richardson for really capturing the flavour of the day with some stunning photographs. Thank your for taking the time to join us and help us to bring the event to life in blogs such as these :) Thanks also to +Chris Ogle for coming along and conducting a video interview of the event - another great way to spread the news of what this charity is doing and to share far and wide.

Final thanks go to +Rio Baldwin who came and joined me on the afternoon shift in the town and who was there to keep me going when my feet said 'no'!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 small can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
handful of fresh basil, chopped
small handful of chives, snipped

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
salt and garlic pepper to taste

1. Cook quinoa as per pack instructions and leave to cool.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the chickpeas, butter beans, peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion and herbs.
3. Add the quinoa to the bowl and mix together carefully.
4. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small jug, pour the mixture over the salad and stir gently.
5. Taste and check seasoning then it’s ready to serve.

Add feta cheese and olives if you like, or a sprinkling of seeds or pine nuts to add some crunch.

Talking, walking, big books... Booster Cushion Theatre

Phil Sherman (+Booster Cushion Theatre)  is a "larger than life" Kids Entertainer based just outside the South West Herts district in St. Albans. Phil is a regular at various networking events around Watford and the north side of the district and is a familiar face at Watford central library too!

When I spoke to Phil on many occasions you get to understand the years of hard work that has gone into perfecting his craft. Phil didn't just wake up one day and want to do kids shows... he's been working on this for 30+ years. All his props are developed and created by him and his small team... and kids all over the country have been entertained by his wacky but inimitable style..

Phil says :-
"Booster Cushion Theatre specialise in bringing books to life for schools, community venues, theatres, libraries, festivals - in fact any place you can think of! Our stories are comical retellings of traditional tales, or stories to encourage children to think about making their own! In every Booster show there's lots of comical slapstick, chances to join in and fantastic props.

We have been touring throughout the UK for over 25 years but our base is in St Albans. We work with Hertfordshire Libraries throughout the year, so it's always great to have a gig so near us for locals! Recently we visited Oakmere Library with our story 'Book In Danger'. This follows an oak tree on a journey around the world, visiting it's friends in the rainforest and trying to escape from the dreaded chopper. There was lots of participation from the audience and everyone had a great time.

A fantastic review from librarian Arran Sparkes: 

"There was very little danger of anyone being bored today! The audience loved the show and can’t wait for Booster cushion to come and do another performance here."

Do keep an eye on our website for our updated shows and sign up for our newsletter as we should be touring to venues in Herts Libraries all year!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

South West Herts Link4Business website launched...

If you are already a Link4Business member then you will be well aware of the "Supportive and Nurturing environment" it provides to small independent businesses.

Quite simply Link4Business is a one stop shop to provide you with access to everything you need to really get YOU and your business flying.

Link4Business is so much more than just networking. Of course you can Network with Link4Growth, but the focus is directed much more towards helping and assisting the members to develop both themselves... and their business. If you develop the individual then you develop the business at the same time.

Link4Business is also uniquely 'Not-for-Profit'... and unlike good old 'Business Link' (do you remember that?) of yesteryear... Link4Business can't be shut down by the government when it feels like it, because it is owned by its members.

There are so many things that are available to the local businesses...

In order to convey all the help and assistance that is available and for ease of communication (and sharing) it has all been brought together under a mini website (google sites). Link4Business is constantly evolving recognising that the challenges local businesses face are not uniform across the country, but many are in fact localised.

>>> Here is the Link4Business website for SW Herts <<<

South West Herts Business Newsletter Issue - 2 published

The second issue of the SW Herts Business News was out this week... 

Lots of information including :-
  • Wellness and Beauty spotlight
  • Yoga Curious
  • USA Tours straight out of Watford
  • Signwise... a local signs production service... 

We also included a link to +Richard Harrington 's newsletter

Also... Bushey Business Networking ... that's Monday 13th 8pm (tomorrow night)

Lots more besides... do check it out... 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Google sites... worth a look? Simple, Free, Easy...

As I talk to people in the community it becomes more and more apparent that there is a vast amount of information that ought to be organised and made available via the web that just isn't happening. Why is that? What seems to be the problem?

  1. No idea that this sort of thing is possible
  2. Unaware of the tools that can be used to do the job
  3. Belief that it is difficult and time consuming, and that they don't have the skills to do it
  4. Assumption that it will cost heaven and earth
  5. Busy pushing it out on social media 'ineffectively' in the main

We have this most amazing tool 'the internet' at our disposal... all we need is a web browser, a device... could be a smart phone, tablet, laptop or standard PC and... internet connectivity which is becoming more and more ubiquitous as time passes.

It should be easy to be able to publish our messages / information and then put it somewhere relevant for the benefit of those that would find it useful... Judging by the amount of information that I am discovering that is no where to be seen on the internet we seem to be making it difficult somewhere along the line.

I hear a lot of this... 

  • We would love to get this information out there, but it has to be approved / updated by the main office
  • I'm still struggling with word, let alone doing anything more complicated
  • That's in the hands of our web developers.... that reminds me I must give them a call

To be honest half the battle is being prepared to give it a go... try... make mistakes and learn... empower yourself. I put together a training that shows how to build a website in 58 minutes... from scratch... 

+Uma Patil  who runs +Yoga 4 U here in #Watford watched the training video... [workshop is here] and then began to create a mini web site for a particular aspect of what she does.

The idea was Yoga Curious and the site is built using Google Sites. Uma is not a web developer but has now created a mobile friendly informational website which can be shared easily to communicate this aspect of what she does.

Now replicate this 1,000 times... no 10,000 times amongst all those who have something to say what a huge massive difference this would make!! So who could make use of this?

  • Community Groups - Often have no money, are only known about by those in them... do amazing work but no one knows. These mini websites can change all this. Once created they can be shared easily, linked to / from other websites and shared on Social media. It's just getting the information into the public domain.
  • Local Charities - Often strapped for cash. Struggle with the costs of getting information printed. Mini websites enable local charities to share documents, events, videos, stories easily and quickly. This instantly increases visibility, engagement and participation. Once published like above they can be linked to / from other website and social media pages. No need to wait... once you've created one of these... they can be rolled out / copied / changed
  • Micro businesses - It always seems that there is a new idea... new aspect to the business not quite programmed into the main website. Or... you want to highlight / expand on a particular aspect for an initiative. This gives business owners the flexibility to get on and try things out... do things and if they work they can be integrated into the main website as necessary.
  • Web site preparation - Often we need to write and prepare copy. We do this in documents and then have to piece it together afterwards to make it fit into our websites.... What if we could create the structure of our website and then prepare everything in a simple to use space ready for the web developer when they are ready.
  • e-Book, booklet or book development - As above this tool lends itself to so many uses... and it's free, multiple people can access / update.
  • People with skills who want to support community - This tool in the right hands means that we can help and support any of the above groups if we have a few hours and a willingness to contribute to community. These sites in the past would have needed domains... hosting... templates... SSL certificates... these sites need none of these and are completely free, secure and protected.

Google sites provides us with a service that can empower us to share the 97% of good news that is out there and start making a massive difference in the community. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Bushey Business Networking - Audrey Mitchell

If we're in business we all need to get out there and meet people.

I use the word meet because it's about meeting people and getting to know them... not sitting around selling and telling.

Bushey Business Networking has got a great balance. Audrey Mitchell, the host, is a kind, community focused soul who is also behind the charity Herts Prems... But as well as working in the NHS - Mental Care and having a young family, also finds time to run her own business and... Bushey Business Networking.

Bushey Business Networking meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month in the evening from 8-10pm. The venue is The Royal Oak, 42 Sparrows Herne, Bushey. It's totally free to attend and usually attracts an interesting crowd who are both local to SW Herts and some from over the border in NW london.

There is no formal format to the evening. It is an opportunity to get to know people in an open networking environment in a relaxed atmosphere... no commitment... no obligation... just meet, talk, listen, learn, connect, share ... and maybe even get a little inspired...

Audrey started this event with another person, but now runs it just by herself all voluntarily, so if you can support her I am sure she would be delighted...

Masterminding & Peer Support in Watford

Very often when running our businesses we are so in the thick of it and busy doing that we don't get the chance to take stock. Or if we are just starting out we're unsure of where to go for impartial advice aimed at helping us rather than those providing the advice... and sometimes we just need a kick up the bum and a bit of a reality check...

Mentoring Groups

This is why Mentoring groups are so very powerful. One has already kicked off in Watford and is now into it's 3rd month. So how do they work exactly. There is a website here that explains everything in more detail, but essentially... 6 business owners come together once a month to apply their experience, expertise, knowledge, connections and acumen to assist each other. Each session has 3 issues tabled each month... so over two months everyone has an opportunity to get their challenge out there. Minimum is a 6 month commitment.

What are the benefits of attending? 

These are many and varied... but to summarise :-

  1. Chance to have 5 other business brains working on your challenge with you
  2. Learning from listening to other people's challenges and solutions
  3. Get to start innovating and creating ideas and solutions, and develop this skill
  4. Access to other people's trusted connections and networks to accelerate your business
  5. Build deep strong relationships with those in the OMG group
  6. Accountability... no more "I'll do it later" ... invaluable for getting difficult things done
  7. Affordable, Fun, start working on your business

Running a business ins't easy. Having 5 other business owners / people helping you with different thinking and real views from an outside perspective is nothing short of priceless. We just can't come up with all the solutions ourselves. We only have one brain... when you add another 5 to the mix... think how different your business might become? 

Want to know more?

If you would like to be involved in an OMG group or have some people that you would like to bring together to start one... just drop us a note : ... or tweet @ L4GSWHerts or fill in the form over here

WARNING:  OMG's can have serious positive effects on your business. 

Monday, 6 March 2017

All aboard if you are Yoga Curious!

It was a long time coming... probably 8 years or more since I bumped into the first Yoga Instructor. However it has taken me this long to actually get along to a session.

I was delighted when +Uma Patil shared her intentions for Yoga Curious... a session designed for those people who have always wanted to give Yoga a go but... have never quite made it along... for one reason or another.

Well Saturday 4th March 2017 I finally made it along. Just off Queens road, a space that Uma has hired out to help those already in practice continue their journey, and for those perhaps looking to find out more or begin with Yoga a chance to see what it is all about.

Read my full blog post on the whole experience here

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

South West Herts Community Newsletter - Issue 1

Yesterday 28th February saw the mailing out of Issue-1 of the South West Herts Community newsletter. So many things are happening in our community that it is a struggle to try and keep the information manageable... hopefully we succeeded.

This newsletter is bi-weekly and so the next will be out on the 13th March 2017. If you have news you would like to send up please subscribe via the website for the newsletter and then complete the form on the last tab called send info.

We are keen to discover more community groups and get those listed on the SWHerts Projects website before we publish the next newsletter... so if you are involved in one of these anywhere across the district... from Northward to Maple Cross and up to Kings Langley and across to Garston and everything in between... we'd love to hear from you... just email and we'll get back to you... or make contact with +Chris Ogle or +Angie Carstairs