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Tough Girl Challenges Progress Report for January

Instagram - Lots of lovely lifting!
#flipagram ♫ Music: Girls Aloud - Something

It’s really important for me to get out into the local community and to build as many contacts as I can in my local area. I really want to do more speaking engagements and my goal this year is to give 100 free motivational talks. It’s also good for me to raise my profile, talk about Tough Girl Challenges and spread the word about my books, my current challenges and what my future goals are.

The website for Tough Girl Challenges went live on the 1st December, but I’ve been working on it since June. I knew the first phase would be all about getting the website up and running and then the second phase would be about building up the content and raising the company’s profile.

Networking Events

I really enjoy networking, although I never really see it as networking. I’m really interested in meeting new people and seeing what they’re doing and how they do what they do. I just love talking to people! It also inspires me as I realise I’m not the only one out there who’s started their own company and is busy working hard to make a success of it.

I googled free networking events in my local area and a number of them came up! I got myself booked onto five different events over the coming months. It was very quick and easy to do; now all I needed to do was turn up and get networking!

47 – 48 Hamilton Square

14th January, 3 – 5pm

Cost - FREE

This was the launch party for Simply Networking on the Wirral. It was very relaxed and informal, a wide variety of people attended from different professions, there were photographers, individuals who worked in risk management, sales, care homes and accountants.

I also got invited to a lunch the following day at BNI, which was great, as it was another opportunity to meet more people.

N.B. I was also told about the benefits of twitter and that I really needed to get a twitter account and to start tweeting! I took this advice on board and created a twitter account! @­_TOUGH_GIRL and added the live feed to my website and onto my authors page on Amazon.

Contacts Made – 10

Follow up e-mails sent – 10

Coffee dates - 1

Leasowe Castle

15th January, 11.30 – 1.30 pm

Cost - £10

BNI (Business Network International) is a business referral network. Members meet weekly with the intention of passing each other opportunities for new business through 'word of mouth referrals'.

“BNI's sole purpose is to provide a positive, supportive and structured environment for the growth and development of the businesses of its members through the exchange of quality business referrals. In the BNI Mercury (Wirral) Lunch Chapter of BNI, members are already referring hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of business.”

Everyone was very friendly and welcoming; there was coffee and networking to start, before you helped yourself to lunch. We were then sat in a U shape and the members each went round to talk about their business in 60 seconds or less. It was good to go as it was another opportunity to meet new people and you never know who you could meet.

At the end of the meeting, there was a conversation about joining; I would have been quite keen, until I read the costs! (£500 for the year and £40 venue fees each month) WOW! I have no idea how any of the smaller businesses could possible recoup the amount of money they would be spending. If you’re a lawyer, work in recruitment etc then yes, being a member could be a benefit.

At the moment the chapter has eighteen members and they seem to have stalled. They’re doing a membership drive at the moment as their looking to increase numbers.

Contacts Made – 4

Follow up e-mails sent – 4

Coffee dates - 1

54, St James Street, Liverpool

20th January, 9.30 - 11.30am

Cost – Free

The facilities at 54, St James Street were fantastic, very open and modern. The event was informal and held in the downstairs area where they had a coffee shop and lots of comfy sofas and tables spread around.

The first speaker talked about business strategy and gave useful advice, especially if you’ve just started up in business. She talked about business plans, having a mission statement, knowing what you want to achieve. There were practical tips such as researching the competition, doing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis.

Cara Leach was the second speaker she has labelled herself as a sales visionary and change maker. She talked about her background and how she came to be running her own company. The message I took away from her was to give it a go, try new things, follow your instincts, and to be positive and proactive.

I was impressed with the event and will definitely be attending future events.

Contacts Made – 5

Follow up e-mails sent – 5

Fruit Cake Friday

23rd January, 12 – 2 pm

Cost - Free

Fruit Cake Friday takes place every two months at Thursby House in Bromborough. They provide a very good lunch and then have guest speakers to talk about a variety of topics. This time they had two speakers, the first lady was from the Wirral Hospice St John’s she talked through what the hospice does and how it can be supported.

The second talk was from Billy Howard the Business Development Manager for Wirral Radio. I didn’t even know the Wirral had a radio station! I’ve reached out via twitter asking if I can come and talk about my books on the station... no news yet, but if you don’t ask you don’t get!

Contacts Made – 5

Follow up e-mails sent – 5

Coffee dates - 1

Palm Sugar Lounge

29th January, 6 – 9pm

Cost – Free

First thing I need to say about this event, is what an awful name. I've no idea who came up with it, but it gives off totally the wrong impression about the event and why people go to it. I wanted to go to meet new people and to spread the word about Tough Girl Challenges. I didn’t want to pick anyone up! I do think they need to consider changing the name to something more appropriate as it does not really go with their branding! – Just my opinion.

The event was held at Palm Sugar, a nice venue. It was heaving to start with, they could not have fitted anyone else into the venue. I met some really interesting people and there is real potential for further joint ventures or partnerships. Some great leads for me to follow up with.

Contacts Made – 7

Follow up e-mails sent – 5

Coffee dates – 3*


January Summary

Networking Events Attended - 5

Cost - £10

Contacts Made - 31

E-mails sent out - 29

Coffee dates had – 2

Future coffee dates to be booked in - 4

I was really pleased how January has gone in terms of building up the business and spreading the word about Tough Girl Challenges. I’ve met lots of new and interesting people and I love that everyone I’m meeting is positive and supportive about Tough Girl Challenges and understands my goals, and my dreams for the business.

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